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Operating tips for first timers


Javier Meco
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Hello everyone, very soon I am going to tackle my first well budgeted movie as a camera op and I was looking for some tips from professionals on the matter.

Its not the first time I operate but I am accustomed to small projects with little complications. This time I will be working with an experienced director who is going to rely on me a lot and with new gadgets for me such as the dolly magnum etc. 

We are a 2 cameras unit and although we run the same sensor I am stuck with the heavier camera. I expect some handheld action as well so any tips with that would be very much appreciated as well. 

Thank you all in advance! 

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I thought I'd give my two cents.

If you have a chance try to learn the ins and outs of the dolly, it will definitely help you set up shots much quicker. Try and ask the rental house if you could spend a day setting it up and trying things out on a day where they're not busy.

Communicate with the 1AC and grips if you have any configuration needs, as an AC it's great to have the operator come towards the end of your camera check to make any final adjustments!

Bet this has been shared here before but this is a great resource for handheld operating:

It ain't much but I hope this helps, good luck shooting!

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2 hours ago, Kian Rahnema said:

I thought I'd give my two cents.

If you have a chance try to learn the ins and outs of the dolly, it will definitely help you set up shots much quicker. Try and ask the rental house if you could spend a day setting it up and trying things out on a day where they're not busy.

Communicate with the 1AC and grips if you have any configuration needs, as an AC it's great to have the operator come towards the end of your camera check to make any final adjustments!

Bet this has been shared here before but this is a great resource for handheld operating:

It ain't much but I hope this helps, good luck shooting!

Thank you for the quick reply, everything and any help is welcome!

I am already in touch with the 1AC to help during the camera check so I will be more comfortable with the set up. 

I will try to get in touch with the responsible for the dolly rental to see if it could be possible to arrange something like you mentioned.

Good luck out there and thanks again!

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Don’t let yourself be pressured into using a geared head if you are not comfortable with it - you’ll just end up making yourself look foolish if you can’t pull off the camera move. You can perform pretty much any shot with a fluid head just as well. 

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