I.A.T.S.E. Local 667 represents camera professionals and unit publicists who work in all phases of Motion Picture productions filmed or electronically recorded for theatrical feature films, films for television, television series, commercials, documentaries, internet productions and corporate video productions, as well as working at live events
The I.A.T.S.E. Local 667 membership is comprised of unit publicists and a variety of professional camera people working in different positions based on their experience, skills and the nature of the recorded media. The positions have been broken down into three major categories. A brief explanation of each position within these three major categories is provided.
Director of Photography (DP)
Also known as the Cinematographer, they are responsible for the overall look of the motion picture. The Director of Photography works very closely with the Director in establishing a mood and feel of the picture to help tell the story. During photography, the Director of Photography conducts the technical crew, in particular the camera, lighting and grip teams.
The Camera Operator physically operates the camera during a take. Looking through the eyepiece of the camera, the Operator maneuvers the camera to establish the continuity of composition. The Camera Operator may work closely with the Director and the Director of Photography from setting up the shot to the final take. The Operator also works closely with the 1st Assistant Cameraperson and the Dolly Grip.
The Steadicam Operator, like the Camera Operator, maneuvers the camera to establish the continuity of composition, but uses a special rig that enables special fluid moving camera shots for specific scenes. The steadicam is rigged via a vest strapped onto the camera operator that allows him/her to move with the action. This allows the camera to follow the action in tight spots (i.e. an actor running through a forest, up the stairs etc.) The rig allows the steadicam operator to run along with the camera mounted on and it remains steady instead of moving with the operator’s stride. Steadicam is used for scene specific requirements and may be hired on an as-needed basis.
Also referred to as a ‘Focus Puller’, the 1st Assistant’s primary responsibility is to keep the picture in sharp focus, while never actually looking through the camera. With a tape measure, a keen eye, and very good reflexes, the 1st Assistant must keep every frame in focus by relying on distance judgment, anticipation and a lot of confidence. The 1st Assistant is also responsible for threading the motion picture camera with film and the maintenance of the camera and lenses.
The 2nd Assistant is also known as the ‘Clapper Loader’. This person loads the film into the camera magazines while in the darkroom, controls the film inventory and camera reports, and performs the slating on set, using the clapperboard. The 2nd Assistant works very closely with the 1st Assistant Cameraperson while they both perform their on-set duties.
Sometimes due to the magnitude of a production, and/or particular location or camera needs, a loader will be hired. The loader would be responsible for darkroom duties and supplying the camera(s) with the appropriate film stock. The loader also assumes the responsibility of film inventory and maintains the necessary stock inventory.
Still Photographer (SP)
The Still Photographer shoots photographs of the actors while acting and/or in character. These photographs will be used for publicity purposes for the promotion of the film prior to or during its release in theatres or on television. The Still Photographer has a difficult job as he/she must capture the photographs in a very short period of time, and must be stealthy and quiet when moving around the set in order to accomplish this.
Camera Trainee (TRN)
The Camera Trainee works within the camera department and is enrolled in the I.A.T.S.E. Local 667 Camera Trainee program. This program, focusing on field training provides an entry-level position into a motion picture career for those who aspire to be Camera Assistants and ultimately, after years of experience, Cinematographers.
Visual Effects Supervisor (VisFX)
The Visual Effects Supervisor is the creative and administrative head of all Computer Graphics (CG) operations. He/she reports directly to the Producer and is responsible for coordinating the efforts of CG personnel as creatively and efficiently as possible in order to ensure that all CG animation and effects are seamlessly integrated into the final production visuals.
Motion Picture Electronic Cameraperson (MPECam)
The Motion Picture Electronic Cameraperson is hired on a motion picture production for taped shots that form part of the film sequence (which would often be recorded or photographed on film) or shots that form part of a ‘prop’, i.e. a scene that will be played back on a screen / monitor / television set etc.
Motion Picture Electronic Coordinator / 24 Frame Operator (24-FR)
The Motion Picture Electronic Coordinator is a 24 Frame Operator who will synchronize digital footage to film or synchronize computer images to film. He/she is also the technical coordinator of complex multi-monitor functions.
Video Assist 1 / Playback Operator (VA1)
The Video Assist 1/Playback Operator will record digital (video) and audio for onset playback for directorial review. This will involve the logging of scene/take #'s and cataloguing of video cassettes and discs as well as supplying scene/take #’s to Second Unit, Continuity, Editors and Production. They will be involved in technical trouble shooting, VCR, video tap (if applicable), Wireless Transmitter maintenance and will assist the Motion Picture Electronic Coordinator
Video Assist 2 (VA2)
The Video Assist 2 is an Assistant to Video Assist 1, involved in running of cables and assistant record/playback (as required by the Video Assist 1)
Underwater Camera people
All members in the Underwater Category are experienced professional Directors of Photography, Camera Assistants and Stills Photographers who specialize in underwater photography and are highly skilled, properly trained and certified as qualified scuba divers. They are knowledgeable and experienced with the various underwater camera systems and diving gear operations.
Digital Engineer (DCol)
The Digital Engineer is an 'on-set' (versus post-production) colourist. He/she will be employed on HD or digi-beta productions. This entails providing detailed on-set painting and colourizing with matrix and gamma detail, setting scene files, matching cameras, and the establishment and maintenance of time code procedures and guidelines with post production.
Digital Technician (DTech)
The Digital Technician is employed on HD or digi-beta productions, and provides technical support and the recall of previously set scene files.
Electronic (Video) Division
This includes Camerapeople who shoot live action or live-to-tape television productions. This can include rock concerts, live events, ‘behind-the-scenes’ or Electronic Press Kits (EPK's) which are segments from or promoting a motion picture production for publicity purposes. Electronic camerapeople also shoot sports, news, corporate productions, productions for the internet and television series productions.
Electronic Cameraperson (ECam)
Electronic Camerapersons that shoot live action or live-to-tape in various forms and shooting styles. For example, some camerapeople specialize in handheld configurations, others in studio pedestal or long lens for sports events. Most electronic camerapeople own and operate their own camera and equipment packages which are of the highest broadcast standards, from Digital Betacams to High Definition Cameras.
Some of the projects that I.A.T.S.E., Local 667 Electronic Camerapeople work on include, corporate videos, rock concerts, E.P.K.'s (electronic press kits), live events and internet applications.
Lighting Director (LD)
A Lighting Director is responsible for the complete look of lighting whether photographed in electronic or film medium or for the stage or studio production. The Lighting Director works closely with the Technical Director, and Video Control Operator to control the lighting in order to achieve an appropriate aesthetic balance to the scene on electronic productions. These productions may include, but are not limited to, full feature, live action, soap operas, internet and high-end corporate.
Electronic Sound Recordist (Esound)
The Electronic Sound Recordist works very closely with Electronic Camerapeople to achieve the desired sound for live-action ‘behind the scenes’ Electronic Press Kits (EPK's), news magazine shows, television and internet productions.
Unit Publicist (Pblcst)
The unit publicist is involved in media and public relations, promotion and advertising of motion pictures or television movies and series. They work closely with many stake-holders such as producers, actors, unit still photographer and/or the EPK unit.
To advertise and promote a film, publicists are responsible for the preparation and distribution of materials which can include media mailing lists, press releases, biographies, production notes, feature stories, story synopses, log lines, photo captions and press kits. They also schedule and supervise media interviews and set visits.