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Digital Imaging Tech.

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  • Digital Imaging Tech.

    It has been a while since I have been on here, and I am not too sure where to put this.

    It has been a while since I've worked my last production, and recently I ended up editing a video. It was my first taste with FC X, and one thing that I realized is that it was fun and I missed it.

    After that I ended up giving my old mentor a call and come to find out he retired, but we still talked. I've gone into the tech field and hate working support. (You can only say "Did you try turning it off and on again?" so many times). I've told him some of my projects that I am working on gigs I've worked.

    As we were talking, my mentor suggested that I should go back into the television/ film industry, but this time I should get involved within the workflow. He suggested that I should look into becoming a DIT.

    Since then, I have been looking into it and as far as I can tell, I already have the technical know how to build a cart and set up the servers, but as for the color grading... I only know how to do that to the scopes from my days in television, and even then it was just shading. The only question that I have is where should I start? I do not know of anyone that is a DIT nor do I live near LA or NY where the majority of them live. (I might be making the move to Las Vegas though)

    Where would one start if he/she want to pursue this avenue?

  • #2
    Bob Trim Assistant professor at Utah Valley. He has a DIT curriculum set up. He might be able to point you in the right direction. You can contact the University or look up him online at www.uvu.edu
    Kim Edward Welch
    Publisher
    StudentFilmmakers Magazine
    Never Stop Learning - Never Stop Networking

    JOIN THE FILMMAKERS GLOBAL NETWORK

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    • #3
      Proxima:
      This might be the gig for you. If you have a good, what we called engineering background, you will do fine on the scopes and understanding what is going on with the shading (or in the DIT version 'one-light').

      As to how to get started learning this stuff...it's not for the technology faint of heart. Quite frankly, it's the deep end of the bit-bucket pool. In a nutshell you need to know codecs inside and out. ALL camera codecs and their related color spaces. You need to know every inch of every menu in the cameras you are supporting on any given shoot. You report to the camera department (the 1st asset. to be exact) and are at the beck and call of the DoP. Scared yet? Wait, there's more...

      You might be asked to set camera exposure. The reasons for this still allude me, but if asked, you will have to do exposure.

      You're going to grapple with some fairly intense (and expensive) software to process the camera files. Resolve is NOT an on-set tool. I won't elaborate here, now. You'll need something that has good color science and a production worthy workflow and speed. Something like Scratch, or Dailies, or BaseLight. The learning curve on these is not easy. Scratch has very good on-line training bits that can get you started. It's manual is as dry as they come but deep with information.

      Although it doesn't help you much, I teach a DIT class here at Utah Valley University. When developing the course I found there wasn't any kind of books out there that would help one learn what and how to do DIT. (Self promotion alert) So I wrote it. That's an option for you to DIY learn the basics and put more than our toe into the technology pond. You can learn more about the book here.

      There is a second, new book that addresses digital cinematography in a very technical aspect with some deep dives into the stuff you will need to learn after you get your feet wet. It's Browns book "The Filmmaker's Guide to Digital Imaging: for Cinematographers, Digital Imaging Technicians, and Camera Assistants".

      There's many facets to the DIT position because you are beholden to the camera department and the post house. You're in the vice so to speak.

      Not sure this is helpful. More than happy to field any questions on or off the forum to help out.

      Good luck with your decision. Oh, one last thought. Vegas is a Union town. DIT is part of the Local 600 camera/DP union. That could make it a bit difficult to break in without some sort of mentor or affiliation. Not impossible, just harder.

      All the best

      Bob Trim

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      • #4
        Thank you Bob!
        Kim Edward Welch
        Publisher
        StudentFilmmakers Magazine
        Never Stop Learning - Never Stop Networking

        JOIN THE FILMMAKERS GLOBAL NETWORK

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        • #5
          Good question Proxima and really great response Bob.
          A few things to consider about being a DIT
          one there are not many people doing it as other areas so there is less competition for work.
          two this is an changing world, I think of all part of the media production world this is changing most rapidly, so if keeping up is something you live it might fit for you.
          One other thing to consider, I went to a very good workshop on this in Dallas and the guy who is making good money doing this and has several carts, ended by saying this could be a short time occupation. Next genration cameras and software might make this obsolete, now he may have been saying that to scare off new competition, but it is something to consider
          good luck.
          Bart Weiss is an award-winning filmmaker, educator and director/founder of the Dallas VideoFest and produces "Frame of Mind" on KERA TV. He was President of AIVF and was a video columnist for The Dallas Morning News, and United Features Syndicate. Bart received an MFA in Film Directing from Columbia University. Submit your films for VideoFest 28. Regular deadline: June 1, 2015. Late deadline: June 30, 2015. VideoFest will be held from Oct 8th to 18th, 2015.
          www.videofest.org

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          • #6
            I created a D.I.T. Forums and moved this thread. Hope this is ok. Let me know if you have suggestions.

            Kim

            *****************************
            Kim Edward Welch
            Publisher
            StudentFilmmakers Magazine
            Never Stop Learning - Never Stop Networking

            JOIN THE FILMMAKERS GLOBAL NETWORK

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            • #7
              First of all I want to apologize for the very late response. I had the opportunity to travel, and I had to jump at it. Also thanks for all of the advice, what is funny I am now in Utah. I just literally saw this post and completely forgotten it. I am going to look into that course for sure if the school still offer it.

              I want to mention that I was local 115, but I think it might be more difficult to get into 600 since it has been a few years other than small editing projects.

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