By B. Sean Fairburn SOC
A fundamental change in the way good High Definition is to be done, different from film sets and different from video only sets, will be the very necessary good relationship between the 1st AC and the Vision Engineer or Video Controller. Good communication and an Understanding of the rolls each person is to perform will go a long way in keeping the "Camera Dept" from having problems. There is no engineering and camera its all "Camera" and the 1st AC and the engineer must establish a good relationship.
Where the engineer does his or her job is not "video village" it is the Engineers workstation. Their work is a necessary contribution to the success of the camera department and the show and should be respected and treated as such. It is not a secondary luxury much like Video playback. Helping one another get the job done right is the only way the Camera Crew can function properly.
Sound will also come to you and plug in sound cables in the camera be a team player and don't give them a hard time. By putting sound on the HD tape as it is shot saves over $100,000.00 in Syncing of dailies in Post and every effort possible should be made to accommodate Sound in this effort.
These are what I consider the basic skills an AC should possess to comfortably take on a High Definition job.You need to be aware of the features and capabilities of the Camera even if it may not be your direct responsibility to perform the function.
I look forward to seeing you on the set.
B. Sean Fairburn SOC
IATSE Local 600
Camera Power Distribution :
AC-550 via 4 pin to HDCA-901 or Camera
Onboard AC power supply via Aspen, Anton Bauer, Sony.
Onboard SONY Lithium Ion (dovetail mount)
Onboard Anton Bauer (3 prong mount)
Accessory Power Distribution :Onboard monitors, Downconverters, Lens lights, DA's, Wireless receivers & Transmitters.
Back Focus :Stop Wide Open, shutter or ND Down.
Timecode :Record Run, TC Generator runs only while recording. Free Run TC Generator runs continuously.
Cabling :Part of the Camera dept and a necessary part of shooting in HD. Situation will determine how many and what type. Generally: SDI, YPbPr (RGB), Sound,
Field of View :Wider than 2-1 for HD Lens FoV to 35 mm Film lens FoV equivalent or 2.50:1 on the wide focal lengths. (1.85 in 90%) Not as much on longer focal lengths, closer to 2.35:1
Depth of Field :Don't be deceived about having too much and taking it easy.
Sound (it is now!!) :You may be responsible for plugging in Sound cables Ch 1, Ch 2
Onboard Monitoring in HD (ERG & Astro are good)
HD SDI off the HDCA-901 or Evertz onboard downconvter.
HD Analog YPbPr off camera.
NTSC Via Downconvert.
Aspect Ratio adjustment :Operator File Page <03>
Shutter Speed/ECS Adjustment :Toggle switch is below Lens. OFF, ON, Sel(ect)
Syncing to Computer Monitors (ECS) :ECS Extended Clear Scan, an option in Shutter Speed.
Frame rate & Format adjustment :Maintenance <M7> page
Cueing (Reracking) the tape :Whenever Power is broken (Battery change) or tape is taken out and put back in, it is necessary to perform a match frame edit to prevent a break in control track.
Onboard ND and Color Correction
ND filter wheel
1-clear glass no ND no light loss
2-1/4th or ND .6 = 2 stop light loss
3-1/16th or ND 1.2 = 4 stop light loss
4-1/64th or ND 2.4 = 6 stop light loss
Color Correction :A-4 point star filter.
Proper Eyepiece Adjustment :Set Camera to Color Bars and turn Contrast down 1/4 turn, Set Brightness till rightmost Pluge black bar is
Save vs. Standby :Save-takes 7 seconds to record, Tape is off the head.
Gain (electric enhancement which increases sensitivity of camera :Every 6db=1 stop)
DCC Dynamic Contrast Control (maximizes separation of highlight distinction) (A good Thing) :Sets the output of camera to Color Bars or Camera.
Performs function of shooting Gray Card at head of Scene.
Preset-corresponds to CC filter preset set WB.
A-Manually adjusted WB stored in memory.
B-Additional Manually adjusted WB stored in memory.
VTR Start & Stop (all 5 ways) :On the Lens
Loading HD Tape Cassette :Push eject button on top of the camera under the handle.
Recording: Step by Step :Attach Battery or AC Power supply.
Please feel free to share this with 1st and 2nd AC's that might be interested.
B. Sean Fairburn SOC
Happy to share.