Main Job Description Of Camera Operator

What does a Camera Operator do?

Camera operators are the ones behind the scenes operating film or video cameras to capture footage for televisions shows, commercials, documentaries, events, and film. Many camera operators specialize in shooting footage for a specific industry, such as those working in the film industry or those working for an advertising firm shooting commercials.

How to Become a Camera Operator

There is no minimum requirement to become a camera operator, though a bachelor’s degree may be necessary to gain an entry level position. If you do not have experience, employers will look for applicants with a formal education in a related field such as broadcasting or film. If a camera operator is already in the field and has experience, they may not need to show a formal education as they may have built a reputation. According to O*NET OnLine, over 60% of camera operators surveyed reported having at least an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree.

Job Description of a Camera Operator

Camera operators shoot footage with television or motion picture cameras to capture scenes for a director. They would need to be knowledgable in composition and lighting techniques to ensure the angle, lighting, and story of the scene is conveyed as intended. They would also use various lenses and filters when necessary to accurately capture the moment.

Camera Operators Career Video Transcript

Whether it’s the silver screen of 1950s Hollywood or the computer screen and YouTube of today, Americans have long carried a torch for moving pictures. When the director yells “Action” the camera operator’s eyes are glued to the camera’s lens, making sure to catch everything. There are three main types of camera operators

Studio camera operators work in broadcasting and follow directions as part of an ensemble production. They film their subjects from a fixed position. Cinematographers film motion pictures. They determine the angles, lighting, and types of equipment that will best capture a shot

Camera Operator

A camera operator records the visual images that make up movies, television shows, news broadcasts, music videos and televised news and sporting events. If you were to visit the set of a movie or television show, you would see the “cameraman” filming the action. He or she may also film live events like concerts and sports. When a news reporter broadcasts from a remote location or from a television studio, the camera operator records it for the audience at home to watch either live or at some later time

Employment Facts

There were about 21,400 camera operators employed in 2012. Most camera operators work full-time, but those who film motion pictures may have periods of unemployment between projects. There may also be times when overtime work is required to meet deadlines. Some camera operators work on a freelance basis. Jobs of this nature may require that one has his or her own equipment.

Educational Requirements

Many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in film or broadcasting, or in a related discipline. This formal training, however, is not enough. One needs to learn what actually goes on during film production. In order to do that, an aspiring camera operator begins his or her career as a production assistant in the camera department. After time spent doing simple tasks, which often includes running errands, he or she may become a camera assistant, before eventually becoming a camera operator.

Other Requirements

Will you make a good camera operator? The answer to this question relies on your soft skills or personal qualities. If you are creative, have good visual skills, eye-hand coordination and can pay attention to detail, you have a better chance of succeeding in this occupation than someone who does not have these qualities. You must also have good communication skills, including the ability to understand what others are telling you and the ability to convey instructions. You will have to receive and understand instructions from directors and producers as well as give instructions to your assistants.

Advancement Opportunities

Some camera operators make a career shift within the entertainment industry, eventually becoming directors or producers.

How to Become a Camera Operator

What is a Camera Operator?

While the Director and the Director of Photography set up the mood and the style for each shot, the ones who are hands-on behind each shot are Camera Operators, who combine their technical knowledge with creative input to make sure each clip is a perfect fit for the final product

Camera Operators work under the Director and Director of Photography and often work closely with technical departments to include sound and lighting. Camera Operators work across a variety of mediums recording moving images. They create the film for music videos, corporate productions, films, TV programmes, and commercials. In this article, we will be discussing what responsibilities you can expect from this role, and the key skills you will need to become a Camera Operator.

What does a Camera Operator do?

Camera Operators usually start working in early pre-productions, attending technical recces with other Heads of Department. They execute the instructions of the DoP and the Director while being responsible for their Assistants and Trainees. If and when technical issues arise, the Camera Operator is responsible for resolving these problems.

After shots have been rehearsed and the camera has been positioned by the DoP, it’s the Camera Operator’s responsibility to take care of all aspects of the operation of the equipment. Importantly, they will follow a camera script adhering to the directions of the Director. To stay ahead in this role it is important to study scripts before filming to ensure the smooth running of the production

Camera Operators have the responsibility of setting up the equipment before any shot and of keeping everything ready for any last-minute changes. They also oversee the work of their Assistants and Trainees in maintaining and preparing the equipment.

WORKING AS A CAMERA OPERATOR

What Does A Camera Operator Do

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. Editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product. They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production

How To Become A Camera Operator

Film and video editors and camera operators typically need a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting

Education

Most editor and camera operator positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to film or broadcasting, such as communications. Many colleges offer courses in cinematography or video-editing software. Coursework involves a mix of film theory with practical training

Training

Editors may complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers may offer new employees training in the type of specialized editing software they use. Most editors eventually specialize in one type of software, but beginners should be familiar with as many types as possible.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certification is a way for editors to demonstrate competence in various types of editing software. To earn certification, video editors must pass a comprehensive exam. Candidates can prepare for the exam on their own, through online tutorials, or through classroom instruction

WHERE’S THE BEST PLACE FOR CAMERA OPERATORS TO MAKE MONEY AND FIND JOBS?

Two of the hardest things to get a handle on in the film industry is how much you can expect to make and where the jobs are. Well, thanks to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we can remove some of that guess work and find out about the average wage of a camera operator, where the most jobs are, and how much the industry is projected to grow.

On average, camera operators make about $49k annually

The mean annual wage for camera operators in 2012, according to the BLS, was $49,260. But let’s take that with a grain of salt. Why? Because that number gets inflated by the people at the high end of the spectrum; meaning if Roger Deakins gets included in the pool, he single-handedly inflates the mean annual wage which is calculated by averaging all wages together.

Which is lower than other film occupations, but higher than still photographers

Of course none of these wage numbers mean much if we don’t have context to put them within. In this case, it’s helpful to compare what camera operators make against others in the film, television, and media industries as well as against the average wages for all occupations in the US economy

When you do that, as we have in the chart above, there’s good and bad news. The good news is that camera operators make more money than the national average and, when you isolate camera operators within the “Motion Picture and Video Industries,” the annual mean wage jumps to $57,100. The bad news is that, compared to some other common production jobs, we’re lower on the scale.

The conventional wisdom is true; the most work is in California and New York

According to the BLS, California and New York are the states with the most employment of camera operators with both states besting the third state on the list, Florida, by almost double the number of camera operators employed

Choose Good Party Planner For Your Memorial Party

Best tips from party planning pros: how to make your event unforgettable

Rachel Senner, Senner of Attention

My best tip for creating an unforgettable event is to tie in touches that will bring everyone together. Sometimes people meet, grow closer, or bond stronger because of a fun game, touching photo slide, or song choice. These small things here and there can create a special experience no one will forget.

Megan & Cedar Watson, Paper Goat Post

Our best tip for creating an unforgettable event is to PLAN! If you think through all the details and set a solid plan, you will be able to execute the event based around the goals set during your planning. If you run into any bumps during the execution, you’ll be able to “WORK YOUR PLAN” and respond in a calm and appropriate manner.

Elle Anderson & Sydney Thompson, Elle A Events

I would say the best tip for an unforgettable event is to be ‘open minded’. Every client is different and their happiness comes first … always.

Ashley McAllister, The Party Girl

Make a killer backdrop. I have a super simple PVC pipe frame I use for pretty much everything, and you can get very creative. Use it as a showstopper behind your food table, and later on, let it steal the show on Instagram since it does double duty as a photo booth backdrop once everybody is warmed up!

Andressa Hara, Twinkle Twinkle Little Party

The best tip for an unforgettable event is choosing a unique and relevant theme that carries through the party decor and food/sweets. Creating an eye-catching set up/presentation with a story behind it will definitely give the guests something to talk about.

Tips for a Stress-Free Party

Simple Planning

Planning a party or event shouldn’t be stressful or intimidating. By staying organized and starting early, you can plan, create and host a memorable affair with ease. Download and print our detailed party planning checklist to make the process even easier, from one month before the party to an hour before your guests arrive. Photography by Michael Bullock

Get Organized

I always keep several lists that I continually update through the planning process: a master to-do list where I highlight every task that must be accomplished, a shopping list that ensures I won’t forget any supplies, and an all-important guest list where I track contact information, dietary restrictions and RSVPs

Create a Theme

Milestones like birthdays and holidays can be even more festive when a creative theme is chosen to set the tone. Transform your space into a south-of-the-border fiesta by serving margaritas and hiring a mariachi band, or throw a Great Gatsby-inspired brunch with croquet on the lawn. The possibilities are endless

Send Out Invites

Although online invitations are perfectly acceptable for last-minute get-togethers, there’s nothing quite like a mailed invitation to set the tone for a party and build anticipation for the fun in store. There are plenty of online stationery companies offering chic well-designed invitation designs, or you can get creative and make your own. A brightly colored square of card stock embellished with finds from local craft stores is every bit as special as custom invitations (and for a fraction of the cost, too)

Offer a Self-Serve Bar

The key to a simple drink service? Set up a self-serve bar so guests can be their own mixologists. Set up a pretty tray with a decanter, two or three kinds of liquor and a few festive mixers. Let everyone have fun creating their own concoctions. Welcome guests with a drink upon arrival by placing a tray of champagne and sparkling water near the door so they can grab some bubbly and start mingling as soon as they arrive.

Your Quick Guide to Becoming a Kickass Party Planner

You have a knack for throwing parties. From ingenious themes right down to the amuse bouche, ideas come to you and things just naturally flow from there. Time and again, a gathering you’ve organized has turned out to be the party of the year.

To launch a full-fledged party planning business, you’ll need to get strategic. Being a professional party planner is about a lot more than good taste and impeccable conversational skills. You also have to be a gifted multitasker, financially astute, and perhaps most importantly, ultra-calm under pressure. When the shi…ndig hits the fan, can you keep calm and party-plan on?

Upgrade your event experience

It’s the chicken/egg thing: you need experience to get jobs, but it takes jobs to get experience. Here’s how to get around this paradox.

Consider industry training

In the party planning business, official training is a nice to have, not a have to have. Experience and talent are definitely more important than training.

Put your skills into perspective

Flair for a good time aside, there are some practical traits that will make you a better party planner. A lot of these traits could work in almost any job posting. But they’re particularly true for party planning.

Ways to Simplify Party Planning

Plan Slowly

Don’t stuff a week’s worth of party planning into one stressful Saturday. “Separate the planning of each party component over a couple of days,” says Jessica McTaggart of Pink Champagne Events. Spend one evening focusing on the menu and another on your DIY centerpieces—and allow for plenty of relaxing downtime in between, if possible.

Perfect Your Guest List

It doesn’t matter if it’s an intimate dinner party or a big holiday; maintain a careful eye on your guest list—and not just to keep the headcount in check. “Make sure you have the right mix of visitors,” says Meg Stepanak of Gemini Event Planning. For an intimate gathering, she recommends inviting at least a few extroverts to “engage even the shyest guest, find common interests, and relax the crowd.”

Send Invites Early

Unless you’re secretly hoping some of your guests won’t show up, make sure to send out invitations at least six weeks early—six months if they’ll be attending from out of town, says Heidi Hiller of Innovative Party Planning. Emailed invitations, like Paperless Post, are acceptable for most events, but “the level of respect you give your guest when inviting is the level of respect you get in your attendance. Casually done, it can be ignored,” she says. Need a firm headcount? Hiller recommends formal invitations.

Stick With the Tried and Tested

“We all flock to Pinterest for the latest trends, but I don’t recommend trying something for the first time when preparing to host,” says McTaggart. When planning your menu or decorations, make sure to pick recipes and DIY projects you’ve successfully completed before—otherwise you might find yourself up to your elbows in glitter and stress three hours before your party.

Consider a Buffet

Even for professionals, menu planning can be a struggle—so why not consider a buffet? “A buffet menu allows guests to build their own plate,” says Stepanak, meaning they can pick their favorite mains and skip their least-favorite greens. And don’t force yourself to work in the kitchen all day before the party: prepare appetizers and salads ahead of time.

Here’s What Makes a Great Party Planner

They love people

While every party planner should have a good amount of event experience, no amount of mastery can compensate if the person isn’t pleasant to work with. Eventbrite’s Ronnie Higgins reminds event planners in a recent blog post that their people skills should be number one. He explains that to successfully work with a wide range of people, a planner needs to be able to quickly resolve conflicts, be a confident but pleasant negotiator, and have a sense of humor.

They’re organized

Let’s face it: Party planners are often so crucial because there’s just so much planning to do! Even if you’re naturally organized and a master of systems and checklists, a great planner should have processes in place that top even your best DIY ideas.

They track stats and data

Did you know that event planning software and analytics tools are a big market for event planning professionals? Many of today’s top planners use some form of data products to keep them on budget and on time.

They take their work seriously

Even if you find out about a party planner from a referral or mutual friend, it’s wise to take the time to research their business and ensure they do things like a professional. Start with their website or social media platforms to see how they communicate. Look to see that they have more than one way to reach them. Can you call? What about text or email?

They can provide references

More than just online reviews, a seasoned event planner will likely have references who can speak to their work. To take things a step further, it might also be helpful to ask if they have references that aren’t just former clients.

Use Wedding Videographer To Make Wedding Memorial

What Should You Look for in a Wedding Videographer?

You may have already decided you’d like to hire a wedding videographer, but there’s still a lot to think about. First, do you want to have your entire day captured on video, or just the ceremony? Are you hoping for a chronological look at your nuptials, or do you prefer a more cinematic film with different parts of the day all mixed together? With varying video styles, personality types, and working styles, you’ll want to be sure you’ve found a videographer who checks all of your boxes. But what exactly should you look for in the pro you choose?

Hire friendly photographers and videographers. 

There is a lot to capture on your wedding day in a short amount of time. Both your photographer and videographer will film the same key scenes: getting ready, first look, ceremony, speeches, reception, etc. Coordination is important, so try to hire a photographer and videographer who have worked together before. This way, they will likely have systems in place to make sure each captures those special moments. Ask your wedding planner for recommendations or have your photographer to suggest a videographer (or the other way around) for a seamless day-of experience.

Find a filmmaker who is comfortable with your venue type.  

Found a filmmaker you love but notice that all of their films take place outdoors and you’re getting married in a ballroom? Raise the question to the filmmaker before you hire them and make sure they’re comfortable shooting in your wedding setting. Request sample films to watch and show them an example of a film you like from your venue (or a similar) and confirm they’re comfortable shooting in similar circumstances.

Understand what’s included in your package.  

As wedding films have increased in popularity, so have the package options and the terminology. Understanding everything that comes in your package will help ensure you aren’t disappointed later. When your filmmaker sends you examples of what comes in your package (Instagram teaser, trailer, full edit, etc.) make sure to really watch each example and be sure it’s the type and amount of coverage you want!

Raw Footage: What is it?

Generally Raw Footage means “unedited footage”.  This can be quite useless to a couple because it will include all the camera movements and sounds that are native to making a film.  When a documentary videographer edits the full ceremony, for example, he takes all these unwanted aspects out and “edits” it in a more appealing way.

For example, the videographer will probably have at least two cameras. One may be “locked off” on a tripod facing the crowd or the altar etc and it will not move for the entire ceremony which could be an hour long. However, this camera may not have any sound because the videographer is using separate sound recorders which have to be synced in editing.  The second camera, the one in the videographers hands will have lots of undesirable footage as he moves from one shot to another whether by re-framing (zooming) or by physically moving.

What Is Their Final Product?

And the last but perhaps most important thing to know is what you should expect for a final product. Of course, you should always make sure to read every contract from your vendors extremely carefully, but that is especially true for something as important as wedding documentation. You need to know what type of video your videographer specializes in. Are they creating more of a feature film of your day with full edits, background music, voice overs, etc.? Are they doing a less-edited, more natural view of your event? Are they only providing you with one full-length film or are they also including a highlight reel for social media sharing? Most of these questions will be apparent in a sampling of their work that you should take time to watch before making your decision, but you can also ask them to describe their work themselves during a consultation.

PACKAGES

From Teasers to Full-Length Documentaries

Here are some of the most popular package options you’re likely to see when hiring a videographer

  • Highlight Film (3-10 min) – With many videographers, the highlight film is the final product you will receive. More commonly, this film is non-linear and takes a more modern approach, where the videographer has truly created a piece of cinematic art out of the events and moments throughout your day.
  • Short Film (10-20 min) – If you decide on a package with a short film, you will receive an edited version of your wedding footage that takes a more linear form, often including a portion of your vows, reception toasts, etc. Depending on how long you book your videographer, the film may also include getting ready footage, first look footage, and grand exit.
  • Same day edit (4-10 min) – Some videographers offer an option to have footage from your wedding edited on the spot and shown during your reception. This can be a fun surprise for guests on the day-of!
  • Full-length documentary (30-90 min) – If you are interested in reliving the majority of your day, this option is for you! Your videographer can create a longer film that includes entire sections of your wedding, like your ceremony. Due to the length, this option is the most like a true movie of your wedding.

Most videographers offer additional options to receive additional footage from your day. A few popular add-ons include: dancing, full edit of ceremony/reception, father/daughter dance etc.