Camera Operator Job Description

The Camera Operator films motion pictures, videos, television shows and commercials.

Primary Objective:

  • Camera Operators are needed in the industrial field to film techniques used in creating projects.

  • Camera Operators are needed in the industrial field to film work procedures.

  • Camera Operators are used to make documentaries.

  • Camera Operators are used for educational films.

  • Camera Operators are used to do a variety of informative and entertaining films.

The Camera Operator is very important in all aspects of his work. The filming he does must be good and accepted by the filming industry as well as his employers. Many Camera Operators who work in the industrial filming make films that are vital to help the company make sales, improve work techniques, and train employees. These Camera Operators usually work with a small crew and a very low budget. It is important to note that often they may work alone on a project. Some Camera Operators who are doing a documentary or educational film are freelance film makers and do the project out of their own pocket hoping to sell the film later. This type of Camera Operator usually takes great pains to make sure that what they are filming is something that can be used in the industry that they are making the film. For instances a Camera Operator might decide to create a documentary about a certain athlete in this case they must make sure that there is a market for this athlete. While another Camera Operator might make a documentary on modern technology specifically computers, which is an open film for industry, television, schools, and business making him have a broader market to sell his filmed documentary.

The Camera Operator who works with television shows, making the series on a weekly basis usually works with a crew of Camera Operators. In this case one of them is their supervisor directing how they should shoot a certain scene. Many times this Camera Operator will be working with different cameras and equipment to shoot the series. It is important that every scene be taken exactly as the director requires. The Camera Operators work as a crew with the director of photography or cinematographer. The assistant Camera Operators usually are the ones who thread the camera and set the focus. They clean the camera, handle the “clapboard” load film magazines, and fill out camera report sheets. Camera Operators maybe required taking still pictures of the important characters for promotional advertising needs.

Television and movie Camera Operators do similar work and are usually required to adhere to the same standard of quality work. The Television Camera Operator usually works with video tape and must be able to shoot the show live before an audience. Since a television show is taken live they are not heavily edited nor is it possible to change any of the filming done by the Camera Operator. The Camera Operator must be capable of doing his work under a great amount of tension since the actors and actresses are performing their routine and may change something’s in the midst of the show. The Camera Operator usually shoots some scenes during rehearsals that he can dub into the live production. The Camera Operator must be very good at doing this or the viewing audience will know that things have changed. In some live television productions the Camera Operator must also shoot the commercials live as well. It takes great talent to be able to shoot the commercials live while still shooting the live broadcasts.

Many Camera Operators work with a crew of assistants who help to move the cameras in place and help with the lighting. This is very important for a Camera Operator to have proper lighting while shooting a live production. The Camera Operator who is shooting a film does not have as many technical problems since they can reshoot the scenes multiple times changing the lightning. This type of Camera Operator can also edit his work in the film room and reshoot the scene the next day if he needs too. He can also make changes in his film to help make the scene more acceptable. He can add background, sound, and other things that help compliment the scene when he is shooting a movie. The Camera Operator has many things to contend with when he is doing his filming and must be alert at all times.

Degrees and Training to Become a Camera Operator

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