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What it Takes to be a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT)

A (DIT) Digital Imaging Technician’s Role:

In a snapshot glance, the Digital Imaging Tech (or DIT) takes memory cards from the Camera Department and transfers the files to a hard drive. They'll back those files up once or twice, depending on the project. The principal duty of a DIT is to keep any footage that was filmed secure and replicate it in case they run into any future corruption issues. In addition to importing the files into an editing program and organizing them in a way that makes sense for an Editor to utilize them when they join the job.

When hard drives replaced movie canisters, Digital Imaging Technology turned into a profession. Their job appears simple, however, if there is a bad DIT on set, then it can cost a production millions of dollars. It is the primary obligation of the DIT to make sure all footage shot will be there when it comes time to edit.

Advancement as a Digital Imaging Technician (DIT):

To advance as a Digital Imaging Technician one must always work to build relationships in order to be considered for new projects on film sets. As a result of the gig economy, somebody who may be positioned as a Production Assistant could be directing a cool job or be a contact point later on. Try to always be looking for more responsibility, which normally involves higher end gear and larger budget movies to manage bigger file dumps as a DIT. Entry-level Digital Imaging Technicians is going to be any type of data management on set. Some positions may not be called DIT but while working on smaller jobs, you end up managing the cards coming in from whatever camera, then you are essentially an entry-level DIT.

It’s not uncommon to fall to DIT work if someone is tech-savvy and can eventually build up their rig to be able to manage more opportunities. As Digital Imaging Technicians build connections and gain confidence, those DITs will operate on larger scale and bigger budget productions.

What kind of Character does a DIT Have?

A digital imaging technician needs to be able to be patient because file transfers are slow moving. A lot of times you're just sitting there waiting for the camera department to bring a new card. An excellent DIT needs to have the ability to take initiative and work while they wait. That means organizing clips within an editing program that will be utilized for post-production use.

Someone that can remain low key in their occupation and be dependable will make an excellent DIT. They're not a rockstar on set but still a very important part of the production puzzle. It's important that a Digital Imaging Technician can function well by themselves, but also interact with a crowd.

Unions, Groups, Social Networking, and Institutions

Digital Imaging Technicians belong to Cinematographers Guilds, which vary state by state. In Los Angeles, it is Local 600. That resource will come into play mostly once a person's career develops. When first breaking in, it can be good to rely on Facebook groups, non-profit movie organizations such as Film Independent and local mixers to push their career forward as a DIT.