In Summary - Camera Operator
The Work - Camera Operator
Camera operators compose and frame shots for film, television and video. Before filming, the camera operator reads through the script to plan camera angles. These are then discussed with the director. The Camera Operator must be able to frame shots, select appropriate lenses and use standard equipment to portray scenes appropriately.
During filming, camera operators wear a headset through which they receive instructions about shooting effects from the director or floor manager. Operators must position the camera precisely and focus the lens at exactly the right moment. When they are not filming, camera operators make sure that their camera is properly equipped and lined up.
Film and video camera operators have more opportunity to be creative than those working as part of a team in a multi-camera television studio. Experienced operators may advise the director on the visual effect of various shots, in order to produce the most effective sequence.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
- Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.
- Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
- Adjust positions and controls of cameras, printers, and related equipment to change focus, exposure, and lighting.
- Confer with directors, sound and lighting technicians, electricians, and other crew members to discuss assignments and determine filming sequences, desired effects, camera movements, and lighting requirements.
- Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
- Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
- Assemble studio sets, and select and arrange cameras, film stock, audio, or lighting equipment to be used during filming.
- Test, clean, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment, including testing microphones, to ensure proper working condition.
- Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Interests - Camera Operator
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
You must have a practical interest in photography, lenses, lighting and simple electronics, along with an ability to compose skilful and artistic shots. Excellent hand-eye co-ordination is required.
Sound, editing and other technical skills may be a requirement of a camera operating post, especially early in a career. You must have creativity and an appreciation for colour and shape.
Personal resilience and self-sufficiency are essential requirements especially if working as a freelancer You should also be physically fit and able to carry heavy equipment. You need to have good communication skills and be able to work as part of a team.
It is important that you have normal hearing and good eyesight. Your colour vision may be tested.
Entry Requirements - Camera Operator
Pay & Salary - Camera Operator
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 20k - k
TV Drama & Film €1,500 - 2,000 per day
Last Updated: March, 2015
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Camera Operator
Useful Contacts - Camera Operator
Institute of Art, Design and Technology - Dun Laoghaire
Irish Film Institute
SIPTU (Film & Entertainment Branch)
Irish Film Board
Galway Film Centre
- Cluain Mhuire, Monivea Road, Galway
- Click Here
Irish Film and Television Network