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panagiotis agapitou

Experienced TV cameraman into Focus Puller

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I have one ( a bit odd) quastion ...

 

Could a -best of the bests- TELEVISION cameraman, experienced in major LIVE broadcasting football matches (and also in series, shows etc) work for FIRST TIME as A Focus Puller on an Arri Alexa Mini ??

 

Thanks for your thought

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Mechanically, quite possibly. Cinematically, he would need experience and practice.

 

G

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What excactly do you mean "cinematically" ?? (By thw way .. He is also a grantuated director .. has direct many TV SERIES !!!)

Edited by panagiotis agapitou

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By cinematically, I mean you are now able to tell the story via focus pulling and dont have to concentrate on the mechanics of focus pulling. Its a level way beyond beginners. Once you have developed the natural instincts of how to artfully make choices on the fly, understand how your pulls will affect the editing and employing all of this experience, you are now pulling cinematically.

G

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I have one ( a bit odd) quastion ...

 

Could a -best of the bests- TELEVISION cameraman, experienced in major LIVE broadcasting football matches (and also in series, shows etc) work for FIRST TIME as A Focus Puller on an Arri Alexa Mini ??

 

Thanks for your thought

 

 

No.. probably not... very different job.. operating a camera is alot easier I think personally.. if your guy is dealing with fast primes with a tiny DoF.. with no experience, it will never work.. I think its like air traffic control.. even just on a technical level.. let alone artistic interpretation .. alot of shoots with a decent DoF are not that difficult.. but then here comes the plane with the engine on fire needing to land on a stormy night at peak time.. ie T1.5 long lens subject moving around no rehearsals .. some one with zero experience will have no hope.. even at T5.6..probably.. having directed many tv series makes pretty much no difference.. I doubt Martin Scorsese could just step up and FP a shoot.. nor would be ever try I would guess.. its a totally different job.. I mean why not get a real focus puller and have your guy be the operator ..?..

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The reality is I've always felt like I have job protection. Everyone likes to operate the camera or hit the sticks but nobody wants to deal with the pressure of focus pulling. It's certainly not for everyone. It takes years of practice and making all of the mistakes before you have any sense of control and confidence over the craft.

 

G

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agreed..I did it fleetingly in the days before on camera monitors.. not for me.. way too stressful and nervous calls to the labs asking about focus !.. at least operating you can see when you make a mistake.. !.. Im sure I read Clint Eastwood changed his whole shooting schedule on one of his films just to make sure he could get the FP he always used... a very vital and sort of uncelebrated role in the whole thing.. out of focus shots will be detected by just about every punter in the cinema /watching TV.... slightly off lighting or operating will be over looked..

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Clint always uses Bill Coe of Michigan. Hes an awesome focus puller and a wonderful human being - as well as a fellow SOC Lifetime Achievement Award honoree.

 

G

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