Camera Department

Film Crew Position: 1st AC/Phantom Op

What does a 1st AC/Phantom Op do?

A 1st AC/Phantom Op is a crucial role within the Camera Department on a film set. This position requires a high level of technical proficiency and precision in handling camera equipment, particularly when working with specialized gear such as the Phantom camera.

What role does a 1st AC/Phantom Op play?

The primary role of a 1st AC/Phantom Op is to assist the Director of Photography (DP) in setting up and operating camera equipment, ensuring that shots are executed smoothly and accurately. They are responsible for pulling focus, setting marks, and maintaining the camera's position during the shoot. Additionally, a 1st AC/Phantom Op is tasked with operating the Phantom camera when high-speed shots are required, working closely with the DP to capture specific visual effects.

Do you need to go to college to be a 1st AC/Phantom Op?

While a formal college education is not always a requirement for becoming a 1st AC/Phantom Op, having a degree or certification in film studies, cinematography, or a related field can be beneficial. Alternatively, individuals can gain relevant experience through internships, on-set training, and working their way up from entry-level camera positions.

What skills do you need to be a 1st AC/Phantom Op?

To excel as a 1st AC/Phantom Op, individuals must possess a strong understanding of camera equipment, particularly high-speed cameras like the Phantom. They should have excellent hand-eye coordination, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure. Technical skills such as pulling focus accurately and quickly, as well as familiarity with camera rigging and maintenance, are also essential for this role. Additionally, communication and teamwork skills are vital for collaborating effectively with the DP and the rest of the camera team.

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