“My business is to take a camera and take a masterpiece shot”: operators talk about their work

- Speaking about movie cameras, they were both heavy and remain. Television cameras have become easier, but often you need to take so much additional equipment (such as a monitor) to them that you can’t talk about lightness. Now all the optics are becoming interchangeable, which means that you need to carry different lenses with you for different types of shooting, which, of course, adds both weight and volume. For example, today I shot with a light camera, but with a lens, totaling 2.5 kilograms.

If you record an live interview for half an hour, your hands will quickly get tired.

It is necessary to understand: doubles are shot in the cinema, none of the operators holds the camera in their hands for hours. More difficult for those who shoot reality shows or documentaries. But in general, I would not say that the complexity of the operator’s work lies in the severity of the camera. No, this work is primarily intellectual.

You need to guess what the director or author wants, and if you have your own vision, be able to offer it correctly.

Well, of course, it’s difficult when you go on some expedition, and the producer saves on the team and sends you without a video engineer. People often do this on business trips, but I try to disagree with such stories. For example, when we went to Israel, we had a whole team of five people - two operators, two mechanics and another person in charge of the crane. There were already enough difficulties: hellish heat, mountains, desert.

You - sweaty and dirty - need to keep a plan, keep a focus. In the heat, you still think about how to cool the camera. And in the cold it’s the opposite. For example, in Sweden, when I was sitting in a snowdrift, the battery froze, the camera froze - I hid the batteries, tried to warm the camera, but I also needed to make a beautiful panorama. After that trip I take four batteries with me, for sure.

So, if under such conditions I would not only recharge the batteries and clean the optics, but also carry a tripod, I would completely go crazy.

In general, a free, not tired head allows you to give a result, and if you're tired, what kind of creativity can you talk about? My job is to take the technique and shoot a masterpiece so that the director squeaks and the audience likes it. I am an operator, not an ass.

Physical training, of course, is needed. Few of the operators go to the gym or swim - many say that they have enough workload and that it’s better to lie down on the couch at home.

I’ve been tormented for many years with my back, I go to the manual. For the past six months I regularly perform exercises for the neck: a nod with tension in all directions, ten repetitions - nothing complicated, but it relaxes the muscles and at the same time keeps you in good shape. And I regularly hang on the horizontal bar to stretch the spine. So after the shift you will hang, a couple of vertebrae will crunch - and you immediately feel that it has become easier. I do these exercises at home in the mornings, I don’t go to the gym, but it helps me a lot.

There are, by the way, special shoes. Of course, we still go in sneakers, but to be on our feet all day, even with such a load, in a good way is only possible in shoes with arch support (so that there is no flat feet).



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