After working in different production and post-production positions, Yusuf decided to build his career as a DIT. What he loves most about his job is the constant need to keep evolving – whether in terms of knowledge, skills, or equipment. In this interview, Yusuf gives detailed insights into his current setup and most-loved gear!
First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to this interview! To start, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I live in Istanbul, Turkey and my professional life in the film industry started right after I graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cinema & Television Department. During my time at university, I made various short films and won awards in some national festivals. Afterward, I started my career as a movie editor since I was very into Final Cut Pro for many years. Since 2010, I’m now working as a Digital Imaging Technician on national and international projects.
How did you start out as a DIT, and what does your work look like now?
I started my career as a DIT in the advertising world. So, I was usually working on commercials and movies. Over the past three years, investment in digital content platforms has really increased in Turkey. Hence, I started working on series and movies produced for platforms like Netflix and Disney+. Working on advertisements whenever possible can still be instructive, though. For example, two years ago, I was involved in the Turkish Airlines advertisement shot by director Ridley Scott, which was a very interesting experience.
What I like most about my job is the necessity to constantly update my knowledge, skills, and equipment. This requires me to follow innovations and keep practicing continuously. After putting in all this effort, I’m happy if I can contribute even 1% to the project I’m working on.
We know that every DIT’s setup varies. Overall, how would you describe yours?
My setup is usually fixed, but sometimes I make minor changes depending on the job. I always try to understand the project I’m working on. Then, I determine a plan based on what the cinematographer and production team expect from me. I’m definitely a systematic person; I believe in rules and discipline and always have a plan B for problems that may arise during the project.
Could you walk us through the bits and pieces of your core setup?
Generally, I work with two DIT carts on wheels. I use one in a DIT van as offload and QC station and the other as my live grading setup on set. I usually prefer to work in a team of three: I have a very talented colleague in charge of offloading and QC; and a very promising assistant. As for gear:
For my live grading setup, I have two 24” Konvision 2460D grading monitors and two SmallHD Cine 7 monitors for more challenging environments. I process my live color correction, and my Look Up Table controls through Pomfort’s Livegrade. I use Teradek COLR as LUT box as I find it very practical and useful. To distribute the image, I use a Blackmagic VideoHub router. For video signals, I have Blackmagic SmartScope Duo monitors as my hardware and divergent media’s ScopeBox as software. With two Blackmagic UltraStudio HD Mini, I get great efficiency from this software. Another constant part of my setup is a 12.9” iPad Pro, which I use with the Apple M1 14” MacBookPro Sidecar. I’m a fan of the display technology of these two devices.
For the described setup, I need 220W energy. I usually use generators that provide energy to the set. I have a UPS that can run the whole setup for 1-2 hours in case of any power-related problems. I use an Apple Mac Studio for my offload and QC setup (it’s quite new and the latest addition to my setup, but I’m very happy with its performance). I use BenQ SW271 as a second monitor, which I believe is a great product in terms of price-performance ratio.
Obviously, I also use Silverstack Lab and DaVinci Resolve Studio as software. I can divide my career into two periods: Before Silverstack and after Silverstack. Silverstack Lab is an amazing software; I’m not afraid of anything if I got Silverstack 🙂 So big thanks to the Pomfort team for making my job easier with your software!
Has your setup been involved in any notable stories that you’re willing to share with us?
Once, I worked on a ship sailing for 71 hours from Turkey to Italy. When we arrived in Italy, shooting was canceled due to the weather conditions. Fortunately, back then, I was working with a small setup, so I hadn’t wasted that much time preparing and loading the equipment. Also, a few months ago, we were working at locations involving snowy mountains and muddy puddles. In the end, my DIT cart’s wheels were so dirty that I had to take it to the car wash 🙂
Thanks a lot for sharing all these insights with us!