Amazing reference! May
leave you a soulless husk if you read it all the way
through..., January 9, 2007
I bought this book when I was hired to AC
for a project on equipment I had never worked with
before. For one of those, "Holly crap! I agreed to do a
job I only know how to do part of!" moments, this book
is great. Every question I could think of was answered
thoroughly and I mean THOROUGHLY. If you want to learn
exactly what the responsibilities of an Assistant Camera
Person are and how best to execute them read this book!
If you are a working AC and want an easy to read,
text-book style reference this is it.
The Best Book On The
Subject. PERIOD., December 3, 2005
Nothing comes close to David Elkins'
book. It's that simple. This is the best, most complete
book on the job of the camera assistant. PERIOD. If you
are new to the job of the camera assistant, this book is
an absolute must have. If you are a seasoned "vet" who
has years of experience working on motion picture sets,
again, this book is an absolute must have. Elkins' total
description of every aspect of the AC's job is so
concise, it's like a classroom in a book. Loaded with
every conceivable diagram and chart, and covering every
motion picture camera currently being used, this book
goes well beyond your typical "job description" type
The bonus materials alone make this book invaluable.
Along with the companion website, the reader has vast
amounts of precious material available for when the job
calls for it...label templates, charts, manufacturer
links and contacts, the list goes on and on and on. The
best part is the writing style is clear and informative,
almost like Elkins himself is teaching you as you go.
Look no further than this book. It's all here.
The Best Technical Book on
Moviemaking, November 29, 2005
David Elkins's The Camera Assistant's
Manual, Fourth Edition is the best technical book
around, and one of the best books on movies, period.
Dave manages to cover every aspect of an assistant's
job, no matter how obscure or infrequently encountered.
But the completeness is only one aspect which recommends
it to any aspiring or working cinematographer.
Written in a clear, conversational manner, Dave manages
to demystify both the jargon and the sometimes strange
job of an assistant. His accounts of procedure for both
first and second assistants clarify what we in the
business call "industry standard": the accepted,
professional way of conducting yourself and doing a job.
Outside of a job on a
Hollywood set, it is nearly impossible to learn these
classic, time-saving routines. And unless you've been a
pro in the business, you're not going to know about such
things as the relative merits of Magliner and Rubbermaid
carts for hauling equipment.
The book covers the general characteristics of film,
cameras, and lenses in such a way as to give a general
technical education. Dave also gives a valuable overview
of the camera department and its place in film
What many readers will find most useful are the sections
on troubleshooting, the diagrams and threading patterns
of every currently used camera, and the wealth of forms
and lists to organize the on-set work.
I've tried to give a good idea of what the book covers,
but it contains much, much more. I've been using The
Camera Assistant's Manual since the first edition. This
is the biggest and the best version. I only wish that,
when I started as a camera assistant, I had had access
to such a clear, helpful book.
Beginner to Pro,
October 17, 2005
The 4th Edition of the Camera Assistant's
Manual by focal press author David Elkins is a must have
for the beginner as well as the seasoned pro. From how
to set up a darkroom, to threading diagrams on all "in
use" cameras, to lifelong useful tables and charts, this
edition has it all.
Must Have Manual,
September 27, 2005
The Camera Assistant's Manual is a must
have reference book for both beginners and experienced
professionals in the camera department. If you are a
beginner, this manual will teach you all of the basics
as well as the advanced details of camera assisting.
Although not a substitute for actual experience, author
David Elkins also coaches you on how to act efficiently
and professionally on a set. This can save you countless
embarrassing blunders on your "first barbeque." But
before learning all of the AC's duties, the reader is
introduced to the basics of cinematography and a
complete overview of the camera department. This is
extremely helpful - allowing the beginner to understand
the "big picture" first. If you are an experienced
professional, Elkins gives you hundreds of tips and
suggestions that will add to your knowledge base and
help your job go smoothly. This 4th edition contains the
most complete and up to date camera diagrams, tables,
and formulas of any single reference source. Imagine
your relief when you have to load and thread a new
camera for the first time. The Camera Assistant's Manual
is worth it's weight in gold.
The Camera Assistant's
Manual is a great tool to have., April 30, 2005
The Camera Assistant's Manual, 4th
edition is packed with a wealth of valuable tips,
tricks, explanations, illustrations, and suggestions for
the modern-day camera assistant. This is a good book to
have, an excellent reference for a working professional
camera assistant and a great teaching tool for film
students and people new to the camera department. The
companion website offers a collection of links and
forms, a superb resource that is always accessible.
THE Textbook for Assistant
Camera, March 17, 2000
Having been trained by David Elkins from
the original manuscript of this book, I was eager to
read the second addition.
This book is the perfect primer for the beginning
Assistant Cameraperson. The details of the camera
department, each department broken down into chapters,
gives not only an overview, but a detailed step by step
description of the tasks and duties of an Assistant
This has been an invaluable text book for my
beginning Film Students.