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Old March 2nd, 2004, 01:03 PM   #1
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Video Assist - what do they do?

What does a video assist do?

My friend recommended me for a shoot, he said I basically they watch a monitor and assist the director. Sounds easy enough, unless I'm getting in over my head.
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 01:23 PM   #2
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Sounds like your position might be "Video Assist" ? On our shoot, the video tap on the 35mm mitchell, feeds a sony dsr 11 deck and monitor. The video assist operator is responsible for loading/marking tapes, starting/stopping the deck (When the Director calls out "Roll video",) and sets up/moves the equipment from shot to shot.

You don't want to interrupt the timecode between shots, so either pre-black the tapes, or make sure you pre-roll on code before the take. Makes it much easier when capturing the video assist tapes later.

At the MINIMUM you should be completely familiar with whatever deck might be used for recording the video tap, logging the shots and connecting/disconnecting said equipment. Good idea to check in early to be familiar with all this.

At least, that's the deal on our particlar production.

Richard.
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 06:47 PM   #3
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Yup, that's it a "Video Assist". Thanks for the info. (I edited the original post)
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 10:15 PM   #4
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Depending on the particular shoot, it can actually be a somewhat intense position.

On many jobs, the video assist guy is responsible for moving the director's monitor and any others ("video village") around as the setup changes, plus stringing cables to same and getting it all up and running by the time the camera is sending an image. Then he is responsible for recording the footage as it is shot, and re-cueing it for the director to watch. This is the part where a good video assist person will be worth their weight in gold; being able to quickly recue the tape with impatient directors is a skill that not all possess (i.e. not making him sit through a false start or slow action cue). Sophisticated video assist setups use a hard drive system for instant playback and even preview of effects such as slow motion (playing back a simulation of high speed photography) and even cutting shots together in a sequence on request.

This is high-level video assist, so not to scare you! It really depends on the needs of the shoot, and expectations of the production team what the parameters are of the job.
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Old March 3rd, 2004, 12:09 AM   #5
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Whoa! That sounds like a very interesting career path. What a great way to get in on the action and acquire some experience. I'm definitely going to pursue it.
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