With the proliferation of file based workflows essentially becoming the norm, having a DIT (Digital Image Technician) on set to wrangle data, create dailies and provide near set colour grading services is merging the boundaries between production and post.
In order to learn how to be a good DIT you need to have a thorough knowledge of both the camera formats being used (and the way its being used by the DoP) and the post-production workflow the film is adhering to. The DIT is swiftly becoming the hinge between production and post and these helpful links should help get you started on the path to becoming a better one…
How to become a DIT
Light Iron Digital are fast becoming one of the leading companies for DIT, HD workflows and final digital intermediate finishing. Michael Cioni (the founder and director of Light Iron) has a great blog with some inside details on some of the productions they’ve worked on. For example doing the 4K DI for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, or the workflow for Steven Soderbergh’s latest action film – Haywire.
Outpost is Light Iron Digital’s (from the over-blown video) DIT cart – the hub of all the DIT’s activities. The also have a clever ipad monitor system, Liveplay, which will wirelessly stream the latest shot from the camera to all activated ipads on set. And collect notes and other metadata from those viewers, like shot notes from the director, or slate info from the clapper loader. They also have another app called ToDailies.
In part learning to become a DIT is learning to use tools like these, but it is more than that. This article in HD Magazine reflects the mixed bag of qualified and cowboy DITs around in the industry and the haggling over whose department the DIT should really be in. Is the DIT an extension of the camera department understanding all of the technical in’s and outs of shooting, or an extension of the editorial department on set. Or both.
There are plenty of online resources to help you learn both ends of the spectrum from free webinars (Assimilate have a growing archive) like this one called DIT: Demystified which will run you through the basics expectations of a DIT to RED’s online training and extensive forums. (You’ll see Michael Cioni in some of these tutorials too)