The use of DIT to describe a Digital Loader is becoming far to prevalent. These two positions need to be separated, because as the transition from film to digital becomes more wide spread, the need for a Digital Loader will become in ever increasing demand. Let's first break down exactly what these two different jobs are.
A DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) is focused on color. They primarily work in HD environments and their responsibilities include matching multiple cameras or "painting the cameras" using tools like vector scopes to accurately see what the camera is recording. They work with the D.P. to make sure every shot isn't being blown out or is too dark to assure the best footage is being handed to post.
A Digital Loader is focused on data. They make sure that every piece of media is safely and securely stored. They use tools like computers, RAIDs, LTO decks, etc. to protect data as well as quality check footage, render media, and work closely with post on a solid workflow.
Of course, this is a brief description of both, but the important distinction here is that a DIT is focused on color, and Digital Loader is focused on data. So why are so many Digital Loaders calling themselves DITs?
One reason, the position of Digital Loader is so new that there currently isn't a union position to define it. As of now, there are many different titles used to describe the same position. This includes Digital Loader, Digital Asset Manager, Data Capture Engineer, Digital Management Tech and Data Wrangler among others. While I personally prefer Digital Loader, any of the other terms I listed would work just fine. DIT however, does not describe this position, and since it is already a well defined job, I believe a need to separate the two is essential.
As the transition from film to digital productions speeds up, a need to determine a common title for this position is necessary. A clear definition of job responsibilities and pay grade also need to be worked out. The fact that both Local 600 and 695 unions are vying for this position doesn't help.
With so many variables up in the air, the one thing I do know is this. The position of DIT already exists and does not have anything to do with data management. While I'm sure many will disagree, or argue that the term DIT has simply evolved, the traditional DIT still exists and is used on productions. And because of this, the person who manages data needs a different title. I am interested to see how others feel about this topic, and what title (Digital Loader, Data Capture Engineer, Data Wrangler, etc.) should be used.