Gear Guide

The Gear Guide. It’s like living in LA. The Gear Guide is an introduction to filmmaking technology taught by the people who make the most popular, longest lasting gear.

It’s meant to bring you in contact with the gear before you can physically work with it. Imagine coming to Los Angeles, and having the benefit of meeting privately with the presidents and VPs of companies like Arri, Matthews Studio Equipment (MSE Grip), Kino Flo, Manfrotto (Bogen) and Schneider Optics. Imagine how much more prepared you will be to use their products once you get on the set of your next production. Your mind will be free to focus on creativity and communication, not learning new technical jargon. That’s the purpose of the Gear Guide. It also keeps you informed on the latest gear, techniques, and tips on staying ahead in the Film and Video Industry. We NEVER get paid by manufacturers to make these videos. We simply have a great relationship with them, and teach our students how to use their products from a purely educational point of view. If they seem to be marketing their products, it's just because they believe deeply in their companies. They're just in love with their gear!

We hope that our videos help you feel more confident when you walk on any set, knowing that you can communicate using the jargon and timeless, technical terms that other professionals use.

DCT-GG Gear Guide (8 DVDs) Components:

DCT-FF: Focuses on Follow Focus Devices with Karl Horn from Cinetech. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-FF volume teaches Focus Pulling Techniques, Follow Focus Types, Single/Double Wheel, Whips and Extensions, Speed Cranks, Rear-Firing Configs and much more. The more you shoot with your Pro HD or SD Digital Cinema Camera, the more you will rely on the focusing dial to create more dramatic transitions into actors or objects. The more you focus with your camera dial, the more you will feel that your wrist is not in the correct ergonomic position to achieve the best focus pulls. That's where follow focus wheels come in. They reorient the direction of the focus dial to one that more easily fits the movement of the human body. Also, they give you focus stops, so that you don't have to guess where your subject is. Just set up the A and B stops, and go from A to B. No guess work. This comes in very handy in cameras that do not have numerical readouts for focus marks. Another very useful facet of focus pulling devices, is their ability to allow attachment of whips or extensions. This allows you to "pull" focus from behind the camera, more comfortably. It also allows another professional, the "focus puller" to pull focus for you, so that you can just concentrate on panning and tilting the camera with the actor. The DCT-FF DVD will teach you all that, and much more.

DCT-FLUO: Focuses on Fluoresecents with Frieder Hocheim and Tom Jacob from KinoFlo. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-FLUO volume teaches Fluorescent Fixtures, Large Studio Models, Small Portable Models, Diffusion Techniques, Dimming, DMX Controls, Daylight/Interior Bulbs, Special Effects, 12V Car Models and much more. The more your lighting experience increases, the more likely you will rely on Fluorescent lighting. It is perfectly tungsten or daylight balanced, soft, emits almost no heat, and is dimmable with very little shift in color temperature. However, the subject of fluorescent lighting is very complicated. Which instruments do you use? Which color temperature? Do you match with the window or the other tungsten instruments? How do you perform DMX dimming and networking? How do you safely replace bulbs? What color options are there? How do you safely regulate power output of the DC supplies? All these questions plus many more are answered in the DCT-FLUO DVD.

DCT-GELS: Focuses on Gels and Lighting Modifiers with Joel Svendsen from Rosco Gels. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-GELS volume teaches Correction Gels, Film vs. Video Intensities, Color Effect Gels, Modifiers for Stage Lights, Daylight Balance Gels, Tungsten Balance Gels and much more. The more your lighting experience increases, the more likely you will rely on color gels for correcting instruments or creating a mood. However, the subject of gels is very complicated. Which type of gel do you use? How much color temperature correction is necessary? Do you match an HMI instrument with the window or the other tungsten instruments? How does gelling an instrument differ from Digital HD to Film? How do you safely use gels? What options are there in color and and mood? Both Straw and Amber gels cause a mathematical warming shift in the color temperature, so why are there two different types? All these questions plus many more are answered in the DCT-GELS DVD.

DCT-GRDR: Focuses on Gear Rental with Steve Tobenkin from Birns & Sawyer in Hollywood. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-GELS volume teaches Safe Renting Practices, Rental Contracts, Insurance Types, Negotiating Travel Days, 3-Day Weeks, Building Relationships, Trust and Credit, Economies of Scale and much more. As your reputation improves in your filmmaking circle, you will be called upon to shoot bigger and bigger jobs. It would not make sense to own 4 different cameras when you primarily use just one, especially when the other cameras are used only once or twice a year, or cost $120,000. Enter the rental house. You can get a great camera package, lights, grip gear, and stay within budget. The entire rental is tax deductible as an expense, as opposed to amortizing an expensive camera package for 7 years. You don't have to take out a loan for it. Just get a down payment from the production company, rent the gear, use it, then return it. Makes sense, sounds easy. It's not. It is a very complicated process that sometimes takes several disasters to fully respect. You can avert most disasters by carefully viewing the DCT-GR Gear Rental DVD. Mr. Tobenkin teaches you all the ins and outs of safely renting gear, as well as avoiding common horrors of discovering that "mysterious disappearances" are not covered by insurance companies, and can leave you penniless for years. For over an hour, he guides you through every line of a common rental contract, explains every term, and gives you real street-advice every step of the way. Rent safely with the DCT-GR volume, also included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course.

DCT-GRIP: Focuses on Grip Gear with Ed Phillips from MSE (Matthews Studio Equipment). This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-GRIP volume teaches C-Stands, Light Stands, Combo Stands, Flags, Black Net, Silks and Diffusers, Cucaloris Modifiers, Cutters, Dots and Fingers and much more. The more your production experience increases, the more likely you will rely on professional grip equipment. Also, your ability to identify and use grip gear on the set will earn the respect of your peers and employers. Pro gear lasts longer, looks more professional, holds weight more securely, and helps you sculpt precision-lit sets with flags and scrim. Which light stands do you use? Which clamps for which lights? How do you safely equip, mount, and weight-balance a C-stand? How do cheaply made roller stands differ from professional ones? What is the difference between a preemie, a HiHi, and a combo stand? What is the difference between a half-apple and a pancake? All these questions plus many more are answered in the DCT-GRIP DVD.

DCT-HDL: Focuses on Heavy Dollies with 35-year Veteran Hollywood Key Grip Chet Spinney. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-HDL volume teaches Heavy Studio Dollies, Balancing Dolly Track, Proper Dollying Methods, Dolly & Jib Moves, Pro Mic Booms and much more. You can get away with using compact dollies on many occasions, but there are certain situations where you will be required to help set up or operate a heavy dolly. Mr. Spinney will help you understand the principles of balancing a dolly track, pushing techniques, proper movement, and braking. After that, Mr. Steve Schuneman will share his extensive experience operating Pro Mic Booms on multi-million dollar TV shows. He will show you how to operate a pro mic boom, or communicate with your boom operator so that you can have a more productive set experience. As a filmmaker, you should be familiar with the operation and terminology, facets and limitations, of every piece of equipment on the set. This DVD will help get you one step farther, in a generally ignored part of the industry that doesn't get the glitz of body-mounted camera systems, but has been a mainstay of every indie and studio film for 60 years.

DCT-LENS: Focuses on Diopters, Converters, and Filters with Bill Turner from Schneider Optics. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-LENS volume teaches Diopters, Wide and TeleConverters, Adapters, 4x4 Filters Polarizers, Graduated ND Filters, Color Filters and much more. The more you work with your fixed-lens camera, the more you will want to modify the optics of that lens beyond its capability. You will want a wider wide angle, and a deeper telephoto. The only way of achieving that is with the use of Wide Angle Adapters and Converters, as well as Telephoto Converters. Learn the difference between a converter, an adapter, and a diopter. Learn how to film just one part of the face, like just the lips or the eyes. Learn how to select the correct attachment for your camera, and get the most out of it. Learn how to make a penny fill the frame. Also, learn how to protect your camera from misuse of large converters. After that, jump into filters. Learn how to darken a bright sky to get it within the dynamic range of HDV, but not affect the rest of the scene, how to see through reflections, how to darken the overall scene to allow a wider aperture for shallower depth of field. All these subjects and many more are covered in the DCT-LENS DVD.

DCT-MB: Focuses on Matteboxes & Zoom Controllers with James Lee from 16x9inc. (Chrosziel and Bebob). This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-MB volume teaches Mounting Matteboxes, Using French Flags, Side Flags, Baseplates and Rods, Sunshades, Filter Holders, Camera Design Issues, Zoom Controllers, Electronic Focus and much more. How do they achieve that crisp, contrasty look in films, even when shooting into the sun? Why is it that when you try it, the shot is milky or hazy? The mattebox is the device that solves that problem. It's great shooting into the sun: You get great highlights everywhere, the actors are naturally backlit, the sun isn't in their eyes, and the scene looks more dynamic. But you need protection for the camera lens from haze and the major culprit, flare. Matteboxes allow you to control flare like never before. They also allow you to mount 4x4 and sometimes 4x5.65 filters demonstrated in the DCT-LENS DVD. They also shade your wide angle lens adapters which may or may not come with their own lens hoods. After that, learn all about the essential zoom controller. Even if you never zoom in the shot (as any pro filmmaker would) you need a zoom controller to easily change the focal length of your lens without moving your hand away from the pan handle. If you need to zoom for say, an industrial or how-to video, or for effect, the zoom controller is indispensable for providing a smooth focal length change without unnecessary jitter on the camera body. Learn all about electronic zoom and focus controllers in the DCT-MB DVD.

DCT-ONCM: Focuses on Pedestals, Jibs, and Camera Lights with David Butler from Ste-Man (Cartoni and PAG). This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-ONCM volume teaches Studio Pedestals, Compact Jibs, On-Camera Lights, Dichroic Filters, Diffusing Eye-Lights, 3-Wheel Dollies, Battery Chemistry, Underwater Bags and much more. You already have a dolly that will get you closer to your subject in a more dynamic smooth manner. But what happens when you need to rise up with the actor as he gets out of a chair or a car, or goes up the stairs? To maintain a smooth movement akin to a dolly, but in a vertical direction, you need a jib. Enter the DCT-ONCM DVD. Learn how to use jibs, their axes of motion, and techniques. This DVD goes much further, and explains the usage of on-camera lights. You are in a situation where the interior illumination is too low for your camera to see the subject, and it is beyond your control to raise the ambient light level or bring in a studio light. You need the battery operated camera light. Learn how to use them and all the accessories, as well as the battery systems and chemistries that match them. You are opening a new studio, and you don't want to simply use a tripod on wheels. You want the ease of use and heavy weight of a studio pedestal with a vertical pneumatic lift. Learn how to use them, bleed excess pressure, maneuver and operate them. You have a shot that requires a camera to be inserted underwater, or in a situation where it may be splashed by waves from below. You need an underwater bag, and this DVD shows you how to use the most trusted and popular types. You want a body-mounted camera support that offers you full range of motion, but you don't need a full steadicam or can't afford one. This DVD shows you how to mount and operate the popular PAG Orbitor body mounted system.

DCT-PODS: Focuses on Tripods, Bags, and Reflectors with Mark Bender from Bogen Imaging. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-PODS volume teaches Light Duty Tripods, Medium Duty Tripods, Heavy Capacity Tripods, Camera Bags, Reflectors and much more. The more you use your pro camera, the more you find that it deserves a better ride than a Sears tool bag. Enter pro camera bags, specifically designed to safely and lightly carry cameras and accessories. Learn to pick the right type, and how to make it work for the projects you are involved in. Also, learn how to setup and operate light and heavy tripods, the difference between friction and fluid heads, and what capacity is required of a tripod to do the job. An added bonus is a section on reflector types, what uses they have, and how to get the most out of them.

DCT-TGHM: Focuses on Tungsten and H.M.I Fresnels, with John Gresch from Arri Lighting. This DVD is already included in the DCT-MP/COMMAND Course. However if only specialized instruction is needed, the DCT-TGHM volume teaches Tungsten Fresnels, HMI Fresnels, Changing Lenses, Changing Bulbs, Attaching Softboxes, Using Snoots, Safety, Spotting/Flooding and much more. Just as important as selecting the correct camera and mic, is selecting the proper light kit. The more experienced you become, the less you'll be willing to settle for "natural" overhead fluorescent lights, with blown out highlights, a green cast, and deep shadows under the actors' eyes. You will want to sculpt your frame, light the actors properly and dramatically, and throw shadows on parts of the background that you don't like. You will need a professional fresnel light kit, and this DVD will show you how to use it. It will go into great detail, from the moment you take the lights out of the box, to tearing down the softbox attachment and packing the kit away. The DCT-TGHM is the right DVD for those filmmakers wanting to get more out of their light kits. The information contained is mostly general, and applies to many other lighting systems.

•The DCT-GG3 volume is the latest addition to the Digital Cinema Course. •It is already included in the DCT-COMMAND/PLUS Course. •Combo Pack: In 1080p HD on Blu-ray TM Disc AND 480p SD on a bonus DVD disc. •Blu-ray TM Disc Technology takes you beyond high definition for The Ultimate Learning Experience. •1080p HD Resolution provides an unprecedented learning environment- See every detail! •High bit-rate Audio provides a crisp, clear sound experience. •Blu-ray TM and Standard DVD provide the best of both worlds. •Graphics will speed up the learning of the material for your long-term memory. DCT-GG Vol. 3 - LED & DSLR Tech Guide 2 Blu-ray TM & 2 Standard DVD - 3 Hours

Extras and Accessories DCT-FM1 Field Manual
DCT-PCL Production Checklist
DCT-NP Notepad and Pen
DCT-PCD Pre-Production CD

E-mail: info@digitalcinematraining.com