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Old November 13th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #1
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Ever had an arguement with a Cameraman you respect?

I work with a cameraman/ editor whos been in the business for 10 years, but today he tried to convince me his sony dsr 250 can record high def 720p- by pluging in via firewire to a jvc hdv tape deck...

... no matter how much i explain to him that his sony doesnt have the ccd's or microchips to process hdv, he still thinks the camera just sends raw data down the firewire cable, and its just the tape deck that 'interprets' it all.

You can see why i couldnt agree with him on this on.

it would be great if they did- we could all buy cheaper dv cameras and record onto hdv or hd tape decks, and not have to spend a fortune buying hdv. hd cameras anymore.

I dont claim to know it all, but i like to teach people something if they dont understand something. Someones the people i work with really dont like listening to what i say, simply because i've only been a cameraman for 2 years- it doesnt matter that i read every manual and book on broadcast technology, or goto even broadcast show and seminar i can find. sigh

Anyone else have this kind of problem sometimes?
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Old November 13th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #2
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Yes, I've had the problem. It's a horribly sticky situation, because of course it's just you against them, and all you can say is "I'm sorry, you're wrong". If you're lucky there's circumstances where you can deflect the bluntness somehow, but sometimes the situation is like yours and it's just plain difficult.

I had a situation not too long ago where I was doing a tape layoff for a friends production company. The project was for Universal Music, and was shot on DV. There was music that was mixed separately that was provided by Universal, and the executive in charge thought something was wrong with the audio. Ok, fine, we'll do it again and explain how his audio was untouched in the edit.

When he found out we were providing a DVCAM master (the project was shot on DV, so no loss there), he freaked, claiming DV/DVCAM audio was horribly compressed (his background was audio engineering). I tried to explain all forms of DV audio are uncompressed 48k 16bit, but he wouldn't have it. He also couldn't understand why the subsequent Digital Betacam masters we made had audio levels at -20 (well, that's because that's the standard), and insisted I push them up to -10.

He was the exec in charge of the project, so there was no arguing. It was horribly frustrating.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 11:47 AM   #3
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frankly, if you don't care, just say : Yeah , that's great !
And if you are part of the project, just say: Ok show me !
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Old November 13th, 2006, 12:02 PM   #4
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More than I want to admit....
That cameraman is just trying to milk out
everylast drop he can from his DSR 250,
I cannot blame him because he knows he will have
to make the switch at about 6-10K, at least we are
not making the switch to 60K like Sony wanted everyone
to do to switch from BetaSP to Digital Beta.....
go look and see all of the used Digital Beta gear for sale.....
I thought everyone was going for RED?
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Old November 13th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #5
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As a TV reporter for a news station I sometimes have to "just shut up" and let the photographer be right. At my shop, 99-percent of the time they are right anyway.

My job is to report and their job is to shoot.

If they're wrong I let their boss tell them!

By the way at my station they switched from Sony BetacamSX to Panasonic DVCPRO50 camera that shoots native 16:9 but is NOT high def. It uses P2 Cards and also puts out proxy low quality copy to be used to log tape on an SD card.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 10:26 PM   #6
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Ask him if he believes in his notion enough to put money on it. :D
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Old November 14th, 2006, 07:32 AM   #7
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I've pulled the plug on jobs that go south like that, or walked. Murphy's law states: "Never argue with a fool, because nobody can tell the difference."
You have a name and reputation, protect that.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 09:03 PM   #8
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I like to let them do thier thing - if they are the more experienced one, and the one with the bigger paycheck, I roll with it. But I make it a point that someone else heard me state my claim, and when push comes to shove, I can't be held responsible for something I pointed out earlier.

It is often good just to go straight to the boss. It saves the "why didn't you tell anyone besides him?" argument when you decide to say "I told you so." Its not telling, its just making sure people know what is going on. If you think you should go one way, and the other guy says no and moves the project the other way, it is good someone knows.

Thats why a lot of board meetings take minutes of proceedings to keep track of who said what. It is protection, and when you get a culture that keeps everyone informed of decisions, people listen to people. Communication goes a long way.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 10:10 PM   #9
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I think Leo has good advice.

I worked on a job where a guy that operated one of the cameras and supplied much of the grip equipment was insisting that DVCAM has more lines of resolution of DV. Everyone was informed many years ago that DV and DVCAM are logically the same but the tapes are different. I tried to simply provide information stoicly and when he seemed like he wanted to argue I switched the topic. You really need to hone your "It's time to shut up and get on with it" radar. I'm so used to technical discussions that I can forget to pay attention to someone's emotional state. Always keep an eye out for people's emotional states when on a job.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 09:47 AM   #10
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I had an incident lately.
I - as cameraman - worked together with a director on a DVD for a company that would be sold over the whole world to people in the chocolate industry. Normally I would have done other projects too with the director but he fired me after this project. He said it was because he was looking for someone more experienced, which is an argument that I really think is very good, I don't have problem with that. But then he was explaining some reasons for his argument, and then it came up:

We shot the project with an XL1s and an XL2. The decision was made that the final project would be 16/9. So I proposed we shot both cameras in 4/3 and do the letterbox in post, because otherwise there would be a too big of a difference between the image of the XL1s and the XL2.
So I had my 16/9 guides on in my viewfinder, while recording 4/3 in my XL1s, and the director looked at 2 monitors, both taped for 16/9.
And when he fired me, he said: "Why didn't you tell me in the middle of the shoot there were some things in the 4/3 frame that shouldn't be seen, that I couldn't see because of the tape?"
I said: "How do you mean?"
He gave some examples, and I said: "But, why is that bad? There are black bars on top of it, so..."
"Ow," he said, "but afterwards, we decided to let the project in 4/3 and not put black bars on it..."

And that argument really made me pist. Especially because I know why they left it at 4/3: Because that director (who also edited) was editing sloppy and not watching his deadline carefully, they were too late almost for the deadline for the DVD, and they even had to travel with 3000 dvd's to Germany because they were so late. So they didn't had time to render the project again for the black bars.
But c'mmon, you can't say to your cameraman that a project must be framed for 16/9, have all the monitors taped for it, and then afterwards, simply decide that you'll only leave it at 4/3! (Unless that's something you agreed on forehand, which wasn't the case)
And I think it's very rude of him, because what he essentially was doing, was blaming me for a fault HE made. They couldn't put the black bars on it because of HIS fault, and then blame the cameraman for little composital errors.

Long post, does it make sense?
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #11
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Sometimes people in positions of authority let it go to their heads.

In my first newspaper job I worked for someone who could be quite overbearing. She usually pushed around the people who worked for her while kowtowing to anyone above. Among her complaints to me: I was shooting too much. Just shoot one. Not three frames. Nevermind that I was bracketing or getting a couple extras just in case someone blinked. Or maybe one expression was better than another.

A few extra frames of Tri-X. Pretty cheap for a major daily paper. Still, she wouldn't buy my explanations and kept getting on my back about it.

The publisher was at a company event I was covering so my supervisor decided to introduce me since I was the new guy.

"This is Dean," she said. "He's a good photographer but sometimes he shoots too much film."

The publisher shook my hand and and said it was nice to meet me. Then he turned to my supervisor. "Barbara," he said, "in this business, sometimes you gotta shoot some film."
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #12
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Thats a good one! I always shot to much film!!
Then I rolled to much tape and now I fill up
P2 cards to fast!!
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giroud Francois
frankly, if you don't care, just say : Yeah , that's great !
And if you are part of the project, just say: Ok show me !

Exactly. Eventually, he'll burn himself on his own ignorance.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #14
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Wow... In those cases, I will totally agree with them and do as they say. As long as someone else knows what happened in that agreement, I will not get blamed with a crap photo or shot and that being the only one avaliable.

Serves them right to be cheap. I'm stereotypicaly Asian and tight with money, but if you are spending money on a shoot worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, it doesn't hurt to spend a few extra dollars shooting, or rolling through some extra shots or footage. That single, cheap shot you take could be a hundred dollar mistake if its a bad photo if its the only one.
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Old November 16th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #15
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We all know that the speed of light is quicker than that of sound, right?

Well that should explain why some people may appear to be bright until they open their mouth!

I've been a broadcast camera operator for 12 years now and have shot on M2 (anyone else out there remember that one)! SP, SX, Digi Beta, DVCam, DVCPro, Mini DV and just recently HD. One of my most important philosophies now is that I never know everything about camerawork. I frequently work with cameramen of hundreds of years and those of just a few months experience. I can learn from both.

I know next to nothing about HD and it's workings as I was blinkered from technology stuck on SP and Digi for ages. The guys teaching me how it works?? The youngsters just out of media college!

The guys still teaching me how to improve my lighting, studio pedestal moves etc? the old pros.

Unfortunately....there are thousands of people in our industry who refuse to admit that they don't know everything or that a young kid on work experience knows more about somethings than they do! When I see that happen I just have to raise a wry smile now and chuckle!

At the end of the day, have you offered your informed opinion and advice, have you tried to do the best you can for the client, and most importantly have you listened and been true to yourself. Sometimes thats all you can do!
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