50 Things That Suck for Camera Assistants (and 50 Things That Don’t)

August 4, 2012

by Evan Luzi

50 Things That Suck for Camera Assistants (and 50 Things That Don't)

Filmmaking isn’t always fun. Sometimes it can suck — and suck pretty hard.

I’ve made no secret of that fact having been dragged through 17 hour days, dealt with executive producers on power trips, and making mistakes of my own.

But those are big picture items and the truth is, it’s the little things that annoy us the most.

So when I read a post at Dollygrippery succinctly titled “Things That Suck,” it clicked with me. Even though I’ve never been a dolly grip, I connected with the list of small troubles that quickly add up. And my mind raced with things that I, as a camera assistant, have to deal with that suck.

Let’s just say it didn’t take me long to come up with 50 of them.

50 Things That Suck

1. Rush Hour Call Times. Where I live, the only difference between an 8 AM call and a 9 AM call is the extra hour I sit in traffic. I still have to wake up and leave at the same time.

2. Shooting the rehearsal.

3. Directors who joke about soft focus. Unless we’ve worked together before, I don’t usually find this funny. If anything, it makes me paranoid.

4. DP’s who start toying with gear. Technically you’re my boss, true, but the camera and its accessories are my domain. Let me lift the filters because last time you got a print on it and the 2nd AC had to go back to the cart and clean it.

5. Shooting handheld.

6. Being yelled at about video village. Yeah I know it’s not up right now. That’s because I’m fetching a lens, swapping a filter, and then sticking the camera up to eye level. I could patch you in right now, but you’d only see my out-of-focus disgruntled face in the frame anyway.

7. Pulling focus wide open.

8. Pulling focus without marks.

9. Pulling focus in general. Unless the lens is an 18mm at T 8.0. (Just kidding, it can be fun…)

10. Logging camera reports as the only AC. I’ll write what I can, but I can’t promise it’ll be legible.

For the rest of the list, click here and to see his 50 Things That Don’t Suck while you’re there!

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