I’ve started my rig setup, and it’s nearly complete. I ordered a Lilliput 7 inch LCD monitor to pull focus, to use in conjunction with my Zacuto viewfinder. And I’ve also picked up one of these bad boys from Korea. The Gini Rig I did a lot of research before headed out to fleabay. Basically, from all the reviews, this is one solid piece of equipment for the price. Something comparable from Red Rock Micro, or Zacuto would run me triple, even quadruple the price. A 15mm rod based plate alone runs about $150 or more, and since I’m just starting out, I think this will hold me over fine. It also comes with a nice follow focus.
For some history, all movies are done with manual focus lenses. Typically it is the job of the 1AC, of the first assistant cameraman to pull focus. That is, his job is to maintain focus on the subject, and really good ones, do action scenes while the subject is moving. It’s an art, and I consider it a very skilled profession. Trust me, I can barely get a single stationary object to remain in focus while the camera is moving, let alone doing it with live action people.
Most movie sets use markers, for instance, an actor would step to a certain area of the scene, and the floor would be marked with color coded tape. The focus puller would have already pre-measured the distance and the lens used and mark on a disc so they know when the actor is there, this is where they would need to focus. It’s fascinating stuff. So the 7inch lilliput screen is designed to help me see and frame my shots, and try to pull focus when I can’t position myself using the Zacuto viewfinder.
Anyways, can’t wait for the items to arrive so I can test out the ‘rig’.
Until then here’s an awesome 3 part series on being a 1st AC”
1st AC job description
Pretty much for n00bs like me, I’ll be basically doing the role of director, the DP, 1stAC, and every other role, lol. I don’t have a crew! =)