Production Sound & Video

Summer 2023

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Dan Moore: From Chicago, IL, graduated from college in 1983, and trained as a Video Assist Operator with Cogswell Video Services in 1984, one of the first video assist companies. Steve Cogswell trained many Video Assist Operators and made an impact on how video assist is used on set today that includes a sense of organization and the consistent use of quality equipment. Besides managing the operations on the set of Avatar, Dan worked with Ryan Champney in setting up and dismantling the video infrastructure for all the performance-capture volumes. All cables used for video, timecode, tri-level sync, word clock, data, and even the cable's length had to be color-coded and incorporated onto the stages. With thousands of connections going in so many directions, this made the ability to problem solve much easier. Dan is currently the owner of Video Hawks LLC. Eduardo Eguia: From San Luis Potosi, Mexico, moved to Mexico City in 1995 to work at the Broadcast Televisa Studios as an Editor and Post-production Engineer. He moved to the US in 1998 and in 2010 joined the union. Working as a Video Operator on Avatar, Eduardo was also responsible for building the QTAKE systems and other recording and editorial carts for the 3-story tank on Stage 18 at Manhattan Beach Studios, as well as all the carts for New Zealand. This turned into a blessing for production, since once the carts were completed, COVID shut down the Los Angeles operations which later resumed in New Zealand with the carts that Eduardo built. With the help of Roly Arenas, Storm Flejter, Ernesto Joven, and Peter Joyce, a total of twenty carts were assembled and used in production. Roly Arenas: From Havana, Cuba, graduated from the University of Computer Science Havana as a Software Engineer. He worked in Havana as Graphic Artist and Video Engineer at Canal Havana Broadcast Studios and moved to the United States in 2010. He was hired as an Editor for the Caribbean Broadcasting Company in 2016 and joined the union in 2018. He worked on Avatar building carts and working as a Video Assist Operator. Mike Pickel: From Dallas, Texas, graduated from University of Texas, Austin, with a degree in film. The same year, he moved to Los Angeles to work at Paramount Pictures as a Production Assistant and then transferred to Michael Bay's company, Propaganda Films. There he worked as a PA and then later as a Video Assist Operator on commercial projects. He became a union member in 1995. Sadly, Mike passed away from cancer in 2018 during the filming. He was one of the first Video Assist Operators to work on Avatar: The Way of Water when production commenced. His presence, humor, and talents were greatly missed. So many other Video Engineers from our Local were involved and instrumental in making Avatar: The Way of Water a success. They include Andrew Rozendal, Alex Sethian, R. Scott Lawrence, Joe Kroll, Justin Geoffroy, Ben Betts, Peter Joyce, David Santos, Storm Flejter, Ernesto Joven, and several others. Our Local came through with skilled Video Assist Operators who worked together and challenged that singular often lonely position we all have been accustomed to performing, merging our creativity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Eduardo Eguia assembles a video cart for New Zealand Shooting the pyrotechnic final battle of Avatar: The Way of Water. Photo by Mark Fellman – 20th Century Studios Director James Cameron speaking with the aquatic crew on the set of Avatar: The Way of Water. Photo by Mark Fellman – 20th Century Studios

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