Focal Press Book: The Camera Assistant's Manual (6th Edition, Hardcover)

Focal Press Book: The Camera Assistant's Manual (6th Edition, Hardcover)

Focal Press Book: The Camera Assistant's Manual (6th Edition, Hardcover)

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  • Author: David E. Elkins

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Focal Press 9781138129436 overview

  • 1Description

The Camera Assistant's Manual, 6th Ed. from Focal Press and written by David E. Elkins teaches you how to excel as an Assistant Cameraman (AC) in today's evolving film industry. Learn what to do-and what NOT to do-during production and get the job done right the first time.

This book covers the basics of cinematography and provides you with the multi-skill set needed to maintain and transport a camera, troubleshoot common problems on location, prepare for job interviews, and work with the latest film and video technologies. Illustrations, checklists, and tables accompany each chapter and highlight the daily workflow of an AC.

New in this edition:
• A fresh chapter on the entry level camera positions of Camera Trainee/Production Assistant
• Coverage of emerging iPhone apps that are used by filmmakers and ACs on set
• An updated companion website offering online tutorials, clips, and techniques that ACs can easily access while on location
• All new sample reports and forms including AC time cards, resume templates, a digital camera report, and a non-prep disclaimer
• Instruction and custom forms to help freelance filmmakers keep track of daily expenses for tax purposes

About the Author:
David E. Elkins has over 25 years of professional experience as a Camera Operator and First Assistant Cameraman, working on feature films, television series, commercials, music videos, educational films, industrial films and much more. He is an active member of the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 and Society of Camera Operators.

1: Basics of Cinematography
  • Film Formats
    • Single Perf or Double Perf
  • Videotape and Digital Shooting
  • Aspect Ratios
  • Shots and Composition
  • Film Stock
    • Emulsion
    • Base
    • Anti-Halation Backing
  • Types of Film
    • Negative Film
    • Reversal Film
  • Film Speed
  • Sync Speed
  • Exposure Time
  • Exposure Meters
  • Color Temperatures and Color Balance
  • The Camera
    • Gate
      • Intermittent Movement
        • Pull Down Claw
        • Registration Pin
        • Aperture Place
        • Pressure Plate
    • Shutter
      • Shutter Angle
    • Inching Knob
    • Viewing System
      • Diopter Adjustment
    • The Lens
      • Primes and Zooms
      • F-stops and T-stops
    • Magazines
    • Motor
    • Batteries
    • Additional Camera Components
  • Sync and MOS
  • Filters
    • Conversion Filters
      • 85 Filter
      • 80 A Filter
    • Neutral Density Filters
    • Optical Flat
    • Diffusion Filters
    • Fog and Double Fog Filters
    • Low-Contrast Filters
    • Soft-Contrast Filters
    • Ultra-Contrast Filters
    • Coral Filters
    • Enhancing Filters
    • Graduated Filters
    • Diopters
    • Filter Manufacturers
  • Camera Mounts
    • Tripods and Spreader
    • High Hat/Low Hat
    • Tripod Heads
      • Fluid Head
      • Gear Head
    • Steadicam
    • Dolly
2: The Camera Department
  • Film Productions
    • Director of Photography
      • Preproduction
      • Production
      • Postproduction
    • Camera Operator
      • Preproduction
      • Production
    • First and Second Assistant Cameramen
    • First Assistant Cameraman (1st AC or Focus Puller)
      • Preproduction
      • Production
      • Postproduction
    • Second Assistant Cameraman (2nd AC or Clapper/Loader)
      • Preproduction
      • Production
      • Postproduction
    • Film Loader
      • Preproduction
      • Production
    • Digital Productions
      • Digital Imaging Technician (DIT)
      • Video Controller
      • Camera Utility
      • Digital Utility
      • Digital Loader/Data Manager
3: Camera Trainee and Camera Production Assistant (PA)
  • Preproduction
    • Working with the Film Laboratory
      • Obtaining Laboratory Supplies
    • Choosing and Ordering Expendables
    • Preparation of Camera Equipment
    • Preparation of Camera Truck
  • Production
    • Start-of-the-Day Procedures
    • Camera Reports
    • Recording Shot Information
    • Marking Actors
    • Slates and Slating
    • Changing Lenses, Filters, Magazines and Accessories
    • Using a Video Tap and Monitor
    • Record Keeping and Filing of Paperwork
    • Packing Equipment
    • Tools and Accessories
    • Camera Trainee and PA Tips
4: Second Assistant Cameraman (2nd AC) and Film Loader
  • Preproduction
    • Working with the Film Laboratory
      • Obtaining Laboratory Supplies
    • Choosing and Ordering Expendables
    • Preparation of Camera Equipment
    • Preparation of Camera Truck
    • Preparation of Darkroom
  • Production
    • Start-of-the-Day Procedures
    • Setting Up the Camera
    • Organizing Equipment
    • Film Stocks
      • Film Stocks Packaging Sizes
    • Camera Reports
    • Recording Shot Information
    • Magazines
      • Loading Magazines
      • Unloading Magazines
    • Using a Changing Bag or Changing Tent
    • Marking Actors and Camera Positions
    • Slates
    • Slating Procedures
    • Changing Lenses, Filters, and Magazines
    • Using a Video Tap and Monitor
    • Preparing Exposed Film for Delivery to the Lap
    • Shipping Film (Exposed and Unexposed)
    • Film, X-Rays, and Carrying Film on Planes
    • Ordering Additional Film Stock
    • Using Short Ends and Recans
    • Storage and Care of Motion Picture Film
      • Unexposed Film
      • Exposed Film
    • Film Inventory and Record of Film Shot
    • Completing Film Inventory Forms
    • Distribution Reports
    • Record Keeping and Filing of Paperwork
    • Performing the Duties of First Assistant Cameraman
    • Packing Equipment
    • Tools and Accessories
    • 2nd AC/Loader Tips
    • Resources
  • Postproduction
    • Wrapping Equipment
  • Working in Digital Video
    • Preproduction
    • Production
      • Setting Up the Camera
      • Camera Reports
      • Magazines
      • Marking Actors
      • Slates and Slating Procedures
      • Moving the Camera and Setting Up the Video Monitor
      • Preparing Media Cards and Hard Drives
      • Ordering Additional Media Cards
      • Storage and Care of Media Cards
      • Videotapes, X-Rays, and Magnetic Fields
      • Tools and Accessories
    • Postproduction
      • Wrapping Equipment
  • Review Checklist for Second Assistant Cameraman
    • (2nd AC or Clapper/Loader)
    • Preproduction
    • Production
    • Postproduction
  • Review Checklist for Film Loader (Loader)
    • Preproduction
    • Production
5: First Assistant Cameraman (1st AC)
  • Preproduction
    • Choosing Camera Equipment
    • Choosing and Ordering Expendables
    • Preparation of Camera Equipment
      • The Rental House
      • Camera Prep Checklist
  • Production
    • Start-of-the-Day Procedures
    • Loading and Unloading Film in the Camera
    • Keeping the Camera Clean
    • Oiling and Lubricating the Camera
    • Setting the Viewfinder Eyepiece
    • Lenses
      • Prime Lenses and Zoom Lenses
    • Checking for Lens Flares
    • Depth of Field
    • F-stops and T-stops
    • Changing Lenses, Filters and Accessories
    • Focus Measurements and Following Focus
      • Getting Your Marks
      • Focusing Tips
    • Zoom Lens Moves
    • Shooting the Shot
    • Footage Readings
    • Checking the Gate
    • Moving the Camera
    • Performing the Duties of Second Assistant Cameraman
    • End-of-the-Day Procedures
      • Packing Equipment
      • The Walkaway
    • Tools and Accessories
    • Using Computers and Technology
    • 1st AC/Focus Puller Tips
    • Resources
  • Postproduction
    • Wrapping Equipment
  • Working in Digital Video
    • Preproduction
      • Choosing and Ordering Expendables
      • The Rental House and Preparation of Camera Equipment
    • Production
      • Setting Up the Camera
      • Loading and Unloading Media Cards into the Digital Camera
      • Swapping Hard Drives
      • Lenses (Primes and Zooms)
      • Checking for Lens Flares
      • Focusing and Depth of Field
      • Moving the Camera
      • White Balancing
      • Tools and Accessories
    • Postproduction
      • Wrapping Equipment
  • Review Checklist for First Assistant Cameraman
    • (1st AC or Focus Puller)
    • Preproduction
    • Production
    • Postproduction
6: Problems and Troubleshooting
  • Camera Problems
    • Camera Will Not Run
    • Camera Does Not Stop When Switched to "Off"
    • Camera Starts and Stops Intermittently
    • Camera Stops While Filming
    • Camera Is Noisy
    • Shutter Does Not Spin (No Flicker Seen through the Viewfinder)
    • Unable to Thread Film into the Gate Area
    • Camera Door Does Not Close
    • Film Jams in Camera
    • Film Rips or Has Torn Perforations
    • Film Loses Loop
    • Camera Does Not Run at Sync Speed
    • Viewing System Is Blacked Out
    • A Fuse Blows When Connecting Electrical Accessories
    • When Shooting a Television Monitor or Computer Screen, a Roll Bar Moves through the Screen
  • Magazine Problems
    • Film Cones When Removing from Magazine
    • Film Does Not Take Up
    • Magazine Is Noisy
    • There Are Scratches on the Film
  • Lens-Related Problems
    • Lens Will Not Focus
    • Image Is Fogged When Looking through Viewfinder
    • Zoom Lens Motor Runs Erratically
    • Zoom Lens Does Not Zoom throughout
      • Its Entire Range of Focal Lengths
    • Lens Flares Are Seen When Looking Through the Viewfinder
    • Unable to Adjust F-stop/T-stop
  • Battery Problems
    • Battery Loses Power
    • Battery Will Not Hold Charge
  • Video Assist Problems
    • Image on Video Monitor Is Out of Focus or Is Tilted to the Side
    • There is no Image on Video Monitor
  • Tripod and Head Problems
    • Tripod Head Does Not Pan or Tilt
    • Tripod Legs Do Not Slide Up or Down
  • Weather and Environmental-Related Problems
    • Shooting in Extreme Cold Weather
    • Shooting in Extreme Heat
    • Filming in or Around Salt Water and Camera and Magazine Fall into the Water
  • Color Balance/Filter Problems
    • Filters Don't Fit in Matte Box
  • Shooting Outside Using Tungsten-Balanced Film Without an 85 Filter
  • Shooting Inside with Tungsten Light Using Daylight-Balanced Film Without an 80A Filter
  • Developed Image Problems
    • Projected Image Is Shaky or Unsteady
    • Projected Image Is Out of Focus
    • Projected Image Contains Spots or Lines
    • Image is Not Aligned During the Video Transfer
  • Shooting in Foreign Countries
    • Shooting in Countries Using a Different Electrical System
  • Troubleshooting Tips


7: Film Cameras
  • Aaton A-Minima
  • Aaton Xtera and XTR-Prod
  • Aaton 35-III
  • Aaton Penelope
  • Arriflex 16 SR1, 16 SR2, and 16 SR3
  • Arriflex 416
  • Arriflex Arricam Lite (LT)
  • Arriflex Arricam Studio (ST)
  • Arriflex 235
  • Arriflex 535A and 535B
  • Arriflex 435
  • Arriflex 35BL3 and 35BL4
  • Arriflex 35-3
  • Arriflex 765
  • Moviecam SL
  • Panavision Panaflex 16
  • Panavision Panaflex Gold and GII
  • Panavision Panaflex Millennium and Millennium XL
  • Panavision Panaflex Platinum
  • Panavision Panastar II
  • Panavision Panaflex 65
  • Panavision 65mm High Speed
  • Panavision 65mm Handheld
  • Photo-Sonics Actionmaster 500
  • Photo-Sonics 1VN
  • Photo-Sonics 35-4B/4C
  • Photo-Sonics 35-4E/ER
  • Photo-Sonics 35-4ML
8: Before, During, and After the Job
  • Union or Non-Union
    • IATSE and Local 600
    • Joining the Union
  • Before the Job
    • The Resume and Business Cards
    • Email and Web Sites
    • The Job Interview
      • The Deal Memo
    • During the Job
      • On-Set Etiquette
    • After the Job
      • Invoicing and Time Cards
      • The Next Job
      • Networking
      • The Freelance Filmmaker and Taxes
  • Appendix A: Film Stock
  • Appendix B: Equipment, Software, and Apps
  • Appendix C: Camera Department Checklists, Production Forms, and Labels
  • Appendix D: Tools, Accessories, and Expendables
  • Appendix E: Tables and Formulas
  • Recommended Reading
  • Glossary
  • Index
Table of Contents
  • 1Description

Focal Press 9781138129436 specs

Subject Film and Video
Author David E. Elkins
Edition 6th
Hard/Soft Cover Hardcover
Pages 596
ISBN Number 9781138129436
Publisher Focal Press
Date Published September 2015

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