The Digital Imaging Technician

This Week's Film Crew 101 Guest:

Dino began working in the digital cinema space after the purchase of one of the first Red One cameras. Combined with his extensive background in production, his knowledge of the camera positioned him to stand out as a leading DIT early on as the industry transitioned to digital cinema. In addition to multiple music video credits and TV credits, Dino’s DIT film credits include Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, as well as the Oscar-winning films Gravity and Birdman. Recently, he has worked on The High Note, Irresistible, and Work It.


Listen To The Episode Here:

The Digital Imaging Technician: 

A Digital Imaging Technician, commonly referred to as a DIT, acts as the bridge between production and post-production. An expert on a camera's settings, the DIT's main responsibility is to set up the camera, making sure that they can navigate the menus to change key settings like frame rates or shutter angle if required. 

During filming, the DIT will monitor the live signal of the camera for anything that is technically "illegal" that can distort the image. For instance, if a highlight is too hot and the image is clipping, they will radio the DP and notify them that a change needs to be made in the camera to correct the image. Though it is not formally their responsibility, the DIT will also take part in maintaining the quality control of the image and will discretely let the camera team know what changes can be made if something is out of place.

On set, the DIT will call the reloads when data needs to be offloaded off of the camera's SSD hard drive. The DIT takes the data from the hard drive and makes multiple copies of it for production and post-production teams. Sometimes, they will take that footage and sync audio to the video and color grade the footage, creating transcodes. They will then turn this footage over to editors to begin to cut the project together. 

In prep, the DIT will work with the DP to make sure they have the correct gear for the shoot and work to get this equipment ready. When they arrive on set, a DIT will first check-in with the ACs to make sure that the camera's settings are ready for the day. Then, they set up their monitor, monitors for the director of photography, and cables that allow the DIT to interface with the Video Tape Recorder, who will operate playback for the Director on set. Once filming begins, the DIT will stay at the monitor to watch for anything unusual in the shot. When the camera's SSD hard drive (or camera mag) is close to full, they will take those drives and offload them onto their computer and multiple external drives for the production. Once the data has been moved, they will go to the sound department to offload the audio as well. Throughout the day, this process will be repeated multiple times. 

At wrap, the DIT will collect the final cards and create the final transcodes, label the drives, deliver the drives, and complete the reports that are required of them at the end of the shoot day.  


What’s a DIT good at?

Working with computers: A DIT must be comfortable with computers, software, and working with different computer systems. As Dino puts it, "These digital cameras are essentially computers." This requires an ability to troubleshoot and the patience to eliminate potential issues and find a solution. 

Photography: The DIT helps monitor and make sure that the camera image is at its best on any given production. Having an understanding of and a love for exposure. Knowing what exposure is, what it does, and how to get it right is essential for this position. 

Working with people: The DIT interacts with the DP, the Camera Department, the Script Supervisor, Producers, and the Post-Production team including editors and sound mixers. It's important to be able to treat people respectfully and communicate effectively in this role. 

Who does a DIT work with?

Digital Utility

Digital Loader

Video Tape Recorder (VTR) 

Camera Department

Grip & Electric Department

Key Grip


Post Production Teams

Assistant Editor


How do I become a DIT? 

Dino advises that you PA for six months to a year so that you can get to know the rhythm of set and how things work. If you're eyeing the camera department and want to be a DIT -- keep your computer skills sharp. Move to the camera department and become a Digital Utility and Digital Loader. Make connections and start taking smaller jobs as a DIT to build up your resume.  

Pay attention to forums to build your network, developing a rapport with other people that will help you out as you build your career. Get to know DITs that you can recommend when you are not able to take a job. 


What is the salary range?

A non-union DIT's rate will depend on the budget but is open to negotiation. A non-union DIT can make up to $550 per day, not including a kit box rental fee if you're bringing your own equipment. 

A Union DIT often makes between  $600-900 a day, not including a kit box rental fee if you're bringing your own equipment. For more information on union salaries and how to join a union, visit


What is in a DIT’s kit box?


Professionally-Graded Monitor


Hard drives

Drives (to transcode on)

A DITs cart can hold $100,000-$200,000 in gear and can be rented to the production for a kit box rate of $750-$1500 per day. 


Position Terminology

Frame Rate: The speed at which images are shown in a video, usually expressed as frames per second (FPS).  

Shutter Angle: A useful way to describe the relationship of shutter speed to frame rate. Click this link to learn more:

Clipping: This occurs when the intensity of a certain area of the image falls outside either the minimum or maximum intensity that can be represented in an image, resulting in a loss of image detail. The parts of the image that are clipped will appear as a block of either the maximum or minimum brightness allowed for the image. 

Transcodes - Lower resolution footage that the DIT gives to production and post-production teams. 

MOS: Stands for Motor Only Sync. Indicates that a segment of the film has no synchronous audio. 

Luminance: The measured value of brightness of the image, expressed in "foot-lamberts" as the measurement of reflected light on motion picture screens. 



Learn More:  

Dino Georgopoulos:

Harry Wolohon:



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