The Unsung Hero
In the world of digital motion picture production there are many critical roles.
Interestingly enough almost all those roles have changed very little with the transition from shooting film to shooting RED, The DP still effectively does the same job he did on film, the first and second camera assistants still effectively do the same job (loading and unloading the digital film is just a bit easier without the changing bag :) the sound mixer, the boom man, the script supervisor still effectively do the same job, etc, etc.
All of these roles are of course very important to the creation of a successful project, and one of the strengths of the RED methodolgy is how little you have to change your working style if you are a DP, Focus Puller or many of the traditional roles of movie making - you get all the advantages of High Fidelity digital, without giving up all the great things about the joy and artistry of shooting Film.
However there is one job that is a new breed of skill and career in our modern Digital world. It goes by many names - DIT, DAM, Digital Tech, RED Tech, Data Wrangler, Data Manager, Data Supervisor, etc, etc.
It's a job that's so new that the unions struggle to find where it belongs in their infrastructure, and cat fight about who's jurisdiction it should fall under. So new that Producers sometimes struggle to find where belongs in their budget and post supervisors are often so confused that they don't know which way is up and who's responsible for what part of the post process anymore.
With such change comes a lot of gyrations until things settle down, which is happening now all over the industry. Most have figured it out, and we and others are there to help those that haven't quite figured it out yet.
This new role in this brave new world of digital cinematography is so critical to the success of a production, and these men and women are so often under-appreciated and go without any recognition whatsoever.
They work amidst an array of computer gear often working after the set wraps to prep the files, and do everything that a traditional post house or film lab would have done in the "olden times", all of 5 years ago. They do it all right on the set or in a small trailer or room right next to, or right near the set.
They work hand-in-hand with the DPs, the Directors, Producers, the Production Execs, The Post Supervisors etc, to prep the files, and begin the post production process by creating the one light color dailies looks that will travel with the footage into editorial.
They're everything a big film lab or big traditional post house embodies with all it's employees and all those bricks and mortar, except they are on the set with their computer kit, right in the heat of production, often a very challenging and dynamic place to live.
So here's to you guys - the Cowboys , the Upstarts, the "Figure it out Folks", The guys and gals that saw where the industry was going and found their new and important place in it.
I would love to put together a collection of pictures of all the technicians on RED ONE, EPIC and Scarlet Gigs all over the world, and build a little picture montage to show off at our 4 month REDuationX class that starts this fall at our studio in Hollywood, since we will have a special track inside the class that is specific to this job skill of on set RED tech. So If you have a a chance for someone to snap a few photos or short video clip of you in action, email it over to me, I'll include it in what we create.
(You know you you all are - those that are sitting behind your Macs and PCs with Rocket cards loading footage, transcoding, showing off shots to the clients, doing dailies grades and on set editorial, etc. etc, etc. :-)