How To Become A Camera Operator
Career Video: Camera Operator
If you enjoy film and television, but wondered how a movie or series is filmed? Who is responsible for filming a cinematic television show or movie? Camera operators! A camera operator captures material for movies, television shows, documentaries, music videos, sporting events, and news events. If camera operating sounds like an exciting to you, you may want to consider a career within the field!
Why Become A Camera Operator
Camera operators are responsible for shooting material to tell a story, entertain an audience, or record an event. Camera equipment plays a crucial role in their job responsibilities, as they utilize their skills to understand what film, lenses, and angles will be needed to film the material. Furthermore, camera operators are responsible for operating camera cranes and camera equipment throughout the entire production.
A camera operator will collaborate with many individuals on set, such as photographers, crew, and directors. Collaborating with a director is the most important aspect of their job, as they must determine the overall aesthetic and vision of the production. Camera operators may utilize traditional film cameras or digital cameras when filming a production.
Qualities & Skills For A Camera Operator
If you are looking for employment within the field of camera operation, be aware that you will need to possess the following qualities and skills for a camera operator position.
- Communication Skills – As a camera operator, it will be imperative that you have strong communication skills, as you will be working closely with various members of the production team, including the director.
- Creativity – Camera operators utilize their creativity to film various angles and scenes while imagining the final outcome for an audience and director.
- Detail Oriented – As a camera operator, you will need to be incredibly meticulous when filming a television series or movie. It is your responsibility to analyze every, single shot and how the director wishes to visualize the filming of a scene.
- Patience – Camera operators may carry heavy equipment, work in severe weather, or stand for very long periods of time. The assignments of a camera operator can vary; it can take several weeks to several months to finish the filming of a film or television series. Camera operators typically work very long, sporadic hours throughout the production of films and television series; therefore, the position requires a vast amount of patience to complete a task.
- Manual Dexterity & Visual Skills – As a camera operator, it is imperative that you are able to move with the action of a shot while holding the camera in a steady position. Camera operators must be able to clearly visualize and see what they are filming in order to achieve the perfect shot.
Camera Operator Work Environment
Camera operators may work on television and movie sets. Camera operators may travel quite frequently and be away for months at a time. As a camera operator, you may carry heavy equipment, work in severe weather, or stand for very long periods of time. The assignments of a camera operator can vary; it can take several weeks to several months to finish the filming of a film or television series.
Camera operators typically work very long, sporadic hours throughout the production of films and television series. The schedule and depth of their work depend on many factors such as location scouting, shooting days, and traveling.
Camera Operator Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed that the mean annual wage of a camera operator is $40,300. The median annual wage of a camera operator is dependent upon experience, education, and budget of the film or television series.
Camera Operator Career Outlook
The career outlook for a camera operator appears to be somewhat promising. From 2012 to 2022, the overall employment of camera operators is expected to grow 3%. Grow in the area of camera operators will be dependent on consumer demand for more cinematic television series or film.
Camera Operator Degree
Throughout the world of camera operating, there are many universities and colleges that offer training in camera operation. You will need to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in camera operating to understand the various techniques and theories behind camera operating. Coursework may include computer technology, camera equipment, digital camera techniques, film stocks, filmmaking, lighting, and camera lenses. Additionally, your coursework may include how to use exposure meters, editing, and sound design.
Bachelor degree programs in Camera Operating will teach you hands-on experience through learning types of filming, production preparation, line production, and post-production. Within your coursework, you may create short films or animations to help refine your cinematic skill set.
Throughout your academic journey, it is crucial to obtain an internship or entry-level positions within television and film sets. It is a wonderful way for you to get your foot in the door and network with individuals.