For one of their first RED shoots, Nail, an advertising agency in Providence, RI, hired me as DIT for a series of spots for restaurant chain Margarita’s. Written and directed by Nick Spooner, the spots feature the Margarita’s parrot enjoying life in public - waiting for the bus, buying a hot dog and taking a gondola cruise down the river.
In addition to offloading and verifying footage, I was asked to assist Director of Photography Frankie DeMarco, who traditionally works with film. When shooting digital, it’s extremely important to capture a correctly exposed image. Unlike film, digital does not have any organic leeway, and if treated improperly will result in poor image quality. The biggest hurdle was learning how to expose for the camera, which meant relying on the histogram and false color. The RED we used had the original M sensor, so we also made sure to be careful about crushing shadows by filling them in with bounce cards.
We shot mainly on the RED Drive, which I would offload via R3D Data Manager during lunch and after each day. We had only one drive, so I had to juggle speed with data verification - at times I could only offload part of the footage. Luckily, 1st AC Sarah Tricker was able to stay on top of when we were free to format the drive, and we stayed in constant communication throughout the shoot. Although not my preferred way of working by a long stretch, all footage was accounted for at the end of the shoot.