While we weren’t able to record the Society Of Camera Operators panel moderated by our own Clint Milby, we were able to gather the panelists (Eric Fletcher, SOC, David Sammons, SOC, Bill McClelland, SOC) together during the show in the Zeiss booth to discuss their work, what they love about NAB, the SOC as a whole and more.
A fascinating aspect of the SOC’s is their focus on filmmaking gear. With the Technical Awards they grant each year, the SOC gathers a panel of members who spend a day viewing presentations from the nominees. The award can be granted based on a wide range of criteria, but it basically boils down to how the nominees’ products enhance the life and work of a camera operator. For example, the DJI Ronin 2 was this year’s Technical Achievement Award recipient. Eric Fletcher brings up a troubling statistic that camera operators are killed more than any other position in filmmaking, even more than stunt people. With the Ronin 2, a camera operator doesn’t need to be so physically close to the action that they could be hurt or killed. He brings attention to Mark Milsome, a camera operator that was killed recently just last year in a car stunt who could have benefited from DJI’s Ronin 2. It’s fascinating to see a society not only committed to recognizing and supporting each other’s careers, but also trying to make their very dangerous workplace all the more safe.
Another highlight of this mini panel includes learning more about each of our SOC members present and their careers as a whole. With over 50 years of combined experience, these gentlemen have worked on some of the best film and television to date. Eric Fletcher, for example, worked on the hit shows “Dexter”, “True Blood” and “Desperate Housewives” to name a few. David Sammons’ resume includes the recent Hulu hit “Future Man”, as well as “Shameless” and “Mad Men”. Last but most definitely not least, Bill McClelland has recently worked on “Game Night” and “The Gifted”, but most notably just finished shooting “Avengers: Infinity War”. Hearing about the art and science of camera operating from three pros that know the intricacies of gear and working with actors and other crew and just their day to day work life is a fascinating look into a position that is often passed up for recognition.
You can learn about the SOC and its members from our interview above, as well as at SOC.org