What does a digital imaging technician do?
Digital imaging technicians (DITs) are digital camera experts who work closely with the camera supervisor (also known as the director of photography) to achieve the right look for the TV production.
The role varies depending on the type of programme being made and the genre. The role of a DIT in unscripted TV is quite different from the role of a DIT in film and TV drama, which often involves assisting a director of photography on shooting in digital as opposed to film.
In an unscripted TV studio show, DITs may be asked to advise on live pictures, looking at exposure and colour and adjusting them as necessary. In large multi-camera shoots, they set up the cameras, making sure they all match in terms of colour, look and exposure, whatever the model or format.
In unscripted TV, the role of a DIT is similar to the role of a data wrangler. Data wranglers take the cards containing the raw files (known as ‘rushes’) from the cameras and sound recordists and back them up on to memory drives. DITs do that, but they might also set up the cameras and advise on live pictures. Whether the role is known as DIT or known as data wrangler depends on the preference of each production and the extent to which the role is adjusting the live picture or backing up the data.
What’s a digital imaging technician good at?
- Digital photography: understand contrast, focus, lighting, cinematography and colour, have a good eye for grading raw footage
- 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
- Digital cameras and computers: have expert knowledge of cameras, file formats and storage media
- Problem-solving: be able to fix kit, tech and cable connections