Video Assist

Have been asked to set up video assist for producer- long form and four
camera, location and stage.
Any advice?

Patrick Gregston
The Picture Works

>Is it's truck or isolated cameras?

If it's isolated, you need work to accomplish it. I hate when these folks
end up using isos instead of a truck as in the end a truck is cheaper and
gives you less problems.

If it's a truck, just ask them for an additional quad split feed from the
switcher to a deck with burn in.

If not and it's iso, get a a video from each camera and one time code feed.
Rent a Panasonic switcher (don't know the model but it has built in sync
generator and four inputs). If you are in NY Liman Video Rental has it. Feed
time-code to a burner and loop one of the cameras through it and then into
the switcher or input the TC as a key signal for overlay. Output the
switcher using a quad spit to a deck and feed one good audio signal and you
have all four cameras with TC burn and audio to one deck.

Walter Graff
Bringing the imagination to life
HellGate Pictures, Inc.
[email protected]

>The four cameras will be from a truck.

The goal is to have a digital recorder, sort and edit somewhat as they shoot
and burn ordered (as in circled takes in script order) dailies DVDs at the
end of each day.

How about viewing area preferences. Is it better to have really good
monitors even though the tap camera gets a split image? Or is it like
compressed video, where you want a mediocre monitor that softens the

What are the ideal services that a DP would hope to have and what are the
things to be avoided?

Thanks Walter!

If they have a truck why not just let them take a live switched feed and let
that be their "somewhat edited piece"? Is this a performance? No need for
video assist in this case if it's live switched. Are they simply sitting in
the truck and watching four iso records? If so, that sure is a waste of
precious edit time as they could record a master switched feed in addition
to two to three iso decks, offering them the ability at fixing what they
don't like later yet walking away with 80% of the event in the can already
edited from switching it live.

I have to withdraw my offering since I don't seem to get what exactly is
going on and it doesn't seem to make sense. Normally we rent a truck and
switch our stuff live and walk away with a switched master and camera isos
that we later go to edit and repair as needed. The purpose of the tuck was
two-fold, ease of set-up and production, and to have someone have directed
our program so that we are not editing from square one when we are finished
but merely fixing bad camera switches or action missed in the live event.

Walter Graff
Bringing the imagination to life
HellGate Pictures, Inc.
[email protected]

Are you shooting film or video? If video, then I'd say to take Walter's
words to heart.

But it sounds like you might be talking about 4-camera film, and if so then bully for you. In the case of film, I'd have a quad feed to one monitor with timecode, but I'd also have four individual monitors showing decent
resolution. I'd probably stack them in a quad formation just like in the
quad feed for ease of use and simple memory for everyone.

Get good Sony field monitors like the 8045. You probably only need to record the quad split.
You'll be surprised at the quality of modern color flicker-free videotaps.

Mitch Gross

Sorry, I thought this was the video board. If it is film, the instructions given to you are best.

Walter Graff
Bringing the imagination to life
HellGate Pictures, Inc.
[email protected]

I believe Walter is talking about the Panasonic MX-50. AKA, "The Shifty-Fifty."

It has four inputs, and a built-in TBC.

Dave Vottero
Boston, MA / Freelance Video

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