Camera Operator Job Description
A camera operator is someone whose job is to record moving images for television programs, music videos, documentaries, commercials, sporting events or news broadcasts. Their job involves setting up a camera and deciding the position, taking instructions from directors and senior camera operators, and operating the camera to film events
A camera operator should be well organized, quick-witted, adaptable, patient, resourceful, confident and attentive, and have the ability to carry out instructions accurately. They should be physically fit to carry heavy equipment and stand for long periods. They should also have steady hands and good hand-eye coordination to operate the camera equipment.
What does a Camera Operator do?
camera Operators may do some or all of the following:
- attend and participate in pre-production meetings
- read scripts to understand the production concept
- discuss filming styles with directors and senior camera operators
- follow the director’s vision
- liaise with other members of the camera crew
- set up and position camera equipment
- select appropriate camera lenses, and other equipment such dollies and camera cranes
- check the camera to ensure it is set properly before filming
- operate and control the camera to film events
- repair and maintain camera equipment
- keep up to date with filming techniques and equipment
Where does a Camera Operator work?
Camera operators may work long or irregular hours including early morning, late nights, weekends and public holidays, depending on the projects they’re working on. They work indoors in studios and outside in all weather conditions and locations. They may travel and be away from home for an extended period of time.
What is Required to Become a Camera Operator?
To become a camera operator, you will need to have camera skills. An apprenticeship with a professional camera operator or a degree in videography will be very helpful in obtaining the skills.
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Camera operators need to have:
- manual and finger dexterity
- physical stamina and strength
- confidence and self motivation
- determination and resilience
- accuracy and precision
- good eyesight and normal color vision
- good attention to detail
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good listening and communication skills
- time management and organizational skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- networking and business skills
- multitasking skills
- the ability to operate a camera and use all its functions
- the ability to work well under stress and pressure
- the ability to concentrate for long periods of time
- the ability to follow written, verbal and visual instructions
- the ability to work independently as well as with others
- the ability to be comfortable working at heights
- the ability to accept and respond well to criticism
- the ability to relate to people from a range of backgrounds and cultures
- knowledge of editing equipment and software
- knowledge of health and safety regulations
- knowledge of computer and electronics
- knowledge of choreography and framing shots
- knowledge of video terminology
- knowledge of camera maintenance
Should I be a Camera Operator?
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