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.

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 artefacts?

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.

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.

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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