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  • Cinegirl: Behind the DIT Curtain, A Conversation with Lucy and Ingrid

    When you hear the word ‘DIT’ (Digital Imaging Technician), what comes to mind? If you’re drawing a blank, you’re not alone. Even Ingrid Civet, Training & Development Liaison at Mission Digital, had to google the role when she first started working in production. So, what does a DIT do? Well, this type of work is so fluid in its nature that a one-size-fits-all definition doesn’t quite cut it. From devising workflow for production and post-production crews to managing data to working closely with the DP before and during production – the itinerary is endless and constantly changing depending on the project. It’s no wonder that DIT freelancer Lucy Keal says that being an “all-rounder is a huge advantage” to anyone considering this line of work. One thing is for certain though: DIT’s are a crucial part of helping the DP achieve their artistic vision. We spoke to Lucy and Ingrid (Training and Development Liaison) about all things DIT, freelancing life, access to the role and, for Lucy, being one of the only female DIT’s in the business. Lucy, how did you get into freelancing? I was the go-to editor at university, and I guess DIT work was sewn into that. I soon started getting involved in professional editing and DIT work – eventually projects were coming thick and fast! Freelancing with Mission Digital has been such a breath of fresh air and has made me feel so much more secure – instead of relying on a laptop, a charger and a dream, I now have kit and robust support networks in place. What’s it like being one of the only female DIT’s in the industry? On jobs, people have commented how strange it is to see a female DIT, so I feel like a strange novelty act. I think one of the biggest problems women have in the industry is imposter syndrome – feeling like not knowing everything means you’re not right for the job. DIT’s are expected to know everything to do with the camera and everything to do with post and colour grade, as well as having to keep everything organised, so there really is a lot of responsibility. When it comes to overcoming imposter syndrome, it’s so important to have a support system that you can lean on. That’s where Ingrid comes in! Ingrid, could you tell us about your role and how you support freelancers like Lucy? Working in the production department at Mission Digital means that collaborating with freelancers like Lucy is a given. Having said that, the more we grew as a company, the more I realised that there needed to be a focus on training to ensure talents are well looked after, especially because the role can be quite hard and lonely sometimes. Creating a safe and accessible space in which they can talk and develop their skills was needed. Do you think roles like yours will eventually become more commonplace? There are a lot of resources for directors, cinematographers etc. but I hope that DIT support is something that will keep growing. Having people that look after DITs and their development will be rewarding for everyone involved - I hope that’s something we can continue to create at Mission Digital. Lucy, how important is Ingrid’s role to you? She’s been a life saver! When Ingrid sat me down and asked me what I needed to thrive, it took a lot of pressure off. The job is stressful enough on set, without having to think about the networking and everything around it – so having someone there to help is a huge relief. How can access to the role of DIT be improved? Lucy: It’s starting to happen – Mission Digital have opened the dialogue with people interested in learning. It’s not really presented as a job option at film school, because it seems way too niche. Having a training scheme in place just shows how much progress is being made. Ingrid: I came from a production background and had to learn what a DIT was through Wikipedia because I’d never heard of the role. It’s so much more than just copy and pasting! It’s such a diverse job and it’s developed so much during the digital age so it’s really important for freelancers and companies like Mission Digital to take a step back and start by educating people first. Do you think the pandemic will help spark more interest in this line of work? Lucy: If my friends are anything to go by, yes! A lot of them started off with the 9-5 set-up and either realised they couldn’t do it anymore or had been let go by their company. So yeah, more and more creatives are looking at freelance work as a credible source of income. The volume of jobs out there has also significantly increased – there are so many productions that need people. Ingrid: After the five-month blackout, all the major distributors like Netflix and Amazon needed content ASAP. Honestly, the winter after the first lockdown was absolute madness – there was such a boom in the industry that we didn’t even have time to do short-forms. Whilst it’s slowly getting back to normal in terms of busy periods, the need for content is still really high and people are stepping up to the plate so quickly. Companies are also working hard to make sure rates are monitored, so freelancers can take the risk with more peace of mind. We need to find ways to standardise training across the country - this will hopefully encourage more women to take the risk. That’s what I’m hoping for. What would be your advice to anyone considering work as a DIT and what skillset would benefit a potential DIT? Lucy: Being a bit of an all-rounder is a huge advantage. Understanding cameras and post production also helps, because the DIT is the liaison between those two departments. It’s a case of the more knowledge you have on a floor level, the better. If you enjoy part of being on set but also part of being away from set, working as a DIT strikes the perfect balance. Follow Lucy and Ingrid on LinkedIn. Learn more about Mission Digital. Republished from the Summer Edition 2022 of Cinegirl magazine. Article by Louise Howland

  • Working On His Dark Materials

    A Book Come To Life Ever since Mission Digital began our operations in Wales, we’ve always been on the lookout for great productions to be a part of in the region and we are excited to announce that we have just completed the first block of His Dark Materials directed by Academy award winning Director Tom Hooper and lensed by Justin Brown, whose distinct look makes the rushes look spectacular! Coming in for the second block of filming are two friends of Mission Digital - director Dawn Shadforth, who worked as a director with us on Danny Boyle’s Trust, and Suzie Lavelle who was the cinematographer on a few episodes of A Discovery of Witches. A reunion of sorts if you will. As a story that is very close to the heart of many of the team at Mission Digital (it may have even inspired the naming of children) it goes without saying that we are thrilled to be involved in bringing the adventures of Lyra and Pantalaimon to the screen in a story we think is brilliantly suited to episodic television. His Dark Materials is Mission Digital’s second project with Bad Wolf having serviced the above mentioned A Discovery of Witches, one of the many high end television shows and feature films that we have serviced from our Welsh office located in Penarth. For His Dark Materials Mission Digital are providing the DIT, Digital Dailies and Q Take Video playback services, looked after by Alex Golding, Ram Tripathi, Matt Williams, Alex Dias and James Kahn. Mission Digital have been servicing high end Welsh productions for several years now with credits that include, The Bastard Executioner, Will, Show Dogs, Journey’s End, Born To Kill, A Discovery of Witches and His Dark Materials to name a few. Our Welsh Story Since beginning our operations in Wales, we’ve been on the lookout for great regional productions to be a part of. And last year, we started a very fruitful relationship with Bad Wolf Productions, a TV and film production company that has graduated from shooting A Discovery of Witches onto the much larger, His Dark Materials. His Dark Materials started shooting earlier this year, and has recently finished its first block of filming. This first block was directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) and cinematographer Justin Brown, (The End of the F**cking World) whose distinctive look has made the rushes look truly spectacular. The second block of filming will be helmed by two friends of Mission Digital in the way of director Dawn Shadforth, who worked as a director with us on Danny Boyle’s Trust, and Suzie Lavelle who was the cinematographer on a few episodes of A Discovery of Witches. A reunion of sorts if you will. Mission Digital continue to be hard at work with our team on set, which comprises Alex Golding as a DIT, Alex Dias as our QTAKE Video Playback operator, and James Khan running a digital dailies lab fo the shoot. We’re really proud to be such a significant part of Wales biggest current production, and hope the best for the whole crew during the rest of filming.

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Pages (266)

  • My Policeman

    My Policeman Video Playback About This romantic drama, based on the novel by Bethan Roberts, follows Tom Burgess - a policeman living in 1950s Brighton who is secretly dating museum curator Patrick. Given the societal pressures of the time, Tom marries Marion, a teacher, to hide his relationship with Patrick. However, this secret soon starts to threaten all three of them. Mission provided Video Playback services to My Policeman through playback Operator Alex Dias. Director Michael Grandage Cinematographer Ben Davis Production Company Amazon Studios Mission Talent Alex Dias Shooting Format Alexa LF Mini Links 1/2

  • Credits

    Credits Unwelcome My Policeman Medusa Deluxe Maryland The Outlaws S2 Shark Bait Breeders S3 Doctor Who S13, Ep 8 - Legend of the Sea Devils The Lazarus Project All The Old Knives The Long Goodbye Top Boy S2 Uncharted Fireworks Save the Cinema The Mezzotint Boxing Day The Score The Wheel Of Time In My Skin S2 The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain Princess & Peppernose The Rescue Invasion The Larkins Mrs Harris Goes to Paris Fisherman's Friends: One and All The Sandman My Name Is Leon The Midwich Cuckoos ABBA Voyage Life After Life Anatomy of a Scandal The Outfit The Bubble Pachinko Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre Chloe Billions S6 The 355 Encounter Silent Night A Boy Called Christmas The Great S2 A Bird Flew In Death of England: Face to Face Temple S2 The Outlaws S1 Venom: Let There Be Carnage For Love

  • Medusa Deluxe

    Medusa Deluxe Video Playback About This murder mystery is set against the back drop of a competitive hairdressing competition - a peculiar death of one of their own sows seeds of division in a community where a passion for hair verges on obsession. Mission was delighted to provide Video Playback on this film through Playback Operator Alex Dias. Director Thomas Hardiman Cinematographer Robbie Ryan Production Company EMU Films BBC Film Mission Talent Alex Dias Shooting Format - Links 1/2

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