It’s true. They have a personal vendetta against assistant editors. Not the camera operators mind you. The cameras themselves.
I know this is going to start a long-winded dialogue that inanimate objects can’t have vendettas. They aren’t alive! Well, be an AE for a day and your perspective might change.
I’ve seen tapes/discs come back from the field with multiple types of timecode, dropped frames, no audio and sometimes no video. Any reasonable person (obviously not an AE) would say operator error but I stand fast and true that the cameras are out to get you.
Fortunately, Avid is a revenge seeker. It can’t make unrecorded video or audio reappear on a tape but it can do something about the different types of timecode and the dropped frames. Avid’s Capture Tool is so smart that if it detects a different type of timecode from what first appeared on the tape (drop frame vs non-drop frame), it lets you know about it! A nice little error message that tells you a different tape has been inserted into the deck. The AE knows that isn’t true because it is still the exact same tape. In this case, it is an easily solved problem. Give the tape a new name! Done! Most AEs will keep the initial tape name and then add DF or NDF at the end of the tape name to make it apparent to future users that it was the same tape with multiple timecodes on it.
And the dropped frames? Let them drop! In the General Tab of the Capture Settings, an AE has the choice of letting Avid alert them to the dropped frames or just letting them come in as they are. The tape has to be digitized anyway, so let the footage come in, warts and all, and see what it looks like when it’s in. It’s on the tape and there isn’t much that can be done about a bad tape.
This fight is between cameras and Avid and AEs are caught in the middle but if it came time to choose a side, I would bet on Avid.