Yeah, I was going to say that if your budget allows for a pro DIT than you're production is only going to be better because of it. HOWEVER, if your budget doesn't allow for the luxury, I can see why people choose to forgo a real DIT (or treat them like a new-age film loader, just dumping cards.)
Good DITs are necessary on big jobs, like movies etc.. That's 100% for sure.
TVAD's how ever... I tend to think about how those individual jobs are managed, budgeted, how gorilla they may be.. how huge they maybe... They are all so different and call for different needs on all fronts.
For instance.. I finished a job last year, 6 country shoot, 12 days.. DIT was me... Huge job it was as well. Why.. because I did not need to drag around someone just to manage files. Was easy for me to do at the end of each day, and playback came directly from the camera.
Next job, multiple camera, motion control, 200 hundred crew, 6 different types of cameras... feeds going everywhere.. DIT was a must !
Different countries as well. I know when I'm bought in as a director to shoot in the US. A huge army turns up. Everything to slow you down turns up, trucks line up down the streets, shots take for ever to set up... complete over kill..
So what I'm saying is, in the States were there is a lot more monetary waste, and productions come with everything, then why not have a DIT as well... The job is already choked full of techs, may as well have one more.
I take the opportunity and use them to there fullest. Why not, if they are skilled and are there and can offer benefits to the production, then that's a good thing right.
Over all I cannot really say that I will ever need highly qualified DIT's in my productions with huge carts filled with the latest greatest gizmo's. Only because I like to manage all my own edits, grading etc... and what I want to show clients on set I show them through PLAYBACK from the camera (edited in the playback function, so they only see what I want to show them) I'm a control freak. All I want to know is from a DIT.. are the R3D's good (not corrupt) and back them up at least 3 times and hand a copy to myself , producer, and post house each day. But that's me... I certainly don't answer for everyone on this forum. Reason is that a majority of directors / DP's / Producers don't have a clue how any of this stuff works. how to post, how to do anything technical... hence the need for good DITS to be on set is imperative. I do hear of many crazy backup systems in place... Were a producer will supply some cheap little USB 2 pocket drive for the rushes.... that's it. no backups nothing. No onset quality control... just crazy stuff. But they only do this becuase they are not educated on what a good DIT can do and supply.
So in short... DITS are a much needed asset, I 100% believe this... But should sculpt there business models to at least 3 different scales. Small, medium and large to suite each and every production. Modern day Loader, what ever you want to call it's a real job and needs to be setup to suite many different situations.. Bit like a SOUND guy... I have sound engineers come in all different capacities. from small fanny bag set ups to huge trollies of gear. You are the same.
Oh.. and remember... everyone is looking for the cheapest way out.
What I dislike about DIT discussions is th e distinction between DIT and data wrangler.
What I want from the person who I hire to fill this spot is three good, clean checked copies. Obtaining these copies takes time. I have done this job myself, frequently, so I understand exactly how much time and focus it takes to do a proper job.
Somehow the perception has emerged that this is not enough...that the DIT has to do all these other things to justify the job's existence or to pay that person a living wage. If the DIT is nt color correcting camera exposing, cable soldering, then somehow we think our disdain is somehow warranted?
Ridiculous. Your data is you MOVIE, for gosh sakes...your data is the sum of all that labor, resource, and investment.
I don't care if it is done with laptops or Scratch trolleys. You can have all the bells and whistles in the world and still lack the meticulous nature which the DIT needs, first and foremost....
More than a great cart or even an exceptional skill set, give me someone meticulous, who can troubleshoot, is a team player, who can be entrusted with the entire production's most valuable asset, the data. I really don't care I'd they can color or expose a camera. Hopefully, I have hired smart in my camera operator, AC, and in the editorial pipeline. If a DIT can do all these other things, that is great but I don't want them thinking that copying files and bomb proofing the film is dull or secondary...at the end of the day, it is important to have a dedicated set of eyeballs on this task, someone knowledgeable who can identify things like IR pollution or banding or sensor issues or other potentially destructive landmines to the sanctity of the data....
This stuff MATTERS, so I always dislike when these discussions eclipse the most important aspect of the job, as if it is somehow the least important, when in fact, the opposite is true.
Everything else is secondary to that....
A DIT knows more about colors and digital imaging, however, and would be able to spot problems like under-exposure, IR pollution, too much noise, etc., and would have some suggestions as to have to fix if asked, in addition to knowing about checksums and data integrity.
And Mark, you continue to be one of my favorite posters. I'd kill to spend a day on one of your sets, if you're ever shooting in the North East of the USA.
A DIT is a person who is competent in data management, look creation, and giving knowledgable advice to the DP on ways to get the best image possible (when appropriate). I think when you become DIT MAN and know it all and are always right, you might not be made for a a lot of jobs.. It's a very responsible job, but it's a skill. I don't think you need to be a former cinematographer to be a DIT.
This discussion has veered into familiar territory. It always seems to lead here; loader v. DIT.
We all want to keep this position in the Camera Department and not cede it to Editorial, right? It would seem ideal to flex the position as budget allows: on bigger jobs call him a DIT and give him the bigger paycheck and on the smaller jobs limit his responsibilities and pay him less, but at least we can still pay a camera person.
The inherent danger in minimizing the duties of a loader is that in limiting his camera specific expertise we open the door for Production to move the job to Editorial Department, since they can then claim that he is serving as more of an Assistant Editor. Is that what we want to do, or is it better to maintain a higher standard and require more of a loader than file management?
It seems to me that the conversation is always going to end up here. If we loose sight of the forest for the trees and forget to stand together, good camera people are going to loose jobs.
Does anyone with a larger perspective agree?
Instead of saying that the DIT should be this or should be that - we should be saying that getting good clean copies in triplicate is an exacting, meticulous, time-intensive, and essential job. Somehow that always ends up at the bottom of the priority list, or somewhere in the middle. Doing this is exacting work and something the DIT should be able to take pride in.
That should be all that is required to justify the pay and the existence of the DIT - ...just my opinion -
A real thug is a thug that's hush.
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