Lately I've noticed a kind of same level skills associated with DIT's We are not all alike! Today a client said to me, "hey were you a musician, or a roadie, because I see a lot of those guys working as DIT's". Since the digital age has leaped to the fore, quite a few people have jumped into the DIT world, some to keep working because their other position was being phased out, some because of the pay rate, but very few because it was a passion. There is no truth in this business (for most). A would be DIT will say anything to get the job, which when he/she fails leaves a bad taste in a producers mouth about DIT's. Now we are all reduced to that failures level, and subject to the BS the follows. There should be a certification for DIT's, a certification for digital loaders, and a certification for digital utility. Plus there needs to be a firm understanding of how these jobs differ.
If you know your way around a computer, that's great, but it does not make you a DIT. A DIT should be not only camera skilled, but photography skilled. If you cannot advise a DP on exposure (not just by looking at scopes scopes are very important, but also by experience) then you are not a true DIT. You should know the ends and out of the digital file. Be able to explain why you suggest the DP open up a 1/3 stop, or caution why to close down to guard against blown highlights. You should KNOW this, it should not be a guessing game, otherwise you are a fraud, and taking up space for REAL technicians to do good work. You should always be learning to improve your craft.
This business is getting out of hand, and becoming dumbed down. Those with a laptop, and a card reader are calling themselves DIT, WTF. The discounted Hollywood environment is breeding a lesser than industry, where image quality is secondary to who you know, and how low can I buy your service.
There are those that want to shadow me. What does that mean, you want me to teach you everything I know in a day, and you can replace me? Hardly. If anything, you will hang yourself, and your production, then they'll blame all DIT's, because they hired a discount dude.
There used to be integrity in this business, somehow it's slipped away (maybe I'm niave). If you understand what I'm talking about, you're a DIT, if you don't you're a poser. And for posers, you will be found out, because you are forever standing still, never moving forward, just getting in the way and being a road block to true artists.
With the expanding roles of a on-set DIT, you need to know Resolve, Scratch as starters, plus, Photoshop, verification software, dailies creation, the needs of both your DP and that of the post house. There should be a continuos connection between set and post, with you the liaison.
A cart does not make a DIT!
If you never use a gray card, guess what, you don't know why you should use a gray card, and you sir/madam are not a DIT.
If you cannot read a histogram, you are not a DIT.
If you can't advise on exposure, you are not a DIT.
If your DP does not respect your opinion, you are not a DIT.
If you sit there dragging and dropping to transfer files, you are not a DIT.
If you don't know color theory, you are not a DIT.
If you color on set, yet don't/can't calibrate your own monitor, you are not a DIT.
If you are not the consultant on set for your camera crew, you are not a DIT.
If producers are more excited over your rate than your work, you are not a DIT.
If you do 3 or 4 different jobs (DP, AC, MIXER, GAFFER, oh and DIT), you are not a DIT.
If you took a 3 hour workshop on a DIT cart, you are not a DIT.
If you panic under pressure, you sir, are NOT a DIT
A DIT is a skill set, one acquired over time.
If all this is foreign to you, you are not a DIT.
Not to piss off any more than I have, but a true DIT is a safety net on a production. If you see a problem, you act, or else there could be financial, artistic, and career consequences at stake. It's you and your DP.
Oh, my background, 30+ years as an advertising and fashion photographer (check my website), 14 years as a leader in digital still capture in New York City, teacher, lecturer, it's in my blood, and I'm still learning how to be better.