In this day and age, anyone can become a film maker with a bit of knowledge about the film making industry. Where the new film makers are concerned, the crew with the best equipment is the crew they want. If the man with the camera has a brand the film maker is familiar with he may just get the job. No matter the operators ability or experience, the camera operator's abilities come up after the fact.
The production sound mixer, also called the video tech, is usually the one who will keep the camera man in line. He is also responsible for capturing the sound and he is expected to be close to perfect at this. The most important aspect of hiring a sound man is whether he has the right radio microphones.
Production companies feel that these two are the only crew they need and the cameraman has to negotiate to get a crew of at least five, they have to negotiate to gain approval in the budget. They are clueless about how many people are needed on the crew.
Once the crew has succeeded in getting a few more people hired on, they find they need to educate others. The crew needs to know what the next shot will be and not what they will be shooting next week. Many new directors do not understand how to just explain the next shot. Without the information the crew does not know what to do next.
When the film maker has made any changes, they need to include the sound mixer in the explanation. The gaffer, assistant cameraman, and the grip can get instruction from the cameraman, but the sound mixer needs to know what direction he is going in to get the best sound. If the sound mixer is not kept in the loop, there will be many delays.
The crew needs to see a rehearsal of the scene before they actually shoot it. New film makers tend to think that skipping rehearsals will make up for lost time. The crew really needs to see the rehearsal to see how they will shoot the scene. This is very important to make sure the lighting, sound mikes, and focus are right. Some new film makers want to roll the tape anyway, although even the stars don't understand entirely what they are supposed to do. The crew can see that rolling tape at this particular time is a complete waste.
Good scenes don't happen by themselves, but many new film makers wait for everything to become clear once the camera is rolling. The foreground and background action needs to be tried and gotten right before the shots will be great ones. Looking at the script will not make it happen, the crew needs direction.
The film maker needs to tell the cameramen and sound mixer when to roll and when to cut. They need to be clear about this, when they are satisfied with the shot. The crew hears action before they hear roll camera, much too often. With video tape, there is a slight delay between the time the cameraman starts the machine and it is ready to record the action. You will need to record several seconds of lead film for the tape to be edited effectively later on.
Cut is the word the cameraman wants to hear when they stop rolling. Some film makers don't say cut until they have had a long talk with the cameraman. The crew needs to hear the word cut so they will know when the take is over.
There are other peeves that a crew has with novice film makers, but there are too many to continue in this article. The best bet for any novice film maker is to get feedback from their crew so that everyone knows what to expect from each other.
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