NYC-based freelance camera operator notes size, usability, and recording capabilities as a few reasons she chooses the PIX-E5 on set.

BROOKLYN, NY — When Charlee Harrison left her native North Carolina and headed to NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, her focus was to pursue a career in the film industry. After graduating, Harrison decided to stay in New York City where she now works as a full-time Camera Assistant and Operator.

Charlee Harrison's profile pic

As a freelancer, Harrison embraces the challenge of finding creative video solutions for the various types of productions she works on. Harrison was recently first AC (first assistant camera) on the upcoming feature Ghost Team, starring Jon Heder, Justin Long, and Amy Sedaris. Harrison used multiple cameras for the film, including the lightweight Sony a7S II with the production’s Steadicam Tango rig for specialty shots. In order to record high-quality footage and match it to the production’s cinema-style cameras, she turned to the Video Devices PIX-E5.

“I most often work with the PIX-E5 for recording specialty shots — gimbal, overhead, Steadicam, etc.,” says Harrison. “It’s lightweight, which makes it perfect for mounting directly onto built camera rigs. The best part of recording to the PIX-E5 is that the monitor is high-quality enough for the Steadicam operator to use in composing shots. The usability makes working with it fast and efficient on set, and the record quality makes shooting with it appropriate for theatrical release.”

Charlee Harrison's a7S / PIX-E5 slung dolly rig

Since turning to the PIX-E5 about a year ago, Harrison has been happy with the monitor’s overall performance. “I have been very impressed with the monitor quality of the PIX-E5,” adds Harrison. “As an AC, I feel comfortable confirming focus with the monitor. I have never had a complaint from an operator in using it to frame. It is sharp, and the playback is fast and easy. Personally, I really enjoy the mix of touchscreen and real buttons. The PIX-E5 doesn’t get cluttered with big touchscreen menus and has real buttons to navigate the menu. All of the tools are highly customizable. On the PIX-E5, you can dial-in exact frame lines, which is great when shooting something that the production company wants to pull stills from.”

Another feature Harrison likes is the PIX-E5’s SpeedDrive™ recording and file delivery accessory. According to Harrison, “The SpeedDrives are well-built, small, light, and reliable. The ability to change the media within the custom enclosures is a great cost-effective feature. In addition, by using the PIX-E, I am able to bring on one camera operator for multiple camera recordings. The PIX-E fits seamlessly into my workflow.”

SpeedDrive is a custom-designed PIX-E accessory that streamlines the file-delivery process by eliminating the need for special card readers or docking stations. When connected to the rear of the monitor, the SpeedDrive’s USB 3.0 interface automatically switches to a SATA interface. Users can simply remove it from the back of a PIX-E and plug it directly into any USB computer port to transfer data at very fast USB 3.0 rates.

Charlee Harrison posing with a RED Camera

“For single camera recording, I would recommend the PIX-E Series, hands down,” says Harrison. “With its capabilities of recording H.264 to an SD card and ProRes masters onto the SpeedDrive, it significantly reduces time and money in post-production. The PIX-E5 is an effective and reliable tool that I’m sure I will be using again in the future.”

For more information on her work and services, please reach out to Charlee at [email protected] and @sarahcharleeharrison on Instagram.