In a couple of previous posts we have been talking about how to produce a video and which are the jobs in cinema. The today’s post deals with a profession called Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) as it has been described to us by Andrea Issich.
Andrea was born in 1983. At that time the digital technology was a very young one with applications mainly in the audio industry. So, the Andrea’s first assignment was in the analog field. He started working in a private TV company (TV9 in Grosseto). Bugets were limited and staffing not so huge. This gave to Andrea the possibility to learn a lot working in several contexts. Camera handling, lights, low frequency signal processing, post production editing, radio links management were all activities needed to get done and to learn from.
Beginning with digital
The first contact with the digital world was while working on commercials. For those tasks the Digital Video Assist system was required. The PSU was the selected tool which still in the market with updated functionalities.
The Digital Video Assist (DVA) is a device capable of implement a lot of functions. Format conversion, resolution management, digital data flow management and monitoring are all features available in a DVA.
Meeting the Cinema
The first experience with cinema was, for Andrea, also completely analog. He has seen mentored by Luciano Tovoli. In this period he had the chance to increment his know how on color management, lighting, film selection, optics selection and so on. This period was very useful to Andrea who had the chance to build a solid background to base his professionalism on for the future.
With actual digital cameras the goal is to achieve that warm color we are used to see with 35mm films. To get there one has to be capable of selecting the right cameras, use the right optics and be able to interact with the Director of Photography to reach the objectives set by the film Director.
The profession of Digital Imaging Technician (DIT)
Among the jobs that were born with the digital tecnology there is the Digital Imaging Technician (DIT). The main assignment of the job is to let the Director and the Director of Potography watch to the results of the shooting. This has to be done in real time and with a strong eye to the final product.
To do this one has to know about cameras (usually RED, Arry, Canon, Sony), lenses and optics, image sensors, data flow formats (including Codecs and compression algorithms) and, in a wide sense, about the special features of any used device.
Camera sensitivity tuning is the first activity performed by a DIT. ISO level must be optimized to avoid artifacts and noise. We mean, for noise, any undesired component of the video signal.
Data flows must be processed by the DIT to guarantee seamless transitions between different footages referring to the same scenes. Those will be combined in post production so there shouldn’t be jumps in intensity, contrast and other image’s features.
The control is achieved by the DIT both visually and with instruments. Those are used to check waveforms related to white level, average grey, high lights, low lights, skins. Colors and contrast are processed real time by the DIT via the Color Decision List (CDL) and the Look Up Table (LUT). The Digital Imaging Technician shows the images to the Director and the Director of Photography already processed with CDL/LUT.
The Digital Imaging Technician’s workstation
Andrea owns a workstation made by several devices.
Data flows are managed through a signal switcher, the BlackMagic Clean Switch capable of a 12×12 matrix. For the DIT three inputs are usually enough. They are for two cameras plus a backup connection. Outgoing flows are directed toward DIT’s monitor, Director’s monitor and real time analysis instrumentation.
The processed data are stored in a Hard Disk and sento to the Data Manager who will take care of the safe storage of the files, the footage classification and the production of all the different versions/formats to be used in post production.
This is it for the Digital Imaging Technician profession description. All the information have been kindly shared with us by Andrea Issich so we would like to thank him for his availability and courtesy. Talk to you soon!