EOC 001: Interview with Jai Corria, Assistant Camera/DIT

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

This is Jai on the set of Parks and Recreation.

In this take of the EOC Podcast, I speak with Jai Corria, an assistant camera and digital imaging technician with over a decade of industry experience.  Jai has worked in such big titles as Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and  Parks and Recreation. More recently, Jai has also worked on Horrible Bosses 2 and Mall Cop 2. As of this recording, Jai is currently in Pittsburgh, working on another feature film. Go Jai!

In this show we talk about:

  • How and when Jai first started using a camera.
  • A Union Apprenticeship Program that trains you for industry jobs.
  • The best course of action to get your career off the ground.
  • What she would differently if she had to start over.
  • How relationships and involvement can lead to a promotion.
  • A few differences between working in film and TV.
  • The challenges of being an assistant camera.
  • How overwhelmingly onerous (and sometimes unfair) the set life can be.
  • Her advice for future filmmakers.

 

Elements mentioned:

 

assistant camera responsibilities on set

We are not in Kansas anymore. (It’s Pawnee!)

 

Assistant Camera job fun - filmmaking

The extras used to want to play with Jai’s camera. They don’t any more.

Comments

  1. Shirley says

    Yes, Gabe, I do have a question, I got confused about one thing after this interview, according what happened on her, if I like control camera movement, manipulate the light, this kind of things decided by director or cinematographer? Am little panic right now…what if I work as cinematographer but am not allowed to create??

    • Gabe Moura says

      Hi Shirley, thanks for your question. In most movie sets, the director has final word in all creative decisions; he’s the captain of the ship. I would think that more often than not, the director will listen to the cinematographer and follow his/her suggestions and wishes. But in the rare cases that director and cinematographer disagree, then the director has final decision.

      However, if you want to control camerawork and lighting, then you want to be a cinematographer because that’s what they do. A director has other things to worry about, mostly the actor’s performance and story, but the job also comes with a multitude of responsibilities. Click here, and watch the video in the middle of the page to get a taste of all the little things directors have to answer. If you think you would enjoy this kind of control, then maybe directing is for you.

      So if you are worried about control, I would say that as a cinematographer, you will have a lot of it, but in the end, the director can override you.

      • Shirley says

        Thank you Gabe, your answer does make sense.
        I heard some film directors started as screenwriters, film editors or actors.I think start as a cinematography is also a good path,does it work in real industry or just my delusion^ ^?

        And I check that link before, but that video is not available anymore, I tried to google it, but unfortunately didn’t get any result.

        • Gabe Moura says

          Hi Shirley, it’s no delusion at all. People jump to different departments all the time. Sometimes they are forced, other times they choose to!

          (I’m sorry you couldn’t watch the video. I believe it is due to licensing. That particular piece of content may not be available outside of the United States. Well, if you want to be a director, DAY FOR NIGHT is a must-see film. Highly recommend it.)

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