Digital Imaging Technician: Sean Sweeney

May 7, 2024

OmniScope Featured Interview:

Unlocking the Role of the Digital Imaging Technician

A Conversation with Sean Sweeney

At Time in Pixels, our discussions on video scope applications usually revolve around post-production tasks, color grading, and adding finishing touches. However, with the introduction of OmniScope, we've discovered another group of professionals who heavily depend on scopes to elevate their work: Digital Imaging Technicians, also known as DITs.

With the transition to digital video, the on-set DIT has evolved into a central figure in film and television production. In essence, the DIT ensures that the director and camera crew not only perceive images accurately on set but also ensures a seamless transition of captured footage into post-production.

To illuminate this often unsung role, we recently chatted with Sean Sweeney, a seasoned DIT based in Montreal. With over 15 years of experience in the field, Sean specializes in on-set live grading, data management pipelines, workflow optimization, and much more. His recent work includes the CBS|Paramount comedy series, “Ghosts”.

Hey Sean, thanks for joining us! For our readers, could you shed some light on your role as DIT?

Sure, a DIT is a technician who works with many technical aspects of image acquisition. I work on everything from on-set live grading of the image, exposure management and imaging QC, to remote camera control and data management pipelines. I’m experienced with all the major camera systems, almost all video editing and applications, and studio level content security practices.

How did you venture into this specialized field?

I got into the industry after attending film school. I’ve done a number of jobs before working as a DIT - rolling c-way at a rental house, pulling focus on music videos (back when they were shot on 35mm!), and working in the grip and electrical departments.

Why are video scopes so important for a DIT?

If there’s one thing that’s true in color work –  it’s that your eyes lie. Ambient lighting changes, acclimation, and a host of other things mean that you need an objective touchpoint to the things you’re seeing to help set a baseline. That’s what scopes are for me.

Sean's Toolkit and the Role of OmniScope

Your on-set setup seems quite elaborate. Could you walk us through your current configuration?

Certainly… My current setup consists of an Inovativ Deploy upright cart, heavily modified with Upgrade Innovations and Solid Camera mounting accessories.  I’m running a 14” M-Series Macbook Pro, FSI BoxIO’s, AJA Kumo3232, Sonnet PCIe enclosure, Blackmagic Quad 2, Flanders Scientific CM250 and DM250’s, Tangent color control surfaces, Elgato Stream Decks, BitPart’s BitBox camera control radios and Nobe OmniScope.

Speaking of OmniScope, how has it integrated into your workflow?

I found out about OmniScope from fellow DIT Ian Edwards. He was very excited about the possibilities presented by OmniScope, which got me to check it out.

Omniscope integrated into my workflow extremely quickly. I replaced my hardware scopes with OmniScope and while they’re still useful depending on the use case, the flexibility and power of OmniScope mean I don’t miss them one bit!

Which scopes within OmniScope do you find most indispensable, and what features stand out for you?

I rely primarily on False Color for quick exposure assessment, but for each video feed I also have vectorscopes and waveforms visible.

The modularity and flexibility of OmniScope means that I can build a custom preset for every way I want to work. For example, I presently have a number of different viewing modes set up - full waveform, full false color, mixed scopes, and 3 camera mode - all mapped to my Stream Deck which will change instantly at the push of a button.

OmniScope has a level of customization that no hardware scopes on the market can come close to matching.

It's clear that OmniScope has impacted your approach to DIT work. Any parting thoughts you'd like to share?

Time in Pixels support is second to none.  We often make specific requests or ideas about things the software could do and often within a matter of days the features show up in a new installer. This direct relationship to the people making the tools is exciting and extremely valuable!

Learn more about Sean Sweeney: Instagram, Website, or IMDB.

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