New Gear: DIT Tent by Village Blackout

New Gear: DIT Tent by Village Blackout

The latest edition to my kit is a tent, that's right, tent. This tent however is no ordinary camping tent, its  a highly specialized DIT tent, designed to pop up in 30 seconds and tear down just as fast. Its specialty is blocking out all light so the image can be monitored without contamination. While on-set courtesies block direct sunlight, even 2 floppies side by side still leave monitors subject to a massive amount of spill light, colors, glare, and other unwanted distractions. Even lights from set and location that aren't causing viewing problems with the monitors can still play tricks on our eyes and how people perceive color on the screen. Inside the tent is a special, D65-white-point light, which matches the Kelvin temperature the monitors are calibrated to every day, providing an incredibly accurate monitoring environment . Now you know, you really know, even in direct sunlight, exactly what the image will look like when you get to the grading suite, because you are in a grading suite, a portable 6'x6' one but a grading suite none the less.

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In the photos the tent doors have been tied open to show the inside, but generally the doors are always zipped shut or the flap is down to keep as much light out as possible. Vents all around the tent well ventilated, and in the summer time a portable AC unit keeps it cool. It has a water proof top and ties on 3 sides for sandbags in windy environments (and zipped up, it doesn't in rustle that much in the wind).

DIT Cart with a Steadicam

Longtime friend and Steadicam Operator Extraordinaire, Drew Weaver, asked me to help on a music video. The budget was very low, but the art was good, and it had been too long since I had gotten to work with Drew, so I said yes. The job was in the studio and the plan was to live on the Steadicam pretty much all day. Being on a nice concrete floor all day I was feeling pretty bold about my cart build, so I offered to let Drew dock his Steadicam on the cart, along with my 2x 17" monitors, scopes, color wheels, laptop, and battery backup. I was a little worried it would be too much but my Inovativ cart hadn't let me down yet, and had always performed better than even my best expectations so I decided to go for it. 30 minutes later, this wonderful setup was rocking:

On one side is a Red Epic MX, on Drew's custom Steadicam rig, his GPI Pro vest, and my DIT kit on the right half of the cart. Despite all the weight, the cart still handles really well, albeit it is just on a flat concrete floor. Every time the Steadicam goes on or comes off, there is a significant movement on the cart, but things settle pretty quick and the equipment never feels compromised. The best part is, as the camera is being built and prepared I can have direct access to it and the DP, which makes for a smooth, efficient workflow. Not for every job obviously but it was a fun and worked well for the studio environment.