Planning a Placement

Last year, in Poland, I attended a wonderful festival called Camerimage. It is the predominant international festival for cinematography. Professionals from all aspects from the industry are drawn to it from all corners of the globe for a week of learning, networking and watching great films. It was at this festival in 2014 that I met a wonderful company called Vantage film. They are a German rental house of lenses, cameras, accessories, grip equipment and more. They are also known famously as Hawk lenses as they manufacture 1.3x and 2x anamorphic lenses used on many big Hollywood film sets. I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the main representatives of the company, Alexander, James, Peter, Wolfgang and Andreas. I was struck by how down to earth they were when speaking to film students. They were passionate about what they did and educated anyone who wanted to know more about their company.

 Therefore, when I had the opportunity to do a placement with a company related to film in March 2015, I sent out one email addressed to Alexander asking for a 7-week placement at the company in Germany. Within a week, my placement was finalized and I would be heading to Vantage Film in Bavaria in September 2015. I would be working on the camera floor as a technician, repairing, cleaning, testing the equipment and prepping camera tests for camera crews when they came to visit.

 Over the next few months, I read and read and read everything about Hawk and Vantage I possibly could. What their lenses were? How they were made? What the Bethke effect was? I wanted to be prepared for my first day at work!

 I made a list of what I hoped to accomplish at Vantage:

·   Learn how lenses are made and repaired

·   See how filters can be compared and contrasted

·   Test all the lenses that Vantage has to offer (& compare the 1.3x and 2x anamorphics)

·   See what T1 looks like

·   How underwater housings work

·   Learn the menu of the Alexa inside and out

So, when it came to my first day at Vantage, I got my notebook ready for its pages to filled with ink over the next coming 7 weeks.