Posts Tagged ‘digital media’

The Value of a DIT in Today’s Digital Workflow

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
Composite image of flash memory cards, showing...

Image via Wikipedia

File-based work flows in video production have presented an incredible amount of benefits to the overall production process, but they have also demanded that video producers/directors reshape the way they move from production into post-production, and finally, to delivery. One of the key members of a tapeless video crew is the DIT, or Digital Imaging Technician. This individual, depending on the size of the shoot, is responsible for many things, but in my opinion, the most important function of the DIT is managing all of the assets while on location. This means taking the memory cards from the DP or camera assistant and transferring them over to hard drives. Once on the hard drives, a DIT will usually back up those files to a redundant drive and ensure that everything transferred correctly before re-formatting the cards for use again on the set. In addition, a DIT will prep each file for use in post-production and will prepare dailies for the director and the client to review.
For projects with smaller budgets, it may be tempting to forego the services of a DIT and simply let the director, DP, or a production assistant handle the duties of a DIT. Although this approach works, consider the side effects of this approach:

  • Using the director and/or DP to handle this job could slow down the pace of the shoot considerably. Once the cards are full, the director or DP must stop work, start transferring footage, wait for that footage to be transferred, confirm the transfer, reformat the cards, then return to the set. A DIT can handle all of this while the director and/or DP continue their work of shooting, setting up for the next shot, or working with the client and/or talent. This maintains a good work flow throughout the day and ensures that everything stays on schedule.
  • Using a production assistant as a DIT means assigning a less experienced person to do the job. An experienced DIT knows the equipment, knows exactly what he/she is doing, and can properly communicate with the director/DP.

So, even for those shoots that have smaller crews, a good DIT is a valuable asset to the team. However, with the ever-increasing capacity of memory cards, and the ever-decreasing cost of those memory cards, it will become easier for small ENG crews to spend an entire day shooting to memory cards, without ever having the need to transfer and reformat. All of the cards can simply be stored until the end of the day, then transferred at night, and used again the following day. But if the production turn-around is extremely tight, it may be in the producer’s best interest to hire a DIT and allow him/her to transfer all the footage during the course of the day, start prepping for post, and begin work on a rough edit. This will save a lot of time and will allow the producer to get the final video out to the client much quicker.

Ultimately, the use of the DIT depends on the situation, but don’t underestimate the value of that position in the ever-increasing world of tapeless video production.

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Recommended Podcasts

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Over the last couple of years I have subscribed to a variety of different podcasts that appeal to my specific interests. I’m always on the lookout for interesting podcasts, so I thought I would list some of my favorites. Hopefully you will find some of these interesting, entertaining, and useful.

  1. THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE – This podcast speaks directly to those who work in the creative industry (writers, graphic designers, artists, photographers, video professionals, art directors, etc.) Each episode is designed to help the creative professional avoid burnout by providing tips on how to stay motivated and have a successful career.
  2. DISHY MIX – On this podcast, host Susan Bratton interviews the top names in the New Media and Digital workspace, discussing things related to marketing, advertising, media, social media, video, and the Internet.
  3. FREELANCE RADIO – Although Freelance Radio is no longer producing new episodes, there is an archive of about 50 episodes that provide useful information for anyone operating a freelance business. In each episode, a regular panel of four freelancers discuss one central topic. Issues range from client relations, to bookkeeping, to generating new business, to ethical dilemmas, and budgeting.
  4. THE/FILMCAST – I’ve listened to several movie podcasts, but this one has to be my favorite. Each week, David Chen, Devindra Hardewar, and Adam Quigley discuss the movies and TV shows they’ve been watching, go over the latest film news, and conclude with one in-depth movie review. The occasional guest panelist includes other film critics, actors, and film directors.
  5. INSPIRING WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT WITH ZIG ZIGLAR – Each episode of the Zig Ziglar podcast features brief insights from Ziglar regarding sales, careers, life, family, relationships, and goals. The show provides great motivation for anyone, regardless of the profession. Plus, every episode is short – no more than 10 minutes, which means they can be digested easily.
  6. INTERNET MARKETING – Produced in the UK, Internet Marketing is one of the most popular podcasts of its kind. Episodes feature insights to help listeners gain increased visibility for their business through a wide array of online tools.
  7. THE DUCT TAPE MARKETING PODCAST – This podcast is for anyone looking for practical advice on how to market a business or service. In each episode, host John Jantsch interviews a marketing expert that provides useful information for online and offline marketing.
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