Page 1

SOC.ORG · SUMMER 2016 VOL. 25, NO..3



Warcraft Independance Day: House ofResurgence Cards TheFastVampire and Furious Diaries7 Awards Top Review 12 NAB 1









J.L. Fisher BBQ, The Vision Center at CHLA, and more


36 TECH TALK: TOP 12 NAB Eric Fletcher, SOC


40 SMOOTH OPERATOR "Adventure Behind the Lens" Luke Cormack, SOC


"Through the Lens” François Daignault, SOC

18 WARCRAFT "From Game to Film” Peter Wilke

24 THE VAMPIRE DIARIES "Life on Long-Term TV Series” Geoff Shotz, SOC

32 SOC @ NAB 2016 Derek Stettler ON THE COVER: Commander Anduin Lothar (TRAVIS FIMMEL) readies his attack in Warcraft. From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. Photo credit: Doane Gregory/Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Meet the Members


45 SOC ROSTER 47 AD INDEX 48 SPOTLIGHT Online Features with Bonnie Blake, SOC and Peter Rosenfeld, SOC


32 1

Society of Camera Operators Board of Governors OFFICERS President George Billinger 1st Vice President Mitch Dubin 2nd Vice President Dan Turrett 3rd Vice President David Mahlmann Treasurer Bill McClelland Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Frediani

BOARD MEMBERS Mark August Rochelle Brown Susan Campbell Dan Coplan Eric Fletcher David Frederick David Allen Grove Frank Kay Hugh Litfin Kenji Luster Tyler Phillips Alicia Robbins Eric Roizman David Sammons Chris Taylor Chris Tufty




Awards (Co-Chair) Mark August Awards (Co-Chair) Bill McClelland Charities Chair Lisa Stacilauskas Communications Twojay Dhillon East Coast SOC Rep Bruce MacCallum Historical Michael Frediani Membership (Co-Chair) Dan Turrett Membership (Co-Chair) Eric Roizman Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Rochelle Brown Merchandising & Promo. (Co-Chair) Brad Greenspan Publications Michael Frediani Technical Standards Eric Fletcher

Jonathan S. Abrams, SOC James Baldanza, SOC Bonnie Blake, SOC Francois Daignault, SOC Eric Fletcher, SOC Laurie K. Gilbert, SOC Luke McCormack, SOC Peter Rosenfeld, SOC David Sammons, SOC Geoff Shotz, SOC Lisa Stascilauskas, SOC Derek Stettler Peter Wilke

STAFF AND CONSULTANTS Membership Services & Operations Coordinator Madison Burgess Bookkeeper Angela Delgado Calligrapher Carrie Imai Business Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy and Createasphere

CAMERA OPERATOR MAGAZINE Publishing Consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy Managing Editor Kate McCallum Layout & Production Stephanie Cameron VP of Advertising Matt Price

PHOTOGRAPHY Arial Marine Media Michael Alvarez Roberto Ballesteros Claudette Barius Towie Bixby Mark Catalena Clay Enos Louie Escobar Burt Gregory Doane Gregory Chris Grismer Anika Iltis Joe Lederer George Leon

Brian Lovett Kristin Petrovich Nika Tsiklauri Sam Urdank




or for Subscription information questions: or 818-563-9110

FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION Matt Price, Director of Advertising or 310-428-8071 For digital editions and back issues: Camera Operator is a quarterly publication, published by the Society of Camera Operators.

Is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.




Letter from the President Dear SOC Members and Camera Operator Readers: The SOC is looking forward to a busy and productive summer. We continue with our mission to engage and elevate—and defining through education and awareness, the craft and artistry of camera operating. We are participating again at the Cine Gear Expo 2016, June 3 – 4. We welcome you to please stop by our booth to say hello, see what we are doing, and also attend our seminar on Friday, June 3, 5:15 – 6:15pm. The SOC attended the National Association Of Broadcasters 2016 (NAB Show). We produced two outstanding and immersive presentations. Beginning with a panel discussion around executing and designing a shot, and concluding with the collaborative process of working with different directors. Our attendees truly enjoyed the evening. A deserved thank you to our accomplished and respected industry participants: Eric Fletcher, SOC; Dave Frederick, SOC; Michael Frediani, SOC; Dave Thompson, SOC; and Aiken Weiss, SOC. As the technology at NAB demonstrated, it's a remarkable and innovative time in our industry. We can now use technology and hardware in the intelligent orchestration of our creative process like never before. I anticipate amazing efforts from our members this year. Enjoy the Summer edition of Camera Operator. Countless hours of writing, editing, and layout design go into constructing this beautiful magazine. Thank you to all the members who generously contribute their on-set experiences and creative endeavors. Sincerely,

George Billinger, SOC Society of Camera Operators, President


• •


June 3 – 4 Cine Gear Expo Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles SOC will be hosting a panel Friday, June 3, 5:15 – 6:15pm. Stop by the SOC booth and connect with other SOC members. June 5, 11am – 4pm Chapman Leonard Product Showcase Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Inc., 12950 Raymer Steet, North Hollywood Check the website: for details and updated industry events, mixers and workshops.

Calendar SOC.ORG Calendar We are pleased to announce new activities and updated calendar events on the site. Please log onto the home page and click the navigation button, Events. A monthly listing of all SOC events are presented.



Ki Pro® Ultra

Record/Playback at up to 4K 60p. Now with ExFAT Support and more! Ki Pro Ultra is a next generation 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD capable Apple ProRes® file based video recorder and player with broad support for video formats and frame rates with up to 4K 60p. New v1.2 firmware offers many customer requested features. Now record to ExFAT or HFS+ formatted Pak Media, or connect via the new Pak-Adapt-eSATA to external eSATA drives, plus new 16-Channel embedded SDI audio, Closed Captioning encoding upon record and playback, and SMPTE 2SI 4K I/O support. Designed to be both portable and rackmountable with a half rack wide 2RU dimension, Ki Pro Ultra is ideal for use from studio/OB environments to on-set and even digital signage applications. Ki Pro Ultra answers the growing demand for 4K and UltraHD HFR capable recording, with full support for HD projects via flexible input and output connectivity, including 3G-SDI, Fiber and HDMI.

ExFAT and Pak-Adapt-eSATA

Closed Captioning

Flexible I/O

Ki Pro Ultra allows you to use the file system that suits your needs. You get full flexibility to format your recording media as either ExFAT or HFS+ directly within Ki Pro Ultra. Record to high capacity AJA Pak Media or utilize the new Pak-Adapt-eSATA to connect eSATA external drives for extended recordings and playback.

Closed Captioning is mandatory for many projects. Ki Pro Ultra now makes it simple to embed CC from an SDI input carrying CEA 708 and record it into your Apple ProRes® file. Play out your Apple ProRes® file with CC through Ki Pro Ultra’s SDI outputs.

Ki Pro Ultra now supports both Quad Split and SMPTE Two Sample Interleave, (2SI) for 4K I/O transport on SDI or optional Fiber. This allows connectivity to a wider range of 4K equipment.

Find CAMERA out more at OPERATOR · SUMMER 2016


News & Notes J.L FISHER'S 10TH ANNUAL BBQ SOC participated in the JL Fisher BBQ on May 14. The Society presented the “Moving Camera Seminar” presented by members of the SOC, Local 600 (Camera Guild) and Local 80 (Grips), that took place in the morning. Members stopped by the booth and enjoyed the other activities.

you think it sounds like something straight out of Minority Report (the movie), you are exactly right. The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is pioneering a program to grow exact replicas of patient’s diseased retinas in a lab and treat them with various treatments all at once, greatly reducing the time it takes to find proper treatment, sometimes by 30 years! Thus, finding the proper treatment before more damage occurs, and beginning proper treatment much sooner than was traditionally possible. Both videos are now available for viewing on the SOC website at More importantly, they are available to Dr. Lee and his staff at The Vision Center to use to educate, fundraise, persuade donors—whatever it takes to get the children in their care the medical help they need. This is one way SOC members are helping children at The Vision Center. Here is a list of volunteers, and vendors who donated or greatly reduced the cost of their services to make this video happen. Feel free to high five them if you see them :-).

SOC Panel at JL Fisher BBQ. Photo by Kristin Petrovich Kennedy

UCSB’S CAMCON On May 15, SOC members traveled to UCSB’s CamCon event to present a workshop focused on the camera operator's role, craft, and business in motion picture and television. Members Dave Frederick, SOC, Rochelle Brown, and Pedro Guimares participated.

Lisa Stacilauskas, SOC, Melanie Turner Cordero, Carly Lassegard, Clay Westervelt, SOC, Alicia Robbins, SOC, Jaron Tauch, Gary Bush, SOC, Gray Thomas, Zach Vincent, David Smith, Leah Anova, Jae Shim, Michelle Peterson, Satya Vanii, James Thompson, Alison Loung, Kyle Hardy, Paola Funes, Paco Farias, Mark Catalena, Scott Bloom, Gary Hebert, Lee Sanders, Alan Tudyk, Imaginaut Entertainment, kick-mix. com-lighting services, and Wooden Nickel Lighting Inc. 

On dolly: Alicia Robbins,SOC , Clay Westservelt,SOC, Michele Peterson. Back left to right Mark Borchert MD, Thomas C. Lee, MD, Alison Luong, Melanie Turner-Cordero, James Thompson, Jennifer Aparicio, PhD, Divid Kobrinik, MD, PhD. Photo by Mark Catalena

SOC MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN CHILDREN’S LIVES AT THE VISION CENTER AT CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL LOS ANGELES Each year the SOC produces a video for The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Last September, as we were beginning preproduction on the video, Dr. Thomas Lee, MD, Director of The Vision Center CHLA and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology for Keck School of Medicine USC, gave us some amazing news. He had used the previous year’s video, Curing Blindness with Telemedicine as the cornerstone of a proposal to launch a telemedicine network which the Petersen Foundation agreed to fund with a $1 million donation (as part of a larger gift). Talk about inspiration! With that success in mind, we got to work on our next video. The topic this year was “Predictive Medicine.” If



STRATEGIC PARTNERS LEADING THE INDUSTRY To provide a more efficient way to approach production, Clairmont Camera has teamed with world-leading post production house Deluxe, Encore by Deluxe, Level 3 and William F. White International. This strategic alliance will offer productions the ability to package grip, lighting, camera and post services, providing clients with financial savings and added convenience. One of the best benefits is the ability to test your workflow all the way through final color at Clairmont’s facilities before or during the camera prep. Feel free to contact us to arrange for a hands-on demonstration.



by David Sammons, SOC

Establishing Shot

Left: Hanging around on The Last Ship, photo by Michael Alveraz Top right: Mad Men ,Don Draper Drive bys with First AC Tim Kane, photo by Anika Iltis. Bottom right: Back in my AC days with Uta Briesewitz, ASC and Evans Brown on the set of "Love Stinks,” photo by Louie Escobar.

I am a Southern California native and in the summer of 1977, Star Wars mania was in high gear. Like most kids who had seen the movie, I was a repeat customer. I saw it three more times that year, but it wasn’t until I saw The Making of Star Wars, the behind-the-scenes documentary, that my interest in filmmaking piqued.  I remember imagining what it would have been like to be on the set. The remote locations, stunts, model building, set design, explosions…it was my first realization that you could have a career making movies. To me it was like joining the circus.

That same year I was accepted into the telecommunications and film department at San Diego State University. It was a great time to be in San Diego.  The chamber of commerce had just formed the film commission, and it was attracting all types of productions needing local help to round out their crews. I worked my way onto sets doing whatever was needed, and after a few failed attempts to get on a camera crew I managed to do just that on a made-for-TV movie. I was hired as an additional second AC and worked a few days a week for the run of the show.

My first day working on a film set was thirteen years later on a low-budget feature, shooting deep in the California desert. I had been introduced to the director a few weeks prior to production and he asked me if I wanted to help out. So there I was standing atop a sand dune, my job as PA was to make sure that off-road vehicles didn’t cross onto the set while we were filming. My friend, who was working as a grip, asked me to man a shiny board. He showed me how to aim it, lock it down, and moved on to another task. As he walked away he shouted, “You know they shot Return of the Jedi here!” I was on my journey.

During the last week of production, I was asked to set a locked-off Arriflex III high-speed camera for a high-fall stunt. Under the DP’s instructions I placed the camera in position next to the airbag and framed it to his liking. It was the only shot from this vantage point and would capture almost the entire fall at 120fps. I’m pretty sure that I was just as nervous as the guy jumping out the window three stories above. It was my first time working with that camera and I was using a short end that was about 200 feet long.  When the assistant director called, “Rolling,” I flipped the switch and stepped back away from the camera. The stuntman jumped out the window into the bag. Perfect




The selection of a lens is the moment that can define a shoot. From Hollywood studios to exotic locations around the globe, amazing big screen content is dramatized every day through the selection of Canon cinema lenses. The technologies behind our PL and EF mount cinema lenses ensure clear, crisp motion capture to the most demanding shoots. Canon optics empower filmmakers to bring visions to life. Throughout the more than 75 years of Canon history, it’s why we’ve always placed Glass First.

GLASS FIRST CAMERA OPERATOR · SUMMER 2016 © 2016 Canon U.S.A., Inc. All rights reserved. Canon is a registered trademark of Canon Inc. in the United States and may also be a registered trademark or trademark in other countries.


ed to answer but Denis broke in and asked for another so he could tweak the lighting. Whew! Thank you, sir!  One more chance.  We almost got it on take two, framing wasn’t quite right but take three was the winner. Everything lined up and we wrapped for the evening.  I got a few more opportunities on that film and managed to get my first operating credit.  It took a few more years to officially make the move to operator but I was on my way.

Photo by Colleen Hayes landing. I didn’t see it though as I never took my eyes off that camera. When the director called, “Cut,” I darted back and was relieved when there was still film moving through it.  We got the shot, and I got a boost of confidence while realizing the importance and pressure of working in the camera department.  After graduation, I made my way north to Los Angeles working as a camera assistant.  I had gained enough experience in San Diego to land a few low-budget non-union movies, sometimes working for just fifty dollars a day. Working hard with enthusiasm goes a long way in this business especially when you are starting out in a new city.  A few cinematographers took to calling me regularly for work and I managed to get into Local 659, now 600. To do that, I had to walk off a movie that was striking for union representation. It was tough for me to leave the set. I respected the process and the story we were telling, but the welfare of the crew and my own desire to get in the union took precedent.  The production took a week to sign the IATSE contract and the movie resumed. That was a major turning point for my career. Getting into the union gave me the ability to learn from and work with the best camera crews in the business.  

The “call” came in when I was on location, shooting the reality series Big for Discovery. In the middle of an orange grove with the worlds largest electric hair trimmer ready to wreak havoc on the tree tops, Uta Briesewitz, ASC, asked me if I was ready to work for her as an operator on a new series called LAX for NBC. Uta was always great about giving me opportunities to operate when I was her assistant, and apparently I did a good enough job to earn a shot fulltime. While LAX only ran for a thirteen episodes, it got my foot in the door as an episodic television operator which led to work on Cold Case for CBS and eventually Mad Men for AMC. Over the next several years I continued to work with Uta on feature films and TV pilots.   I remember my first shot on Mad Men, I was day playing towards the end of season one and DP, Steve Mason, ASC, ACS, asked me to go up in a scissor lift and get a high-angle shot. It was a pickup from a previously shot scene. In it, Betty Draper, played by January Jones, decides to take out her frustration on some roosting pigeons in her yard. She walks out in a diaphanous nightgown, smoking a cigarette, cocks the rifle and shoots and reloads repeatedly. At the end of the day I remember thinking “this show just might be something special I hope it's a hit.”  Turned out pretty good.

In the fall of 1999, I was asked by Denis Maloney, ASC, to work on the feature Luckytown. He told me that he was open to letting me operate an additional camera if I pulled focus for him on the show. We were two weeks into the schedule, shooting all-nighters in Las Vegas. Denis asked me to set up a shot for him outside the casino where we were filming just before dawn. It was a tracking shot of actor Luis Guzman pulling up in a car, parking and getting out. The sun was creeping up behind the building so I knew it was going to be the final shot of the evening.  True in his word and to my surprise, I think everyone else’s too, Denis asked me to operate the shot since I had set it up. I had been waiting for this moment and wasn’t going to waste it. When the director said, “Let’s shoot the rehearsal!” I climbed aboard the dolly ready for action. Fortunately, the car took a minute to get to its start mark, so I quickly went over the shot again with the dolly grip and second AC who was now pulling focus. On "Action," the car drove in but stopped way short of the mark. Luis got out quicker then I expected and I chopped his head off as he stood. Basically, it was a disaster. With no monitor to watch, the director asked me how it was.  I start-


David Sammons, SOC

Photo by Sam Urdank

David Sammons, SOC has been an active member of SOC for four years and was elected last year to serve his first term on the Board of Governors. He also serves as a co-chair on the bylaws committee. His most recent credits include, the television shows; The Last Ship, Kingdom, Key & Peele, and has feature credits on; Let’s Be Cops, Walk Hard, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.


NEW LENSES October 2016

15 18 21 25 29 35

June 2016

40 50 75 100 135

CW Sonderoptic GmbH Wetzlar, Germany | Los Angeles, USA CAMERA OPERATOR · SUMMER 2016 11

Independence Day:

Resurgence Through the Lens by François Daignault, SOC

An alien ship wreaks havoc in the skies above a fleeing ship. Photo credit: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox



Working on films with extensive blue screen means that the job can be rather abstract, but the technology is fascinating. Twenty years after the aliens first attacked Earth in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day, they're back, threatening to destroy the planet yet again! Reprising their original roles, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Vivica A. Fox, to name only a few, have to once more save the world from destruction!

TRIVIA: This is Roland Emmerich's first sequel.



In January 2015, DP, Markus Förderer asked if I’d be interested in operating A camera on Independence Day: Resurgence. Markus and I have worked together before. In the summer of 2014, we worked on Roland’s production of Stonewall. Prior to that, I’d worked with Roland on White House Down in 2012. Both projects were wonderful experiences so I jumped at the opportunity to work with both of them again.

CAMERA OF CHOICE Markus wanted to use his camera of choice, the RED Dragon with the Hawk anamorphic lenses. The nature of this project–the extensive use of blue screen Roland required–called for the NCam live previsualization system. We had used NCam on White House Down just after the system first became available. In the two years since then, great advances had been made on both the hardware and the software making it a must-have tool on effect heavy shows like Independence Day: Resurgence.

Prep took place in Los Angeles at Keslow Camera. They provided all the equipment except the lenses which came from Vantage Films GmbH in Germany. “A” focus puller, Nick Shuster and his 2nd, Hayden Pazanti, along with “B” cam AC, Steve Cueva and his 2nd, Zozo Zovko, did a fantastic job of getting us in top shape for the show.

THE START OF PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY In April 2015, principal photography started with a chase scene for the ending of the film, a big set piece that took a four days to shoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The production then moved to the Albuquerque Studios in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and stayed there for the rest of the 15-week schedule. Timing and information is everything on any blue screen CG shot. In the past, when less blue screen was used and therefore, the expertise was less forthcoming, more guesswork was required.

VFX: BLUE SCREEN Roland and the VFX department had started creating most of the virtual world of Independence Day: Resurgence well in advance of the start of principal photography. When the time came to shoot the real-world scenes, most of which included huge CG set piece, the NCam previz system allowed camera operators, Robby Baumgartner, James Goldman, and me to ground the camera moves with simulated visual reality. This, in turn facilitated the post-production’s implantation of the images. The NCam system is also of tremendous assistance to actors as it enables them to see what their environment is and makes it so much easier for them to interact with it. A good example of the facilitation the system affords is a shot we did in an open field on the studio’s back lot. We were meant to be in Africa. The art department constructed a practical set of the INT./EXT. WARLORD’S HOUSE in the middle of

TRIVIA: Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (Thomas J. Whitmore), Judd Hirsch (Julius Levinson), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller) and Brent Spiner (Dr. Brackish Okun) are the only actors to reprise their roles from Independence Day (1996). Director of Photography, Markus Foderer and François Daignault, SOC with actor Chin An on the moon base set. Photo by Claudette Barius



the savannah-like field. In the scene, David Levinson, Jeff Goldbloom’s character, is supposed to land his spaceship in front of a milicia general’s house and then exit the ship as other characters watch and react. The NCam system allowed me to follow the trajectory of the ship from high in the sky to the landing spot, taking all the guesswork out of the shot and allowing us to give the CG crew exactly what they needed to do their work. This way, I guess it’s possible to say that post-production drives this kind of shoot as opposed to the more traditional method of the past. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more of this.

EXTERIOR SCENES For the exterior scene, Markus used the Red Motion Mount on the RED camera to be able to finely and rapidly adjust the ND’s for each shoot. It eliminates the need to constantly change the ND filter to adjust for lighting condition. He had become a great fan of that equipment on Stonewall where we used it extensively.

Working with Roland is always a challenge, but a wonderful one. However, he knows what he wants and what he does not want. The word slow does not exist in his vocabulary. When he goes from the monitors to the set he doesn't walk, he runs. He gives 110% all the time and he expects the same work ethic from his crew. About ten percent of the film was shot with the camera on the Steadicam, forty percent on the dolly (manned by great dolly grip, Ian Hanna) and about fifty percent off the fifty-foot Technocrane. Whenever we switched to the crane, Ian would jump on the back of the crane, then Evan Nelson would take over the pickle. These two have worked together professionally for a long time and it showed. They certainly made my life easy!


E T:

RED Dr Full set agon of Haw k V-Lite Hawk Anamo Anamo rphic p rphic V rimes Hawk A -Plus Z namorp o om 45 hic V-P 9 0mm lus Zoo m 80-1 Arri He 80mm ads O’Conn or Hea ds Techno crane 3 0’ & 5 Oculus 0’ Stabiliz ed 3 Ax is H ead Steadic am NCam Previz S ystem Techno Dolly

THE OCULUS HEAD We had the chance to use the new Oculus Head from All Axis Systems as our principal stabilized head on the Technocrane, and also sometimes on the dolly. The head was a brand new technical toy. I think only one other feature had used it before us. It passed with flying colors is all I have to say about

TRIVA: Parts of the film were filmed at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah. The Bonneville Salt Flats had been used as a filming locale in various different films, which include Con Air (1997), John Carter (2012), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), The Tree of Life (2011), The World's Fastest Indian (2005), and the original Independence Day (1996). Walk and talk in Africa on stage with focus puller, Nick Shuster, François Daignault, SOC, and actorx Jeff Goldblum and Nicolas Wright. Photo by Claudette Barius



it. Tom Shaughnessy was the Oculus Head tech. The possibility of granting 360 degrees on the third axis allowed us to simulate hard left and right banking motion while filming the flying Earth spaceships, saving us the complicated and time-consuming need to set up the ships on gimbals.

BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN Roland wanted more control over the elements to do the detail work on the end scene in the desert, so he and Markus decided

to shoot it inside. This meant bringing the Bonneville Salt Flats indoors! Production was issued the challenge of coming up with a space large enough and they did—the Tingley Coliseum at the New Mexico Fair Grounds in Albuquerque. Kurt Konnerman and his crew transformed the space into a 360 degree sea of blue screen. A flat sandy floor was added and voilà—the Bonneville Salt Flats indoor version!

cause, like all those big interior blue screen

Even though it fit our needs really well, and we ended up shooting a good number of scenes there, it was still a bit tricky be-

The interactive set preview technology ad-

CG scenes, the main problem is the height. You always run out of blue on the top end of your shot. We managed it though. On that same stage, we also accomplished another complicated scene—we flooded the area and drove a car through this extremely limited practical set representing a destroyed city covered in a foot of water.

vances so very fast. I’m sure we’ll continue to be amazed at where it takes us.

On Bonneville Salt Flats Stage at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, New Mexixo. Photo by Claudette Barius

François Daignault, SOC François Daignault, SOC started his career in the late-80’s after attending film school. He got into the camera department and started as a trainee, then was a 2nd camera assistant for seven years before buying a Steadicam and making the jump to operating.

Photo by: Claudette Barius

Francois was very lucky to have William D. Barber, a camera operator from Los Angeles, working on A camera working alongside

him on his first movie. William took Francois under his wing and really helped him learn the craft. Since then he has had the privilege to work on such films as; Seven Years in Tibet, The Fountain, 300, and X-Men: Days of the Future Past…with many great DP’s such as; Oliver Wood, ASC, Matthew Libatique ASC, Fred Murphy, ASC, Stuart Dryburgh,

Phil Meheux BSC, Anna Foerster, ASC, and Markus Forderer, to name a few.


Introducing Blackmagic URSA Mini, the lightweight Super 35 4.6K digital film camera with 15 stops of dynamic range! Introducing URSA Mini, a handheld Super 35 digital film camera with an incredible 4.6K image sensor and a massive 15 stops of dynamic range! The super compact and lightweight design is perfectly balanced, making it comfortable enough for all day shooting. URSA Mini lets you shoot at up to 60fps, features a 5” foldout viewfinder, dual RAW and ProRes recorders, and more!

Incredible 4.6K Sensor URSA Mini can capture images at a resolution and dynamic range that goes well beyond that of traditional motion picture film so you can shoot your own epic, cinematic masterpiece! You can capture images up to 4608 x 2592, which is larger than 4K DCI, with 15 stops of dynamic range so you get incredibly clean pictures with amazing detail in everything from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights! URSA Mini can record 4.6K at up to 60fps, or 1080 HD at up to 120fps.

Lightweight and Portable URSA Mini’s perfectly balanced body is made out of space aged magnesium alloys so it’s rugged, yet lightweight and comfortable enough to be used all day. You get a super bright 5” fold out touch screen for on-set monitoring, that can also display overlays for timecode, histograms, audio meters, focus peaking and more! URSA Mini features full size, professional connectors, even 12G-SDI, so you don’t need custom cables, plus high quality stereo microphones and a side grip mounted on a standard rosette.

Electronic Viewfinder, lens and accessories sold separately. CAMERA OPERATOR · SUMMER 2016

Completely Customizable Blackmagic URSA Mini is completely customizable so you can create a rig that’s built specifically for your production! Add accessories like the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder and Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, or choose from hundreds of third party accessories. URSA Mini has 9 standard ¼” threaded mounting points on the top and bottom of the camera so you can mount it directly to a tripod as well as add accessories such as rails, matte boxes and more.

Non-Stop Recording You never have to stop recording because URSA Mini features two CFast 2.0 recorders! When one card is full, recording automatically continues onto the next. URSA Mini uses the latest, incredibly fast CFast 2.0 technology for recording speeds up to 350 MB/s. Wide dynamic range images are saved as 12-bit RAW files, which are perfect for high end grading and effects work, or as broadcast quality ProRes, for easy post production workflows with minimum storage requirements!

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K EF $2,995 Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K PL $3,495 Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF $4,995 Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K PL $5,495 Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit $395 Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder $1,495 All models include DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio for editing and color correction.


Warcraft From Game to Film by Peter Wilke

TRIVIA: The film went through 20 months of post production. Thomas Tull, the CEO of Legendary Pictures and producer of the film, said that the things Duncan Jones and the special effects team are doing are truly on the cutting edge. Orc chieftain Durotan (TOBY KEBBELL) is the beloved leader of the Frostwolf Clan in Warcraft. From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. Photo credit: Legendary Pictures,Universal Pictures and ILM



Warcraft is an American epic fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and written by Jones, Charles Leavitt, and Chris Metzen. It is based on the Warcraft video game series and novels set in the world of Azeroth. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin and Clancy Brown. The film portrays the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs and takes place in a variety of locations established in the video game series. Personally I have not played the game World of Warcraft. I am not a video game player, and I have no knowledge of orcs, I didn’t understand the magic that Medihv or Khadgar could wield. But to that point, how many of us operators have fallen in love in Paris, witnessed a mafia hit, or been face to face with the undead? It is our job to dream about what it would be like in these settings, to design how to show it, and ultimately--make it possible for the audience to be there.

STORY WORLD SCALE I was approached to work on Warcraft by producer, Brent O’Conner, and told that the DP, Simon Duggan, ASC wished to meet me. I knew Duncan Jones was attached to the project as director, and being very impressed with his storytelling skills in previous movies, I really hoped I got the job. I did. It would be easy to think that Warcraft would be 90 days shooting in a green screen studio with guys in grey mocap suits jumping around over green apple boxes, wielding large green sticks that would ultimately be dangerous-looking axes or hammers wrapped with previously massacred skulls, well…it was not. Director Duncan Jones was determined to make a different movie. In an early meeting with him, before principle photography, I recall a conversation revealing his idea that this picture should not be just another CG movie. Duncan was working with his cine-


matographer, Simon Duggan, and his production designer, Gavin Bocquet, building large sets to make this movie different and show the scale of Warcraft. The video game allows you to immerse yourself into its world. The kingdoms are expansive and the orcs are large, so the movie must carry that sentiment and scope through its visuals. Gavin successfully designed sets that were up to the test. Every build we shot in was not only true to the game, with Easter eggs for the hardcore followers, but completely shootable in every direction allowing for endless possibilities of shot design. Be it in the Palace of Azeroth, the Energy Chamber, or on exterior sets like Blackrock Valley or Elwynn Forest, Gavin and Simon collaborated in ways that allowed for fast, efficient, and painless shooting. Specifically, in the forest set the trees had a modular design that allowed the canopy to be raised or lowered on chain motors for lighting access.

ACE TEAM To say working with Simon Duggan was a dream is an understatement. Not only would I consider him a dear friend after Warcraft, but he is truly a master at what he does, ready to shoot in any direction at any time. It took me less than two days to stop feeling guilty or hesitant about offering up a shot that saw 180 degrees or even 360! He had pre-rigged lights on greenbeds over most of

the sets with spill control and kilometers of blue screen circling the sets on what seemed like endless hanging curtain rail. With the help of his gaffer, Drew Davidson, and key grip, John Westerlaken, there were absolutely no limitations put on shot design by lighting, and having that knowledge made the possibilities of pushing the shots to limits I am very proud of. I have a memory of day three when after a blocking, we yet again chose the 18mm for the shot. I took Duncan aside and asked, “Should we try to do the movie on the 18? The sets can take it and the orcs are huge.” He thought about it briefly and replied, “Why not?” I found Duncan to be like that, quick to answer yes or no, “I like it, I don’t like it.” If I were to guess, I would say that the 18mm was used for upwards of 75% of the A-camera shots. Simon and I often joked about putting Stephen Maier, the B-camera operator on the long lens for additional coverage, the long lense being the 35mm.

NO HERO To pick sides in a humans vs. orcs war would be easy. But nothing about Warcraft seems like it should be easy. Duncan and I had a conversation regarding treating both the humans and orcs as equals. The orcs were not the bad guys, and the humans, Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) or King Lane (Dominic Cooper), were not to be automatically


considered the hero. Bias could easily be promoted through use of camera angles and ‘hero’ moments, so we had to actively treat both sides as valued recipients of the hero angle. We were conscious of this, specifically when there were interaction between the humans and orcs. Story drove the hero angles, and it had more to do with where we were in the storyline, than who was on camera. Be it orc or human.

CG ON SET Of course, Warcraft being a heavily CG movie, the importance of having a VFX supervising producer with both knowledge of technical needs, and a love for the story is key. Bill Westenhoffer, double Academy Award winner, was just that person. Bill is both a VFX master, and has a wealth of Warcraft knowledge as he's been an avid player of the game for almost twenty-two years. He was always around, and not only pushed for the best shots possible, he demanded that VFX was not restricting in anyway. As any oper-

ator that has worked on movies with shots containing both CG characters and human “real” characters interacting with each other, there is a process. That process normally includes a “pass” with the actors, and a person in a mocap suit, a “pass” with just the humans interacting with a proxy, or an eyeline mark for their interaction. The process is then capped with a “clean pass” that could be used as a background when said mocap-suited person is overlapping background elements. Warcraft was yet again different. Orcs are very large creatures relative to their human counterparts, and although production did manage to have a few larger stuntmen playing the role of various orcs, for the most part, normal-sized actors were cast to play the major roles of orcs. Giant Studios were entrusted to create a live, motion capture scenario where we could aim our cameras at mocap-suited actors, but through the eyepiece we would actually see orcs live, and in very near to real time. Motion capture cameras were placed throughout our sets

allowing Giant to record the mocap action without any disruption to our normal filming of the scenes. Through tireless work by first assistant camera, Taylor Matheson, and several people at Giant Studios, we designed a active LED tracking array that allowed Giant to not only track the mocap action, but the camera in the 3D space of the studio, transmitting and computing not only the X, Y and Z in space, but tilt and pan angles. Each array consisted of six 8 LED’s mounted on a threaded nylon rod, connected to a central removable mounting point, and had to be customized to the camera mode. We ended up creating one for the Steadicam that we also used for handheld, an additional one for the Libra head and one for studio mode. We ended up giving them the moniker “Sputnik.” The same type of “Sputnik” active LED’s were attached to the actor’s mocap suits allowing our Alexa XT to view them, not just as live images, but integrating the mocap

TRIVIA: When a fan asked Duncan Jones where he would be shooting the film during a Blizz-Con Q&A he was not allowed to answer but did hint at the shirt he was wearing that said "Vancouver" (where the film was shot). Peter Wilke with director Duncan Jones and 1st assistant ,Taylor Matheson. Photo credit: Doane Gregory/Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures



cameras and computer software systems, allowing us to see them as the CG Warcraft characters, albeit rough, three-dimensional animated creations. I would have to admit it was not optimum using the live system with respect to the frame lag, even if the computer geniuses were able to get it down to three frames. We were in large part, an action movie and having a frame lag through the eyepiece was not the best. However, during set up and rehearsals it was very quickly advantageous being able to switch over to “simulcast” mode to judge the size of the orcs, and to properly compose what the audience would eventually experience. As much help as physical proxies have helped past movies, i.e. large cardboard cutouts, or anthropomorphic 3D physical creations, having a scalable “being” imaged through the eyepiece was groundbreaking. It allowed us to remove the, ‘I think you should maybe leave more head room…” And the often heard, “Well, if we need more

we will just pan and scan,” a bane to every operator’s ear. Success. The next step was to use the software when shooting scenes with only CG characters. The overall plan was to have the actors that were to be CG actually perform their scenes while the motion capture cameras would record all their movements. Afterward, through the use of the mocap-captured data, I could then see a playback of the action associated with the preferred take through the eyepiece for the clean passes. As there were no human and CG interaction, only a clean pass would be needed. In the past, we as operators, remembered what we did during the shot, then repeat a pass to the best of our abilities. Suddenly, with this new technology we have what the actors performed playing back through the camera. And thanks to the Sputnik, the computer that is playing back can track where I am in 3D space, knowing


Alexa Open

Gate 2:40 e xtraction Leica Summ ilux Primes with Fujinon Pre mier Zooms Mkv/GPI Pro Steadicam H ybrid LibraHead supplied by Simpco MovieBird 4 5 Ev Ranger with 7’ Jib Active Infra red LED Track ing Arrays

what I am looking at, how close I am to where the actor was, what angle I am tilting, etc. A real interaction between the plate and well…playback! I think everyone that witnessed us trying to use this software would admit that the system was not perfect off the top, there were glitches and strange imaging for more than a few weeks. Upside down

TRIVIA: Life-size weapons and suits of armor were built for the orcs despite the orcs being played by actors via motion capture. This was mainly for photographic references and so that they could use them as props on the set. Commander Anduin Lothar (TRAVIS FIMMEL) readies his attack in Warcraft. From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon. Photo credit: Doane Gregory/Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures



orcs with their arms sticking out of places that arms should not be sticking out of, images of orcs blending with each others that still gives me eerie thoughts when trying to fall asleep. Credit to the producers who continued to support the process, and to Duncan for not giving up on it. But special respect to Bill Westenhoffer for knowing how great the system could be and how great a difference it could make to the final movie if the system was to work as theorized. We had an army of programmers, and computer engineers working just off set where you could hear the constant din of computer server power cranking through data sets digesting a non-stop flow of information.


little to allow for the look. Something that I

The day it worked was nothing short of electric. We were shooting a scene within the Bedouin-inspired tent of Gul’dan (Daniel Wu) with four or more orcs. The scene called for the use of Steadicam, and during the scene there was a moment when we pushed into a close-up on Durotan, played by Toby Kebbell. The close-up was a low-angle heroic size, and as usual we shot the scene with actors in mocap suits, then went on to shoot clean plates. As the recorded playback started replaying large ork-sized characters into my Steadicam monitor, I started my clean plate. As the scene ending push was reaching the close up, the previously recorded orc image on my Steadicam gave a small, subtle look to the left. Naturally, I let the frame breathe just a

I think would have been lost had I not had the

assume I did the first time, but something that benefit of an active orc playback on my Steadicam monitor. For the first time, the “clean pass” was actually forced by the actor’s action and not the CG character’s action forced into a frame that was an approximation. I am not entirely sure the layman will be aware of such responsive interactivity, but I truly believe that there will be something different, something natural about the CG in this picture. Perhaps this subtle difference will contribute to Duncan Jones telling the story of orcs versus humans in a way that both sides deserve. To have been a part of this milestone in filmmaking, I will remain excited and grateful.

Peter Wilke on set. Photo credit: Doane Gregory/Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Peter Wilke Peter Wilke is a Vancouver-based, 15-year veteran, A-camera operator who’s worked with several Academy Award-winning cinematographers including; Dean Semler, Russell Carpenter, and Andrew Lesnie. Peter has worked on many groundbreaking CG movies including; Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Roland Emmerich’s 2012.


Peter has an honors degree in Science, and spent several years as a dolly grip before starting to operate. Although he is very passionate about filmmaking, his real passion is football, and he would give it all up to be able to kit up with the Arsenal Football Club! Go Gunners! Photo by Joe Lederer


PL XK6x20 Performance + Affordability •

PL Zoom covering 20 – 120 mm

4K Performance – All Zones, Any Aperture

T3.5 Flat, Rich Contrast

0.8 Gearing


The Vampire Diaries

Life on Long-Term TV Series by Geoff Shotz, SOC

Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.



Now completing Season 7, this CW Network supernatural drama is based on the series of novels by L.J. Smith, and details the lives of two brothers, Damon and Stefan Salvatore, who have been living as vampires for centuries. After years of moving from from place-to-place to hide their eternal youth (and blood thirsty condition), the brothers return tothe small Virginia town, Mystic Falls, where their lives as humans ended. Damon (played by Ian Somerhalder) is snarky, handsome and charming, with a propensity for evil, while Stefan (palyed by Paul Wesley) tries to remain noble—in part to atone for bad behavior in his past. INT. BONANZA PRODUCTIONS, STAGE 1 – DAY It’s February 8, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia at Bonanza Productions on Stage 1. Shooting interior driving shots on REAR SCREEN PROJECTION. CUT TO: Our first AD, Tony Griffin, calls, “Action!” The 40‘x20 foot screen suddenly flashes white and changes from moving fields to a 20-foottall image of an 80’s-looking Breakfast Club wannabe. I tilt the camera and frame up the image. Before Tony can figure out what’s happening, there’s a huge laugh and the actors burst into Happy Birthday! The crew sings and Tony turns beet red as he realizes that it’s a picture of him at 16. Forty voices sing and cheer and then it’s back to work.

LIFE ON THE SERIES This is life on the set of The Vampire Diaries. With 150 episodes produced so far, the crew knows the drill. We are a well-oiled machine. We live and die by the clock, by the page count, 180+ days a year. But after seven seasons, this is more than a job it’s a family. And as the A camera/ Steadicam operator for five and a quarter of those years, I have had the best seat in the house all along. The Vampire Diaries, or TVD, is like most network series. We shoot 22 episodes a season over nine months. On average, we shoot


12-hour days and six and four-eighths pages. No small feat day after day! Generally, we shoot six and a half days out of eight on stage and have between 20 and 25 standing sets. Additionally, we have an exterior high school and college, a graveyard, and a large woods on site. We started Season 1 with an ensemble cast of 10 and now have…well, if I tell you, I’ll ruin the season finale! Normally, these articles discuss the technical side of operating. There’s a discussion about how we use a certain piece of equipment or technique to get a shot or a scene. I’d like to mix things up a little and discuss what it’s like to be the operator on a long-term project like this from an emotional, psychological, and physical point of view. I’d like to discuss the importance and significance of being the constant on a set, day after day, season after season. With rotating DP’s and AD’s, and guest directors coming in and out, the camera operator is normally the most stable person on set for both cast and crew. Many times actors look to you for feedback before they do the new director. Many times the DP needs you to rally the troops in the 13th hour of a night exterior, mid-winter on a ‘Fraturday.’ Knowing how and when to crack the whip and take the reins without stepping on toes, is an art form. We must be mothers, psychiatrists and drill sergeants all

at once. This is both the beauty and burden of our position.

JUST WHAT DOES THE CAMERA OPERATOR DO? Quite regularly, I get asked what camera operating is all about. My answer is usually—I work in physics and geometry, with some quantum mechanics thrown in. My job is to move the camera through time and space to capture the physical and emotional moments that the actors and the scenery present me. I am a participant in all of this, but I strive to make sure that my involvement won’t sway the outcome of the moment. Quite a heady answer, I know. But in essence, we operators are constantly trying to put the camera in the right place, at the right time, as gracefully as possible; all while trying to eliminate the variables that could throw a wrench in our plans. How we set ourselves up to succeed in situations when actors miss marks, or equipment gets pushed into frame between takes, or an extra goes astray (all without enough rehearsal time!) is where good operators shine. We must be artists, athletes and mind readers all at once. In general, we strive to be invisible, but sometimes, our presence, our involvement is necessary. Sometimes the camera operator

All episodes in Season 6 are the names of 90’s songs. The exception being the episode, Bird in a Guilded Cage, which is a song title from the year 1903.


can save a scene by reading the emotional state of an actor and holding their hand or guarding them from distraction as they work through it. Sometimes we are the only ones who know how to read the actor well enough to see the signs. Sometimes we are the only ones they know and trust enough to help them. For me, one case in particular stands out.

A CASE STUDY: TRANSFORMATION WEREWOLF Early on in Season 2, one of our actors, Michael Trevino, was stuck doing 12 hours of a transformation into a werewolf (yes, this is a supernatural show). He was having to endlessly writhe around on the floor of a very cold cave set. This floor was covered in pebbles and stones and was incredibly hard on his skin and body. Of course, he was also supposed to be naked so he had no protection to shield him. About eight hours in,

Michael was struggling with some simple dialogue and growing fatigued. I saw him look around the set at everyone in their warm coats and saw him feel very alone in this endeavor. At that point, he looked at me for help, for company in his struggle. Knowing him as I did after all these months, I immediately recognized the signal. He needed someone to suffer with him. In solidarity, I removed my coat, grabbed my camera off the slider, lost the protective furniture pad under my knees and proceeded to join him on the ground. The director called action and I crawled on my knees across the stones and fought to move the camera in a dead heave. This went on for another 45 minutes before we moved on to something else. At the end, my knees were skinned and I was freezing, but we got through it. Nothing was said, but the next day, a beautiful gift arrived from Michael with a card that said, ‘Thank you for getting me through.’ These are the moments that happen because of the bond we create as we spend time together, work,

eat and live together, and learn to trust one another over many years.

BALANCING LIFE AND WORK Operating on a long-term show like TVD is tremendously exhausting. The days turn into episodes and the weeks into seasons very quickly. Being A camera/Steadicam is a constant battle between the work day, conditioning and fatigue. The mental exhaustion of the same sets and the same characters (in front of the camera and behind) can at times be overwhelming. There are weeks where I literally have not come off of the Steadicam more than a half-dozen times. This can feel like an endurance race run at a full sprint. And—add the needs of a family, hobbies, and an actual life, it almost seems undoable. But, in the right situations, it can also be the most rewarding form of filmmaking.

TRIVIA: The pilot was shot in Vancouver but production of the series was moved tax credit incentives. Most of the filming takes place in Covington. Camera operator, Geoff Shotz and focus puller, Rob Robinson on set. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.




MAKErS oF tHE WorLd’S FInESt Vr cAMErA rIgS As Camera Operators, no one is better qualified to take advantage of the exploding interest in live action virtual reality than someone who’s been on the frontlines of cinematic production. Interest in the medium is accelerating rapidly, and by bringing your smarts now, who knows where it might lead? Contact us to speak to our Founder for a friendly chat about VR cameras, and why we believe the future of VR is incredibly bright.

Vr camera Package rentals from

$1500 / day

one-on-one in-home Vr camera training


1 day course*

(310) 595-1098 CAMERA OPERATOR · SUMMER 2016 for a second day for just $500 - some terms apply. Special offer for SOC members. * Choose to keep the camera


I’ll start with the hard part, which for me is balance. Our show is not difficult, but it is exhausting. Twelve hours plus lunch and drive time doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything else. How do you train physically to be strong and capable for a grueling day of Steadicam or handheld and still have energy to do your day’s work? How do you stay rested and healthy and still make it to your kid’s soccer game or recital after a full ‘Fraturday?’ These are the greatest challenges of working on episodic television. To anyone asking, I would say less is more. Find a few moments every day, on set or at home, for silence. I think that is of the utmost importance. Also, find an activity that grounds you and gives you a recharge that you can mentally and physically escape to. When someone on my team is starting to lose their way, we automatically default them to their happy place. We all need to be reminded at times. And train with a goal, push your body and allow the ebb and flow of a season to alter your workouts. You will not be your best as you

approach the winter hiatus. Listen to your body and don’t over train. Appreciate how much of a toll this job can take on you. And lastly, appreciate your family. This business is hardest on them. It can be intoxicating and distract us from the really important things. We, as operators, are the most able to leave our work on set. Take advantage of that.

MOVING UP THE LADDER This leads me to my other family and how I benefit from them. The TVD family has been so tight, supportive and together so long that we have been able to really aid each other in moving up. Starting with our show creator/executive producer, Julie Plec, there has always been a support system to help the motivated members of the crew achieve their career goals. Several of my second AC’s are now full time focus pullers. My earlier dolly grip, Pierre O’Halloran, and my original focus puller, Rob Robinson, are now operators. One of our extras asked to intern with

the camera department early on in Season 1. She would show up through a work-study program at her high school. And now, six and a half seasons later, Nicole Castro is a great second AC. Several of our gaffers have become DP’s. And six crew members from below the line, including myself, have managed to start directing. This is the advantage of a show like this. If you can keep attentive, motivated and involved, there is room to move and grow. The benefits can far outweigh the negatives of being so long in the same place. And the knowledge that these career possibilities are actually possible have kept the crew sharp and motivated. Nothing helps keep you in a positive mode as knowing your efforts are appreciated and can lead to a definitive life and career improvement.

DEEPENING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS But even with this golden carrot motivating all of us, it can be hard to find the balance between work and life. It can be difficult to

T E C H O N S E T:

3x Arri Alex a 2x Angenie ux 24-290 mm zooms 2x Angenieu x 17-80mm zooms 2x s4 prime s from 14m m-135mm Full Time Ste adicam

TRIVIA: To help the Red Cross with their blood drive, they teamed up with TVD to get teenagers to donate blood for their blood drive. Bonnie Bennett, played by Kat Graham, performs a spell on Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.



Shot with Schneider MPTV 6-Point Clear Star Filter



True-Streak Clear

The latest addition to the True-Streak® effects filter line, new Star filters are here. Just in time for baseball season there’s the 4-point White/Blue Star, or maybe a 6-point Red/White/BlueStar is just the thing for election coverage. And for stand-out shots, Clear Star filters create a myriad of looks like the one above. For out-of-the-box options Custom Star filters can be ordered in a choice of 4, 6 or 8 points in Blue, Red, Orange, Green, Yellow, Pink, Violet or Clear colors.

Blue & White 4-point Star

The Stars join the True-Streak family that’s become popular for creating that anamorphic streak effect. For another dynamic look, Confetti filters create mini-streaks that appear as a sparkle or fireworks effect as the filter is rotated or lights move in the image. Plus there’s more—in multiple colors and strengths and popular professional sizes. To find just the effect you are looking for visit:


818-766-3715 • 800-228-1254 •


stay focused and attentive for nine months, year after year. Unlike feature films, there is no end in sight. So how do you balance this? The routine can become overwhelming if you allow it to. I mean, how many times can you hear the first AC’s stories about working on Terminator! (Sorry Al Cohen!). But, if you find a way to maintain your sense of humor and humility through a season or seven of them, magical things happen. To survive the grind, you start to discover your strengths and weaknesses. You are forced to be introspective when you spend that much time in the presence of the same people. When you run out of fresh jokes and reminiscent stories, you start getting to know each other at a different level. Most of the crew can spot when something is amiss before you are even aware of it. And they are there and supportive. They share your triumphs and sadness more deeply than your family at times. Life on set has always been like that. It is the nature of our business, but seemingly, much more deeply after so many years together.

STAYING POSITIVE At some point, everyone on set will be sick, or sad, or angry. How you deal with that and each other in those situations is the important part. A big lesson that I try to instill

in my team is, we are all human. We are all going to make mistakes. Don’t judge each other by how we stumble, judge us by how we pick ourselves back up, how we recover. We all have trouble escaping our nature, our egos, our selves. But, we, as a team, will only survive as a team. I ask my AC’s, Al Cohen and Trevor Rios, and my dolly grip, Tommy Miller, to constantly chime in and provide input and feedback. I constantly lean on them and ask them to set us up for success. At some point in a season, we all lose focus for a beat or two. The team is what keeps me in check and on point. This support and camaraderie is what makes our whole business so amazing. Our business is an anomaly. Where else can you curse and bicker and speak your mind on a daily basis? Where else is it acceptable to dress as you choose and be who you really are with no fear of anything but a little good-natured humor? The true beauty of our chosen career is that we have choice. We can, at any moment, choose to find another gig. We can at any moment choose to take time off or take care of our family. We can choose to stick it out on a quiet little show because the cast and crew are family. The only time things seem overwhelming is when we forget we have those choices. In a world where so many people are stuck, this is the greatest part of our business.

Geoff Shotz, SOC Having grown up in Los Angeles, Geoff Shotz was surrounded by the entertainment industry. Because of his proximity to it, the business was familiar yet not particularly interesting. That changed in high school when a family friend hired him for a summer job at one of the studios. Suddenly, the idea of working in film and TV was very much on the radar. Still, other opportunities called. After moving to Europe for a short career as a semi-pro ice hockey player, he returned to LA to do some PA work. Through a bit of serendipity, the first person he met got him a job at Caleb Deschanel’s commercial company. It was the connections made there that started him on a path that led through art and production before settling into set lighting. After many years humping cable, he became restless and realized he was being drawn back to his first love, camera. In particular, the Steadicam. With the support of operator, Russ McElhatton and DP's, Michael Gershman, and Tom Sigel, Geoff took a class and purchased a rig. After several years, a favor job led to an episodic operator position. Since then, it’s been a nonstop run of work through both the feature and television worlds. Geoff received a nomination for the SOC 2016 Camera Operator of the Year – Television. Now, another door is opening, and he has been lucky enough to start directing. What the future holds for him is yet to be seen, but the perpetual smile on his face should be proof of his daily enjoyment and love for what we are lucky enough to call a job.

Photo by Chris Grismer

On location at Mystic Falls High School stadium. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.





SOC @ NAB 2016 by Derek Stettler

Left: Meet and greet at the Manis Digital and Cartoni booth. Right: George Billinger, SOC, and David Thomspm, SOC interviewed live on Be Terrific. This year, the SOC traveled to Las Vegas to attend the NAB Show, our second year in attendance. The National Association of Broadcasters’ trade show is the world’s largest annual gathering for professionals in the entertainment industry and this year featured more than 1,700 exhibitors with over 100,000 attendees from 166 countries. Of those 100,000+ attendees was a core group representing the SOC: President George Billinger, SOC; Sergeant-at-Arms and former President Michael Frediani, SOC; Technical Standards Committee Chair Eric Fletcher, SOC; Dave Thompson, SOC; former President Dave Frederick, SOC; Aiken Weiss, SOC; the SOC’s business consultant Kristin Petrovich Kennedy; and Camera Operator managing editor Kate McCallum. Also attending NAB in support of the SOC was Bryan Yokomi, who edited the clips for the panels and acted as on-site tech, Associate Member Jessica Jurges, who assisted with meetings and demos, and myself, Derek Stettler, an Associate Member and contributing writer to the magazine. Throughout the show, everyone worked to educate NAB’s attendees about the SOC’s mission and programs, expand Camera Operator’s subscriber base, and build corporate membership; not to mention learn about the latest gear with hands-on time surveying the various booths. In addition, the SOC presented two not-to-miss educational panels. The show started for the SOC on Monday with a series of strategic meetings with new technology companies and current Corporate


Members. These meetings continued on Tuesday and Wednesday and consisted of high-level introductions to executives, private tours and demos of the latest technology on display, as well as discussions of new ways to bring value and meaning to the partnership between these Corporate Members and the SOC. After wrapping up Monday’s meet-and-greets, the group headed over to the upper level of Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall to present the ever popular panel: “How Did Ya Get That Shot?” Open to all NAB badge holders, the room was packed with attendees eager to hear the panelists reveal how they achieved some of the most breathtaking shots to grace cinema and television screens in recent memory. On stage were George Billinger, SOC (Terminal, War of the Worlds, Lincoln), Michael Frediani, SOC (Monk, Mad Men, Bones), Dave Thompson, SOC (I Am Legend, Silver Linings Playbook, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Dave Frederick, SOC (Monk, Sons of Anarchy, Aquarius), and Eric Fletcher, SOC (True Blood, Dexter, The Neon Demon). With the intention of sharing “techniques and tips to sharpen your craft and create better images,” the panel began with introductions by moderator, Tom Fletcher, current industry consultant and founder of Fletcher Camera and Lenses in Chicago (now Cineverse). After introductions were made, the panel jumped right into screening a selection of clips displaying Eric Fletcher’s operating in Dexter. Fletcher discussed the alternative approach to framing they

SOC’S Tuesday panelists and moderator, Debra Kaufman gather for a photo. L-R: Eric Fletcher, SOC, Michael Frediani, SOC, Aiken Weiss, SOC, Debra Kaufman, moderator and industry journalists, George Billinger, SOC , and David Frederick, SOC. Photo by ©George Leon/filmcastlive used on the show and how they handled regularly shooting nine or more pages a day. Along with the fast pace of television, the fact that there’s a new director every eight days meant that Fletcher was instrumental in defining and maintaining the look of the show. He shared how his close working relationship with Dexter’s star, Michael Hall, allowed the two of them to shoot many key scenes without rehearsal. “It was just Michael and I dancing,” Fletcher remarked. Next up was a clip from Lincoln, with George Billinger revealing some of his working process with Steven Spielberg. Billinger discussed how the clip from Lincoln came to have no camera movement, despite their love of moving the camera. He notes that the scene was “designed to play like a painting,” because “the storytelling was more powerful being an observer, like looking through a window and letting the action play out.” The next two clips were from War of the Worlds and demonstrated Billinger’s Steadicam finesse, in one shot going from walking, to stepping onto a dolly, and then stepping up onto a crane. Both scenes were extensively prevised in pre-production and the final shots were “almost one-to-one matches.” The next clip was from Terminal, showing a complex Steadicam tracking shot which circled around the actors at key points. The shot had to be “back-timed to dialogue,” orchestrated to have precise camera movements accompanying specific moments, rather than simply following the actors in a traditional walk-and-talk shot. Billinger spoke about


the joy of crafting these types of shots with Spielberg. He summed up their working relationship, commenting, “Steven writes the music and I get to play it.” Following this was a series of clips from Sons of Anarchy, with Dave Frederick sharing the techniques behind how he captured the dynamic motorcycle action of the show. Making extensive use of the Russian Arm, as well as a what Frederick called a “clown car”—two operators, two focus pullers, the director, and a driver all on a motorcycle. Frederick discussed the challenges of capturing the shots shown in the clips, working at high speed, with extreme wind, and often shooting with telephoto lenses. He said he rarely used gyro-stabilization, preferring to use a Steadicam rig, typically in low mode. Frederick also shared how important safety is during the shooting of these kinds of scenes, and how he always made sure to have a conversation with the driver beforehand about the details of the shot and what their top speed would be. A couple of exclusive clips from Bones were then shown to the audience, with Michael Frediani opting to show dailies when possible to share the full shots as created on set, rather than the edited scenes that in television often take a single moving master and intercut it with coverage. Frediani also shared some behind-the-scenes stills of the gear he used on set and discussed how it helped him get the shots. “Often times camera operators are not the designers of the shot.


However, we’re called upon to make them work and make them better…We’ll take something good and try to make it great. If they give us something great, we’ll try to keep it great.” The final clips shown came from Dave Thompson’s work on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Thompson spoke of the trust he’s developed with director Francis Lawrence and their close creative collaboration which allows them to create the heart-pounding shots the audience had just witnessed. The trust and freedom afforded to Thompson was demonstrated in one of the clips, in which the last half of the shot was completely unplanned and arose from Thompson responding to star Jennifer Lawrence’s improvisation. This way of working allowed for great efficiency on set, with rarely more than three or four takes done before moving on to the next setup. Moderator, Tom Fletcher then opened the panel up to audience questions, starting off with asking about changes to the industry and new technologies making their way to the set, as well as how it’s all affecting the camera operator. Questions from the audience ranged from the nature of the relationship between the camera operator, DP and director, to how the panelists came to be where they are now, the value of being able to operate both geared heads and fluid heads, and the merits of sliders compared with dollies. After the panel ended and the panelists took some time to personally engage with members of the audience, the group headed off to the “SOC Mixer” at Gordon Ramsey’s Grill and Pub in Caesar’s Palace. With food, drink and friends, the mixer, sponsored by Chapman/ Leonard and Panasonic, was a fun way to unwind after a busy first day and brought together many SOC members. Tuesday was filled with more productive meetings and educational tours with Corporate Members on the NAB show floor before the SOC’s second highly anticipated panel: “Visual Storytelling and the Role of the Camera Operator.” Featuring George Billinger, SOC, Michael Frediani, SOC, Dave Frederick, SOC and Eric Fletcher, SOC from Monday’s panel, along with Aiken Weiss, SOC (Burn Notice, Ballers, Billions), “Visual Storytelling and the Role of the Camera Operator” was moderated by noted industry journalist, Debra Kaufman. After introductions, Kaufman began the panel asking how the operators get work and how projects come their way. The audience was listening closely as the panelists revealed what goes into becoming a working camera operator in the industry. Beyond the common expression, “It’s who you know,” Dave Frederick expressed that it’s really all about cultivating relationships, sharing how he’s been hired by former PA’s because he was nice to them. “This is a referrals business,” he said, “and you’re only as good as what people think of you on the job.” Aiken Weiss added, “But don’t be nice for political reasons. Just be a decent human being for crying out loud!” The discussion then segued into how the panelists prepare for their projects, what they focus on when reading a script, and how storyboards and previs play into their work, especially when visual effects are involved. Kaufman also asked about approaches to collaboration, with the panelists sharing how


collaboration differs between film and television, and the challenges of working with more improvisational directors compared to “shot specific” directors who require operators to execute a specific shot in a precise way. Dave Frederick also spoke about collaborating with cast, and the exclusive bond and level of trust that often forms between actors and camera operators. “Your work is going to be so much better if you set up a tone of collaboration with the cast. It’s all about trust and it’s all about having an affinity for each other and mutual respect… In collaboration, everybody’s job is 50%.” The panel then jumped into screening clips, with the first clips shown being from Billions. Aiken Weiss spoke afterward about the behindthe-scenes discussions which led to the operating decisions he made and the gear he used. Shown next were shots from Dave Frederick’s career in a reel showing both clips and behind-the-scenes stills. Frederick shared his experiences, detailed some of the equipment used to get certain shots and expressed the joy he feels from operating. Next were a couple clips from George Billinger’s work with Steven Spielberg, displaying how they found “the story within the story” during an exciting battle sequence with over 2,000 extras. Following this, Eric Fletcher’s work on True Blood was shown in a pair of clips which Fletcher had helped design. He spoke of how one of the scenes had originally been blocked with a large amount of coverage, but Fletcher had made a suggestion to the DP of doing the entire scene as a Steadicam oner. Fletcher noted how his suggestion was embraced by the DP, and in fact heightened the emotion of the scene, while save the production three hours. A true collaboration. The panel’s last clips were from Bones, and Michael Frediani shared exclusive dailies from the show which allowed the audience to see what went into crafting a particular shot. They watched as a rolling take played out, resetting a couple times for various technical reasons before Frediani nailed the move. The panel then opened up to a Q&A session with the audience. Questions ranged from how to handle DPs that want to operate on certain shots, to what camera operators look for from a director. Regarding that last question, each panelist offered their views on the matter, and all of them ultimately agreed that it comes down to preparation, articulation of a vision, and respect. Aiken Weiss stressed that “Communication is a two-way road… not just talking, not just listening, but being interested that the person you’re talking to understands what you’re saying. And vice-versa.” Michael Frediani ended the panel by noting how being respected and appreciated truly elevates an operator’s—or anyone’s—work, and how the director sets that tone on set. Following the conclusion of the panels, both on Monday and Tuesday, the audience was given complimentary copies of Camera Operator magazine and many stayed to have one-on-one time with the panelists, all of whom happily engaged with the curious and appreciative audience members. With another successful and productive NAB experience coming to a close, the SOC accomplished a great deal and looks forward to participating in the annual convention for years to come.




12 7 23 8 3

11 6 12 1 7 13 2 8 10 3 9 4 115 10 6 5

10 5 11 6 12 1 7 2 9 4

by Eric Fletcher, SOC


Tech Talk: Top 12 NAB 9 4 10 5 11 6 1

With spring being in the air that means one thing—the yearly trip to Las Vegas to see the good and the bad at NAB. Like every year, if you look hard enough you can find the good in a huge array of “What were they thinking?” Like previous years, the SOC participated with well-attended seminars, booth tours, and our SOC party. Some thoughts after four days and almost 50 miles of walking the show, according to my Apple watch’s step counter.


9 4 10 9 5 4

Arri keeps improving an already great system by improvements in their focus system with a new smaller motor aimed at the Alexa Mini builds, The cforce plus motor works on the Arri LBUS standard and is compatible with the Arri Lens Control Units and the CMotion controllers. The motor uses daisychained cables to keep the clutter down and makes for a very small, lightweight and tidy installation. Paired with the LCUBE CUB-1 you can now use a Cinetape or Arri UDM-1 with the mini and have the distance displayed on the WCU-4 handset display. Arri also announced their acquisition of Artemis, a former Vitec group company which now has a foothold into the Steadicam-type stabilizer game. Artemis wowed the show with the “Trinity,” a horizon stabilized mount that can be used on or off of Artemis, and GPI PRO Steadicam sleds.


Spacecam showed the Maximus 7 mount, the follow on to the Oculus stabilized mount, this one has to be seen to be believed. Providing military levels of image stabilization, the true genius is in the fact that you can run the head in what they call “Matrix Mode.” When in matrix mode you don’t need a leveling head on the end of the crane, doing away with the need to choose to mount the head underslung or overslung, increasing the the crane's effective max lens height by up to three feet! Not only that, but now you can poke the camera through a standard window.


Cartoni was not only proudly displaying the SOC Technical Achievement Award they were presented with in February, but they were also showing a new version of the Lambda Head they are calling the Lambda 25. Designed for a maximum payload of 25 kilograms (55 pounds), the new head is half the weight of the original Lambda, allowing the camera to be lower by making the mounting foot smaller, and it carries a very attractive price.

PANASONIC Panasonic showed the Varicam LT, their 4K entry into the smaller form factor. The good news for us as operators is that it probably has the best viewfinder of any HD camera.


JVC showed the LS-300, a very interesting small 4K camera. When shooting in 1080p mode it has an innovative feature that while doing live pixel remapping, it allows you to “zoom” through a prime lens. For smaller markets they also showed a camera that has the ability to overlay text such as scores in a game directly from the camera and distribute the signal over an IP network. This does away with the need for a production truck for small market sports and live event coverage.


“At ISO 5000, the camera can actually see colors by night better than the human eye, allowing me to create a whole NEW world in front of the camera.” Theo Van de Sande, ASC

“The VariCam renders tonalities that are very similar to film, ably handling a broad range of skin tones in the same shot.” William Wages, ASC

“In terms of cinematic results: it’s a really sweet machine.” David Darby, ASC



VariCam® 35 Top-of-the-line 4K S35mm camera/recorder with native 800/5000 ISOs, 14+ stops of latitude, 4K/UHD/2K/HD record modes. Unparalleled for filmmaking, commercials, episodics and live events.


NEW VariCam® LT Same S35mm sensor and imaging capabilities as V-35, but smaller, lighter, more affordable. Perfect for handheld, SteadiCam, jib, crane, drone and gimbal work.

Learn more at © 2016 Panasonic Corporation of North America. All rights reserved.


12 73 82 3

11 12 6 71 13 28 10 3 9 4 115 10 6 5 12 11 173 12 6

10 11 5 6 12 17 2 FUJINON

9 10 4 5 11 6 1

9 4 9 10 5 4

Fujinon showcased the new Cabrio XK which cover’s 4K super 35 sensors and has the resolution to fully exploit those sensors. A 20-120mm T3.5 that weighs just under five pounds making it a perfect “A” camera lens. Pair that with 85-300mm T2.9-4.0 and you have a fantastic lightweight lens kit.


Canon showed the ME200S-SH camera. a small box camera with a full frame super 35 sensor that literally sees in the dark. For me, the most interesting part of the ME200S-SH is the native IR capabilities of the camera allowing for a completely different look. They also introduced a new 18-80mm lens with a compact servo ENG style grip. the lens is 4K optimized with very little breathing.


Drones…lots of them. DJI was the king of the hill but that hill is getting a little more level. There were something like 25 drone manufactures showing off their gear including one drone that takes off vertically and then transitions to winged flight increasing the loiter time of the drone to several hours, and an almost 100 kilometers range. Prices and lift capabilities range from low to unreal. One multi-rotor had a lifting payload of almost 100 pounds and a price tag north of $100,000.


Craft Camera—these guys came out of nowhere and showed an interesting modular camera system that can either be an HD-based system or a 4K-based system. You can use the camera with just the camera module and recording module, or add audio, power, LCD, IR filters, and hand grips. No deliveries until late 2016, but this might be an interesting camera to watch.

9 4 10 9 4 9 5 10 11 82 17 6 5 4 3 2 1 LYTRO

Quite possibly the most talked about launch at the show though I did not get to see it. Their demo was surround by intrigue. Talk is that it’s an amazing technology demo but its going to be awhile before they can actually deliver something that’s set ready. Their demo camera is HUGE but producers are going to love this since everything is changeable in post. It’s going to be interesting to see what the union has to say about it since you can reframe, change the focus, and even change the set in post.


VR/spherical. The new 3D. Nokia showed the OZO which looked interesting until you “turned around” and there was a big dead spot directly behind you. I’m not sure about the future of VR. Rides? Sure, Dome projection could be interesting but we go to movies for the experience on the big screen, and I’m not sure if wearing a set of goggles is going to be as interesting. I’m probably wrong considering the amount of people who will choose to watch a movie on their phone before they go to the theater.


IP Broadcasting. Forget over the air, forget cable or satellite, forget NBC, CBS, HBO, Showtime. Hulu, Netflix and Amazon are on track and many manufactures believe that the future is IP broadcasting. Create your own shows in your kitchen or wherever, and distribute directly over the internet.

I’m sure that I’ve left out close to a million products but these are the standouts for me. Next up, is the Cine Gear Expo and all that has to offer, then there’s IBC and Cinec in September. The larger takeaway is that the manufactures keep innovating and trying new products, and that’s a good thing.











212 - 627 - 8487





Smooth Operator

About to ascend a glacier in Mestia, Georgia with my great crew: Jovan Sales, 1st AC and audio extraordinaire, Burt Gregory. Photo by Nika Tsiklauri

Being born and raised in Mpumalanga, South Africa (the place where the sun rises), and then in Kwa-Zulu Natal, I never had to wear shoes until I was 12. Being barefoot you really need to watch where you put your feet and I guess this helps me today as an operator. Because I was immersed in such rich cultural texture (South Africa has 11 official languages), I’ve always felt at ease with different cultures, and being raised in Africa gave me a deep love for everything wild, raw and untamable. So while I was driving guests around in a Land Rover, showing them elephants and lions on a private game reserve, and earning peanuts, an idea struck me—why don’t I go study and get paid properly to see wild places and record these beautiful images I have the honor of seeing everyday. I studied film and TV for three years, and then when to work for a very talented cameraman, Michael Yelseth, at his production company which specialized in adventure documentaries…where I realized I knew almost nothing. I landed in the ENG (electronic news gathering) world hard and fast,


donned a bulletproof vest and headed into big, bad Johannesburg where I filmed riots, cops, and paramedics. Next, my phone rang and a wildlife production company called to say they needed some underwater shots of tigers swimming. I didn’t hesitate for a second to take off the bulletproof vest. Scuba diving and surfing has always been a part of my life since I was young, so taking the next step to underwater operating was quite easy. Unknowingly, I filmed the world’s first footage of tigers swimming underwater and landed a three-year gig raising and filming two captive born tigers that were being introduced and released onto a wildlife reserve. The aim of the project was to offer an alternate genetic population of Bengal tiger to help curve the extinction the species, as a whole faced. It was a beautiful project but one that kept you on your toes at all times since all our kills were filmed on foot on Arri SR2 16mm film cameras with the ‘habituated’ Bengal tigers hunting wild prey beside myself and three other of people they accepted. Lets just say you get to know a big cat’s body language and behavior very quickly!



ITS WORTH MORE THAN YOU THINK! Whether consumer level, professional gear or even vintage cameras, your used equipment can easily be turned into cash or upgraded equipment.

Get a fast, free quote online at or in our Manhattan, NY store. < Scan Here to see how easy it is to sell and trade up!

42 W 18TH ST NYC | 800.223.2500 |

SOC Video Trade 516.indd 1

5/18/16 4:25 PM

Left: Going on the hunt with the Hadza, photo by Brian Lovett. Right: Moments before the lion charge, photo by Burt Gregory.

Since those halcyon days of keeping your head on a swivel and still getting the shot I moved to the States, joined the 600 and worked on commercials, features and opening title sequences. I do love having the time to craft a beautifully lit complex shot, but Ill always take on a good documentary I can sink my teeth into. It’s a window into a culture you would never have seen. Documentaries give you an opportunity to change people’s perceptions, a chance to enlighten the audience. As an operator your requirement is to be present, to react to the action, to anticipate your subject’s next move and to watch your footing, because you never get a second take. When you get a 1st AC who can do that too, never let them go. The crew you surround yourself with (if you have that luxury) is imperative. We are here to take beautiful images, but we also have a responsibility to everyone on that crew to make sure they get home safely. Its very easy to get lost in a moment on top of a glacier and fall, and this is where your crew steps in. If you are covering cultures, events, history, action in remote areas make sure your crew is up to speed and wants to be there. They are all your brothers and sisters at that moment and no one else will ever know that experience as you have. Teamwork makes the dream work. Cameras come and go, but your ability to learn where the buttons are and use them instinctively is the only way you going to capture the real magic. Directing talent is also something no one teaches you. I’ve had the privilege of watching a few masters at work, Scott Duncan, being one of them, and it’s amazing to see the results. When The Great Human Race was pitched to me I fell in love with the project immediately. How could you not? We would go back in time 2.4 million years ago when early man, Homo habilis, was around and walk in their footsteps. Then we would


travel through the countries they would have been living, hunting, dying and evolving in until we arrived in the Americas as Homo sapiens in this 10-part documentary series for the National Geographic Channel, produced by National Geographic Studios. We started shooting in Tanzania and traveled to Uganda, Ethiopia, Oman, Turkey, Georgia, Mongolia, Oregon, and Alaska. We would run through every obstacle known to man, then and now. Temperatures ranged from -35F to +130F. Accommodations and gear rooms ranged from hotels, abandoned lodges, yurts, to sleeping under the stars (or thunderstorms). I chose two Arri Amiras to do the job, with 17-120 Canon zooms as the workhorses and a range of primes for our macro, telephoto and artistic elements. The whole project felt like a hybrid between a commercial and a documentary. Over the course of the shoot those cameras took everything we could throw at them, from rainstorms to dust storms. The body has a solid build and is robust. The VF needs some work, but with the new diopter it improves. The simplicity of the design and menus makes my life a lot easier as I can concentrate on capturing magic moments, rather than checking technical data. We had a few near misses and great saves, as you do when climbing glaciers and trees with cameras. But on the whole the Amiras held up excellently and provided juicy visuals. We shot in Log C so we could get the most latitude in the grade in post. I love the look and latitude of that Arri chip especially in low light. Nighttime scenes and time lapses would be shot on the SonyA7s’s kitted out to be shoulder mounted. This was a big break in traditional, normally IR cameras were used.


The crew was of major importance as we’d have to work together, travel together endure together for the course of eight months and still be friends by the end of it. Burt Gregory was the audio mixer extraordinaire and Jovan Sales was my 1st AC and drone pilot. If you are traveling a lot on a series, I’d advise a massive dose of patience when dealing with customs. Each country is different and I’ve found that things move a lot quicker if you are patient and respectful, rather than to be loud and aggressive which some people get away with on sets in the States. We started our first day in Tanzania shooting our two heroes; archaeologist, Dr. Bill Schindler, and survival skills instructor, Cat Bigney, spending their first night as we would have, up a baobab tree. Of course, to get the shots we too would have to ascend and descend at night with cameras. Working at night in remote places is dangerous, especially up a tree. Insist on hiring a trained medic/safety advisor. If you fall and break your leg or get bit by a snake, hours from a remote hospital, you are in deep trouble. Always have an evacuation plan in place before the shoot starts. We needed a nighttime look with no budget or means to bring in HMI’s, gaffers, grips or generators. A friend, Matt Valentine makes a great little battery powered china ball that did the job perfectly. Jovan and our local Hadza (one of the oldest surviving language groups) crewmembers scaled the upper branches of the tree and rigged our light. We cracked that open, bumped up the ISO and dialed down the color balance and we were good to go. Soon we’d be done shooting and feasting on a baboon roasted over the fire and warm beers—a Hadza specialty. We ate a lot of interesting stuff on this shoot. Over the eight shooting months, we’d traverse some of the most spectacular landscapes on the globe. From Ngorongoro Crater, teeming with elephants and lions, to Merchiston Falls on the Nile River, a vicious waterfall complete with crocodiles, across deserts in Oman, during Ramadan. We filmed underwater in the Mediterranean, atop camels across the freezing plains of Mongolia, and traversed a glacier in Alaska, finally arriving in a wooden boat on the shores of Oregon in six-foot surf and ice-cold water. There is no way we could have ever completed this mission without all the support we got from our local crews and production. In every country I was amazed at the work ethic, the willingness to go the extra mile and of course the big smiles at the end of the day. This was truly one of my all-time, most favorite and most enduring shoots I’ve ever worked on. What a lovely project—I wonder what’s next? Luke Cormack, SOC Luke was born and raised in South Africa. He worked in private game reserves before studying film and TV, where his love for all things wild and untamed began. He has been working as a camera operator for twenty years. Luke loves a balance and tries to keep his work varied. From features and commercials to documentaries, he believes the change is what keeps you sharp and inspired.



Insight JAMES BALDANZA, SOC The person who helped you most in your career? Steve Fracol, SOC, has been the most influential both on and off set. Bill Wages, ASC, Bojan Bazelli, ASC, David Moxness, ASC, and Darren Lew all have been fundamental. Finally, all the camera assistants who throw my name in the hat. What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? A Victorian era period piece. What would be the most important improvement you would like to see in our industry? Mandatory Taco Tuesday. Photo by Roberto Ballesteros

Credits: Bloodline, Graceland, Rock of Ages, The Possession Additional, Four Single Fathers

JONATHAN S. ABRAMS, SOC What is your most memorable day in the industry? When I worked with Stephan Czapsky, ASC on Blades of Glory. It confirmed what I had wondered all the years working in the industry. I was confident and knew exactly what to do on a union show. It was actually easier than working on an independent film. Only had to wear one hat. What is the job you have yet to do but most want to do? I would love to do sci-fi. I always wanted to work on a Star Trek film or TV show. Photo by Towie Bixby

Credits: Avatar, Blades of Glory, Money Fight, A Dead Husband in a Western Town, Art of Deception

LAURIE K. GILBERT, SOC What was one of your most challenging shot or challenging day in the industry? My most challenging shot was filming the reflection of seven supersonic aerobatic aircraft in the mirrored helmet visor of a Turkish Airforce F5 pilot whilst all aircraft performed a full 360* loop. Location was Konya, Turkey. The person who helped you most in your career? The person who has inspired me most and helped me with my professional career is Roy E Disney. Photo credit: Aerial Marine Media


Credits: Morning Light, Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li, 2012 London Olympic Games, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge


SOC ROSTER CHARTER MEMBER Lou Barlia Parker Bartlett Paul Basta Michael Benson Stephanie Benson Rupert Benson Jr. Bob Bergdahl Howard Block Donald R. Burch Jerry G. Callaway David Calloway Philip Caplan Mike Chevalier Bill Clark Dick Colean Steve Conant Jim Connell Rick Cosko Jack Courtland Elliot Davis Sam Drummy Joe Epperson Michael Ferra Ron Francis William Jay Gahret Jim Glennon Ray Gonzales Jerry Good Jack Green, ASC Gil Haimson Peter Hapke Lutz Hapke Bill Hines Jim Hoover Bill Howard John Huneck Wayne Kennan, ASC Bob Keys Gary Kibbe David Kurland Norm Langley Thomas Laughridge Steve Lydecker Brice Mack III Joe Marquette Jr. Owen Marsh Bob Marta Bob McBride Ed Morey Tom Munshower Fred Murphy Al Myers Lee Nakahara Jay Nefcy Rik Nervik Leigh Nicholson King Nicholson John G. Nogle Dan Norris Skip Norton David B. Nowell, ASC Wayne Orr Richard Price Ernie Reed Arnold Rich Randall Robinson Parker Roe Sam Rosen

Peter Salim Lou Schwartz Chris Schwiebert Michael Scott Bob Seaman Hal Shiffman Roger Smith Fred Smith Michael St. Hilaire Ray Stella Joe Steuben John C. Stevens Carol Sunflower Bill Swearingen Joseph F. Valentine Ron Vidor Sven Walnum

ACTIVE MEMBER Peter Abraham Jonathan Abrams Michael Alba Bret Allen Colin Anderson Kevin Andrews Francois Archambault Joseph Arena Will Arnot Ted Ashton Jr. Mark August Grayson Austin Andrei Austin Daniel Ayers Paul Babin Christopher Baffa Lonn Bailey James Baldanza David Baldwin Jr. Jerry Banales Christopher Banting Jeff Barklage Angel Barroeta John Beattie Jonathan Beattie Tim Bellen Nils Benson Peter Berglund Corey Besteder George Bianchini George Billinger Howard Bingham Maceo Bishop Michel Bisson Bonnie Blake Jason Blount John Boyd Katie Boyum Kevin Braband Gerard Brigante Hilaire Brosio Pete Brown Kenny Brown Garrett Brown Scott Browner Stephen Buckingham Robin Buerki Gary Bush Stephen Campanelli Susan Campbell


J. Christopher Campbell Jose Cardenas Jeffrey Carolan Robert Carlson Peter Cavaciuti Dave Chameides Lou Chanatry Joe Chess Jr. Jeffrey Clark Anthony Cobbs Steven Cohen Marcis Cole Kris Conde Andrew Conder Michael Condon Brown Cooper Dan Coplan Luke Cormack Javier Costa Richard Cottrell Tom Cox Jeff Cree Rod Crombie Richard Crow Jeff Crumbley Grant Culwell Francois Daignault Nicholas Davidoff Markus Davids Rick Davidson Richard Davis Mark Dawson Andrew Dean Michael Dean Anthony Deemer Kris Denton Kevin Descheemaeker Joel Deutsch Don Devine Kenny Dezendorf Twojay Dhillon David Diano Troy Dick Matthew Doll Rick Drapkin Scott Dropkin Mitch Dubin Simon Duggan, ACS Louis Duskin Allen Easton William Eichler David Elkins Jason Ellson David Emmerichs Kevin Emmons Ramon Engle Steve Essig Brant Fagan Diane Farrell Dianne Farrington Jesse Feldman Michael Ferris George Feucht James Firios Lance Fisher Eric Fletcher Michael Flueck Houman Forough Felix Forrest Ian Forsyth

Steve Fracol Keith Francis Nick Franco Tom Fraser James Frater David Frederick Michael Frediani Michael Freeman Brian Freesh Steven French Dan Frenkel Mick Froehlich Jeff Fry Paul Gardner David Gasperik Rusty Geller Michael Germond William Gierhart Laurie Gilbert Harvey Glen Mark Goellnicht Daniel Gold Allen Gonzales Robert Gorelick Afton Grant Bruce Greene Chad Griepentrog David Grove Robert Guernsey Pedro Guimaraes John Gunselman Chris Haarhoff Jess Haas Kevin Haggerty Geoffrey Haley John Hankammer Tim Harland Joshua Harrison Kent Harvey Chris Hayes David Haylock Nikk Hearn-Sutton Mike Heathcote Dawn Henry Alan Hereford Steven Heuer Kevin Hewitt David Hirschmann Jamie Hitchcock Abe Holtz Jerry Holway Paul Horn Casey Hotchkiss William Howell II Colin Hudson Philip Hurn Christian Hurley Frederick Iannone Dave Isern Christopher Ivins Eugene Jackson III Francis James Alec Jarnagin Gary Jay Simon Jayes Christopher Jones Steven Jones Jacques Jouffret John Joyce David Judy

Mark Jungjohann David Kanehann Mark Karavite Adam Keith Brian Kelly David Kimelman Dan Kneece Rory Knepp David Knox Robert Kositchek Bud Kremp Kris Krosskove Per Larsson Jeff Latonero Eric Leach Sergio Leandro da Silva Richard Leible Rachael Levine Sarah Levy Jimmy Lindsey Hugh Litfin Patrick Longman George Loomis Jessica Lopez Steve Lopez Greg Lundsgaard Kenji Luster Bruce MacCallum Rob Macey Vincent Mack Paul Magee David Mahlmann Giuseppe Malpasso Kim Marks Jared Marshall Cedric Martin Philip Martinez Parris Mayhew Bill McClelland Jim McConkey David McGill Michael McGowan Christopher McGuire Aaron Medick Alan Mehlbrech Hilda Mercado Olivier Merckx Jack Messitt Mike Mickens Duane Mieliwocki Marc Miller Andrew Mitchell William Molina Raphy Molinary Machado Lawrence Moody Mark Moore K. Neil Moore Josh Morton Manolo Moscopulos Jeff Muhlstock Michael Mulvey Scott Mumford Sean Murray Saade Mustafa Dale Myrand Leo Napolitano Marco Naylor Robert Newcomb Julye Newlin William Nielsen, Jr.

Randy Nolen Kurt Nolen Austin Nordell William O'Drobinak Mark O'Kane Michael Off Andrew Oliver John Orland Brian Osmond Georgia Packard Heather Page Nick Paige Curtis Pair Victor Pancerev Andrew Parke Patrick Pask Christopher Paul Al “Tiko” Pavoni Paul Peddinghaus Douglas Pellegrino John Perry George Peters Matthew Petrosky Jonathan Phillips Alan Pierce Theo Pingarelli Jens Piotrowski Joseph Piscitelli Louis Puli Ryan Purcell Yavir Ramawtar Juan Ramos James Reid Ari Robbins Alicia Robbins Peter Robertson Brooks Robinson Eric Roizman Peter Rosenfeld Dave Rutherford P. Scott Sakamoto Sanjay Sami David Sammons Joel San Juan Bry Sanders Milton Santiago Gerard Sava Martin Schaer Ron Schlaeger Mark Schmidt Vadim Schulz David Schweitzer Fabrizio Sciarra Brian Scott Brian Scott Benjamin Semanoff Barnaby Shapiro David Shawl Geoffrey Shotz Osvaldo Silvera Jr. Teddy Smith Needham Smith III Dean Smollar John Sosenko Mark Sparrough Francis Spieldenner Benjamin Spek Sandy Spooner Lisa Stacilauskas Robert Starling


Thomas Stork Michael Stumpf David Svenson Ian Takahashi Paul Taylor Christopher Taylor Peter Taylor Paige Thomas David Thompson John Toll, ASC David Tondeur Remi Tournois Neil Toussaint Jamie Trent Bryan Trieb Michael Tsimperopoulos Chris Tufty Dan Turrett Brian Tweedt Joseph Urbanczyk Matt Valentine Dale Vance, Jr. Paul Varrieur Ron Veto Andrew Voegeli Stefan von Bjorn Rob Vuona Bill Waldman Timothy Walker Michael Walker Adam Ward Gareth Ward Gretchen Warthen Raney "Bo" Webb Aiken Weiss Dale West Clay Westervelt Robert Whitaker Mande Whitaker Kit Whitmore Ken Willinger Chad Wilson David Wolf Ian Woolston-Smith Peter Xiques Santiago Yniguez Brian Young Chad Zellmer Brenda Zuniga

ASSOCIATE MEMBER Christine Adams Brian Aichlmayr Ana Amortegui Philip Anderson Andrew Ansnick Michael Artsis Scott Auerbach Ryan Baker Tyson Banks Jeffrey Bollman Peter Bonilla Jean-Paul Bonneau Massimo Bordonaro David Boyd Corey Bringas David Brooks Mary Brown Rochelle Brown Donald Brownlow Clyde Bryan Neal Bryant Sasha Burdett Anthony Caldwell Jordan Cantu Jack Carpenter


Marc Casey Kirsten Celo Libor Cevelik Ian Chilcote Damian Church Ricco Ricardo Clement Gregory Collier Mack Collins Gabriel Copeland Gareth Cox Richard Crudo, ASC Farhad Dehlvi William Demeritt, III Johnny Derango Ronald Deveaux Jorge Devotto Adam Dorris Orlando Duguay Adam Duke Keith Dunkerley Brian Dzyak David Eubank Allen Farst Thomas Fedak Nicholas Federoff Kristin Fieldhouse Jessica Fisher Tom Fletcher John Flinn III, ASC Mark Forman Tammy Fouts Chuck France Jerry Franck Fred Frintrup Hiroyuki Fukuda Benjamin Gaskell Hank Gifford Michael Goi, ASC Wayne Goldwyn Al Gonzalez Erik Goodman John Goodner Brad Greenspan Phil Gries George Griffith Robert Guthrie W. Adam Habib Bob Hall James Hammond Tobias Harbo Anthony Hardwick James Hart John Hart Jason Hawkins Anthony Hettinger John Hill, Jr. Tammy Hineline Andrew Hoehn Scott Hoffman Chris Horvath Nichole Huenergardt Toshiyuki Imai Andrew Irvine Gregory Irwin Keith Jefferies Lacey Joy Henry Joy IV Jessica Jurges David Kane Timothy Kane Brandon Kapelow Ray Karwel Frank Kay Alan Kelly Kevin Kemp Jeremiah Kent Alisa Khosrovachahi Mark Killian Douglas Kirkland Christian Kitscha Brian Kronenberg

Robert La Bonge Laurence Langton Jose-Pablo Larrea Dr. Thomas Lee Gerardo Leon Alan Levi Mark Levin Adrian Licciardi Ilya Jo Lie-Nielsen Eamon Long Gordon Lonsdale Jasmine Lord Christopher Lymberis Dominik Mainl Candice Marais Aaron Marquette Nicole Martinez Jose Martinez Jim Matlosz Nathan Maulorico Brett Mayfield Yusuf McCoy David McDonald Marcus McDougald Mike McEveety Sophie Meneses Jonathan Miller K. Adriana Modlin-Liebrecht Kenneth Montgomery Mark Morris Matthew Mosher Jekaterina Most Hassan Nadji Navid Namazi Zach Nasits Jimmy Negron Michael Nelson Michael Nelson Benjamin Nielsen Dennis Noack Russell Nordstedt Louis Normandin Casey Norton Crescenzo Notarile, ASC Jarrod Oswald Paul Overacker Justin Painter Larry Parker Steven Parker Florencia Perez Cardenal Lee Pēterkin Mark Petersen Jon Philion Tyler Phillips W. S. Pivetta Ted Polmanski Robert Primes, ASC Joe Prudente Delia Quinonez Richard Rawlings Jr., ASC Marcia Reed Bill Reiter Claudio Rietti Ken Robings Andy Romero Tim Rook Peter Rooney Sam Rosenthal Jordi Ruiz Maso Dylan Rush Jake Russell Kish Sadhvani Danny Salazar Steve Saxon Christian Sebaldt, ASC Christopher Seehase Michael Skor Jan Sluchak Dan Smarg Robert Smith

Laurent Soriano Don Spiro Owen Stephens Derek Stettler Michael Street Aymae Sulick Jeremy Sultan Tara Summers Andy Sydney Tiffany Taira Rick Taylor Alan Thatcher Andres Turcios John Twesten Daniel Urbain Sandra Valde Thomas Valko Satya Vanii Ioana Vasile Benjamin Verhulst Marshall Victory Breanna Villani Miguel Angel Viñas Joel Stephane Wackenheim W. Thomas Wall Justin Watson Thomas Weimer Alex White Tim Wu Tim Yoder Scot Zimmerman

CORPORATE Able Cine Adorama Rental Co. ARRI, Inc. Band Pro Film & Video Canon, USA Inc. Carl Zeiss Microimaging, Inc. Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment Cineverse Codex CW Sonderoptic Filmtools Inc Fujifilm/Fujinon Geo Film Group, Inc. Glidecam Industries Inc. History For Hire Imagecraft Productions, Inc. JL Fisher Inc. Keslow Camera Manios Digital & Film Matthews Studio Equipment Panasonic Corporation Preston Cinema Systems Sony Electronics Spacecam Systems, Inc. Teradek, LLC The Vitec Group Tiffen

EDUCATOR John M Grace Ralph Watkins

HONORARY John Bailey, ASC Tilman Buettner James Burrows Alexander Calzatti Trevor Coop

Roger Corman Dean Cundey, ASC Bruce Doering Clint Eastwood Tom Hatten Ron Howard Gale Anne Hurd Ron Kelley Kathleen KennedyMarshall Jerry Lewis Gary Lucchesi Larry McConkey A. Linn Murphree M.D. Diana Penilla Steven Spielberg Robert A. Torres George Toscas Roy H. Wagner, ASC Alfre Woodard

RETIRED MEMBER Aldo Antonelli Tom Barron Al Bettcher James Blanford Ivan Craig Richard Cullis Dick Fisher Anthony Gaudioz Robert Horne Douglas Knapp Heather MacKenzie James Mann Stan McClain Michael McClary Ron McManus Mike Meinardus Robert Moore David Parrish Aaron Pazanti Andy Romanoff Frank Ruttencutter Chuck Schuman Philip Schwartz George Stephenson Gary Armstrong Bruce Catlin George Dibie, ASC Robert Feller Jerry Fuller Wynn Hammer Ken Hilmer Gary Holt Emmanuel Metaxas Sol Negrin, ASC Carl Schumacher, Sr. Guy Skinner Joseph Tawil

STUDENT Veronica Aberham Michael Acosta Jacober Ahrell Reynaldo Aquino Nathan Bachmann Melissa Baltierra Zakrey Barisione Daniela Bornstein Ziryab Brahem Jessie Brickley Richard Castaneda Quaid Cde Baca Petr Cikhart Autumn Collins Sabrina Cullen Meghan Cullen William Dauel

Annor Doeman David Duesterberg Michael Garcia Sean Garry Christian Hall Rita Hansen Tyler Harmon-Townsend Caleb Heller Andres Hernandez Kendra Hillman Myles Holt Carolyn Hunt Preston Jeter Crystal Kelley KC Kennicutt Daniel Klockenkemper John Lansdale Zachary Leazer Jun Li Baichuan “Igor” Li Eric Liberacki Ari Linn Deidre Locklear Jose Lora Carl Loven Po-Han Lu Mengmeng “Allen” Men Alexander Moeckler Jeff-Steven Mojica Fabian Montes James Nagel Lucien Night Lorenzo Pace Weerapat “Art” Parnitudom Orland "Allan" Penales Connor Pollard Karina Prieto Macias Matthew Psyllos Ryan Richard Tiye Rose-Hood Edgar Santamaria Emil Schonstrom Brittany Shank Kara Siebein Jennifer St. Hilaire-Sanchez Davin Stanley Kezia Supit Grace Thomas William Torres Ivan Velazquez Jesse Vielleux Tianyl “Christopher” Wang Anthony Worley Watcharawit Ya-inta Dennis Zanatta Lucia Zavarcikova Qiaoyu "Joy" Zhang Botai Zhong Chenlu Zhu

Roster current as of May 23, 2016.


CW Sonderoptic






Hover-Views Unlimited


Blackmagic Design 15

J. L. Fisher


Canon, USA Inc. 9

Matthews Studio Equipment


Carl Zeiss C3



AD INDEX 360Designs 27 Adorama 39, 41 AJA 5




Cinematography Electronics


Schneider Optics


Clairmont Camera



Michael Frediani, SOC

Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment

Back Cover


A great way to connect with the legacy and share the spirit of the SOC. Browse our online store to see the inventory of T-shirts, hats, pins, and more... CAMERA OPERATOR · SPRING 2016


SOC.ORG · FALL 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 4


The Martian Jobs HouseGone ofSteve Cards Girl The Revenant Fast and Furious 7

American Horror Story: Freak Show Inside Out SOC Awards Review Birdman 1


SOC.ORG · SUMMER 2015 VOL. 24, NO. 3



CAMERA OPERATOR is now available for free online.

Walking Dead Under the Dome HouseTerminator of Cards Genysis Fast andSOCFurious at NAB7 SOC Awards Review 1

To view issues on your desktop and mobile devices, visit 47



SOC members work on so many inspiring projects and we want to share as many of your stories as possible. We’ve designed this new feature, SPOTLIGHT, to provide a brief introduction to the camera operator and their stories with the complete version featured on the website.

Gabrielle Union stars in the title role for the series, which is filmed in Atlanta, and which won the NAACP Image Award for outstanding television movie, i.e., the pilot for the first season.

BEING MARY JANE by Bonnie Blake, SOC

SUICIDE SQUAD by Peter Rosenfeld, SOC

Bonnie Blake, SOC on the set of Being Mary Jane with Arisa Mahdi, stand-in for Gabrielle Union. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Blake Bonnie Blake, SOC, originally from Louisville, Kentucky, started her career as a camera assistant in New York City on music videos, commercials, and documentaries including; Paris is Burning, features such as; True Love, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, The Long Walk Home, and the television series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. After moving to Los Angeles, her AC credits included Leaving Las Vegas, These Girls Are Missing, a UN documentary shot in Malawi, Africa, and How Stella Got her Groove Back.

Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure "SUICIDE SQUAD," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Clay Enos/ TM & (c) DC Comics

After officially moving up to work as a union camera operator in 2000, her credits include: The Agency, Ed. Ticker, Century City, Monk, Dirty, Sexy Money, CSI: New York, Hawthorne, Bunheads, Blue, Five, The Goldbergs, Single Ladies, Being Mary Jane, and Walk the Plank. Currently, she is operating B camera on an HBO original series, Insecure. She has also been fortunate to shoot many TED Talks in California, Canada, India, Scotland, and England. Bonnie shares her experiences as the A camera operator for three seasons of the hit BET series, Being Mary Jane. Mary Jane Paul, a successful TV news anchor on a new talk show is part of a growing American statistic--the single Black female. She may be a self-sufficient powerhouse at work, but Being Mary Jane, on the BET network, gives the world a window into her private life and the struggles she has with romantic relationships, friendships and family.


Read Bonnie’s entire story at

Peter Rosenfeld, SOC has been the camera operator on award-winning movies such as; The Social Network, Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha well as blockbusters like Ant Man, X-Men: Wolverine, and American Sniper. Among the directors who Peter has operated for are; Oliver Stone, Rob Marshall, Kathryn Bigelow, Nancy Meyers, Clint Eastwood, and David Fincher. His well-rounded career includes extensive experience shooting news and documentaries, having worked for the BBC and CBC in foreign bureaus such as China and Russia. Peter has covered many of the world's hot spots and combat zones. He was assigned to Beijing during the Tianamen Square crackdown, found himself in Baghdad for the first Gulf War, and filmed the collapse of the Berlin Wall. He speaks three foreign languages: French, Mandarin and Russian. He  lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. When not at work he can often be found riding his BMW motorcycle in the Santa Monica mountains near his home. Peter worked as the operator on Suicide Squad, an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics antihero team of the same name released by Warner Bros. Pictures on August 5, 2016. The film is written and directed by David Ayer with cinematographer, Roman Vasyanov, and stars an ensemble cast featuring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, and Cara Delevingne. Watch for article coming out online in August

The moment when a zoom becomes your prime. This is the moment we work for.


ZEISS Compact Zoom CZ.2 Lenses deliver prime performance. Open up new creative options for your work with versatile zoom lenses built to ZEISS standards. Our Compact Zooms deliver consistent performance across the zoom range and are color-matched to our prime lenses. Their superior flare suppression, full-frame coverage and interchangeable mounts make them suitable for virtually any setup or application that demands true cine-style quality.




VIDEO VILLAGE in the palm of your hand






Camera Operator Summer 2016  

Warcraft, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Vampire Diaries, and Top 12 from NAB

Camera Operator Summer 2016  

Warcraft, Independence Day: Resurgence, The Vampire Diaries, and Top 12 from NAB