Whether working on Academy Award-winning feature “Jojo Rabbit,” 1970s comedy series “Minx,” or countless commercials, freelance digital imaging technician (DIT) Eli Berg is a trusted resource on-set. He ensures the proper on-set workflow and setup for capturing the cinematographer’s vision, a role he’s served for 15 years and counting. While Berg customizes his technical approach for each project, AJA’s KUMO 3232-12G SDI router remains a key fixture in his DIT cart.
On projects, Berg’s workflow typically includes a camera connected to a color box, so the DP can monitor the live grade on their onboard camera monitor. That image is also fed to his cart, usually in 4K, or more recently 6K, and directly into KUMO. From there, he sends the signal directly to monitors since it’s already live graded via the color box affixed to the camera. It then goes back into the KUMO to his monitors to VTR, and into his computer via an input card, then back out of the computer into KUMO again, so that he can share the image from his live grading tool of choice. Another monitor feed from his cart also goes through the KUMO and to his waveform monitor.
“KUMO 3232-12G is the linchpin of my entire cart; it’s rock solid and made set up a breeze with the salvos,” said Berg. “I’ve worked on big, slow-moving features and rapid-fire commercial projects on which I’m downloading and transcoding on my own. KUMO is so useful, because it has so much functionality built in, whether I’m doing it all on my own for a project, or I need to route signals to multiple destinations.”
Prior to integrating KUMO 3232-12G, Berg was using a 12×12 router and had to patch gear together with splitters because he lacked sufficient inputs. Now, KUMO 3232-12G is the first stage of any routing workflow and the single device has replaced his previous multi-gear setup. Berg also upgraded all his cables to 12G-SDI so that he’s able to monitor in 4K, whether or not the project requires it.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure the DP and camera crew are completely focused on the creative aspects of production, so I’ve customized my cart to be ready for any situation,” Berg concluded. “When a piece of gear isn’t working properly, I’m limited to what I can contribute creatively, because I’m stuck troubleshooting, so I prioritize gear that I know will work every time, like KUMO 3232-12G. It’s fantastic and I never worry about it failing on me.”
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