What does a Digital Imaging Technician do?
The Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) is a relatively new crew position in the film and television industry. Previously thought of as nothing more than a “data wrangler” the DIT is now widely considered one of the most integral members of the camera crew, bridging the gap between production and post-production, and working closely with the Director of Photography to achieve the optimal look for the project. The reason for this is that what used to be reels of exposed film is now “data” – digitally recorded images stored on cards or drives.
The DIT is almost an extension of the DoP. Helping with digital image manipulations such as aspect ratio, camera settings, resolution, codecs, frame rates and even LUTs (color grading). One of the primary functions of the DIT is to indeed wrangle data—offloading, copying data and keeping data secure in at least three locations. He or she works closely with the Video Assist Operator to get the raw footage ready for dailies—reviewed by the Director, and other members of the production team. As raw footage seldom looks right, the DIT manipulates the footage, applying color grading and other techniques to prepare it for viewing.
Lastly, the DIT is also in the middle of the workflow between production and the post-production team, liaising with the Editor or Assistant Editors and transferring data. The workflow focuses on secure and efficient handoff of data, making sure no prize footage is lost or corrupted during the process.
What's a Digital Imaging Technician good at?
Digital cameras and computers
Have expert knowledge of cameras, file formats, storage media, and computer systems to get the smoothest workflow
Understand contrast, focus, lighting, cinematography, and color. Have a good eye for grading raw footage
Be able to fix kit, tech, and cable connections
Advise the director of photography on the benefits or limitations of particular set-ups, be the liaison between the set and the post-production team, create the best possible workflow between the two
Understand how a film set works, the roles within it, and the production process
Staying calm under pressure
Stay alert in a live environment, adjust picture accurately
Attention to detail
Label files, wrangle the data without loss, notice corruptions
Who does a Digital Imaging Technician work with?
DITs work most closely with the camera department. On some shoots, they are needed at the Director of Photography’s side. They also need a good relationship with the 2nd AC, who gives the footage to the DIT when needed. (On larger sets they’re assisted by a Data Wrangler). DITs will often have to make reference notes for different departments like hair and make-up, costume department, and the Script Supervisor.
How do I become a Digital Imaging Technician?
Typically, Digital Imaging Technicians work their way up through the camera department. One good route into this is through becoming a Camera Trainee.
For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.
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