Video Assist
A Dream Come True

Video AssistVideo Assist is a technical position on a film crew. Since film needs to be processed and printed after it's exposed, it can't be viewed until the next day. Video assist refers to the video camera attached to the optical system of the film camera, and the technician who records, and plays back the video image immediately. It is strictly a reference for the shoot day, as the real film will be available for viewing the day after the shoot, as dailies.

Film Crew - Video Camera I work in the HD world, I record, playback, edit, print-out, or pre-viz some effect, all without jeopardizing the camera original. I record to the latest and the greatest Video Assist system built, QTAKE. 2 cameras, compositing, editing, green screen, RED cam, all in full HD. A brave new world in video assist. My work includes:
  • studio and locations
  • on-set editing
  • green screeen
  • slow-motion analysis
  • motion control overlays
  • integration of Photoshop in the workflow
  • DC package for run & gun (helicopters, camera cars)
Freelance VideoFor the past thirty years, I have been lucky enough to work 120-140 days/year as a freelance video technician. It allows me to support my family, and provides the time to do all the other creative things you see on this site.

Video Operator I am really lucky to work for very nice people. A long time ago, a wise old grip told me, if you tell the screamers and jerks you're not available, you'll wind up working for nice people, and that has turned out to be true. I think that it's easy for me to be a good video operator, and still love my job after all these years, because of all the other things it let's me do.

About Media 100

In the winter of 1995, my friend Rolf May, owner of Positive Image Labs, demo'd his Media 100 system to me. He was using it to create an industrial video for one of his clients, but my interest was in the speed of operation, and the speed of the effects. Everything, including Rolf, worked in real-time, which is the only speed that would be acceptable in my industry.

In the summer of 1996, with the help of John Molinari, Andy Netburn, and Eric Janzsten of Data Translation/Media 100, I became the first video operator on the east coast to switch from videotape to a non-linear system. To everyone who saw it, it was clearly a better way to work. Two of my competitors went digital a year later, also with Media 100's, some took alot longer and went with less capable technology. Now everyone who does video assist does it digitally, or he doesn't do it that often.

Now the system of choice is QTAKE which has all the bells and whistles an old school video guy could wish for. page
Copyright ©2015 David Scott Leibowitz

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