It’s not new that we realize how technology is making our every day life much easier and productive, but some times I can’t help to think it is making us lazy.

I recently attended a film shoot in which I acted as an assistant editor on set. This basically consists in retrieving data from DIT, the guy that pulls the cards out of the camera (no longer film) and transcodes it (no more dailies) applying a LUT or color correction. In this case they had a full blown Davinci Resolve. As he pulled the footage from the cards, he would a apply the correction and save to 3 drives simultaneously. Really cool and effective use of technology. No more waiting for transfer or LUT application to edit offline. So I would stop by mid day and end of day to get the footage the DP has shot.

With this fast workflow it was easy for me to inspect the footage right away only to notice there was no slates at the beginning or end of each shot or take. This caught my attention and right away asked, “Where are the slates?”. “Over rated” the DIT guy said. “You don’t need them anyway” he said. I took my time to process this assertion and try to find the proper way to reply to his hard conclusion, but I realized it is useless to explain the obvious.

So two cameras needed to be synced, both cameras ran arbitrary time code, not even time of day. And no slates present. As I retrieve data I am used to braking the material down by scenes, camera and take number, a task that became impossible obviously. The script supervisor was making notes but no I had no way to identify the shot other than by the poster picture.

So yes technology is making everybody lazier and lazier (not to the ones that need to fix it). I remember this thing happening in audio when the sound recordist wouldn’t care about the quality of the captured audio claiming things would get fixed in post since they ADR it anyway.

We have color correction on set, but don’t ask for a slate.