Film and TV Camera Operators Job Profile and Description
Movie and TV cameras are specialized professional equipment that requires certain trained skills to operate. This is the job of the Film or TV Camera Operator. Movie camera operators are also known in the industry as cinematographers while television camera operators are also known as videographers. The conventional equipment is film-based 35mm to 70mm cameras for movies and Betacam video cameras for television. The more recent 4k high definition cameras are slowly replacing these conventional cameras and the 21st century Film and TV Camera Operator trained for these digital cameras are better positioned in the industry.
Film and TV Camera Operators Duties and Responsibilities
- Work with film or TV Director and Lead Cinematographer to define shooting angles, camera settings, pan shots, close ups and other shooting styles specified for a take.
- Ensure that camera and peripherals including film stock or digital storage media are available and in good shape prior to any location or studio shoot sessions.
- Upload digital shots into video editing platform for processing
- Conduct research and keep abreast on emerging video technologies
Film and TV Camera Operators Skills and Specifications
- Outstanding visual artistic ability, a good set of eyes and hand-eye coordination
- Outstanding dexterity in the use of cameras and knowledge in lighting techniques in photography and lens management.
- Must have outstanding interpersonal and people management skills
- Has high computer literacy to use PC
Film and TV Camera Operators Education and Qualifications
- A high school diploma is basic but many film studios prefer those with post secondary education from vocational schools that offer basic curses in digital technologies and computers as well as artistic courses in film academies.
- 2-3 years apprenticeship as production assistants is an advantage.
Film and TV Camera Operators Salary
The average annual salary for television, video, and motion picture camera operators is $42,000 with the middle 50% earning between $30,000 and $65,000. The lowest 10% received about $22,000 and the highest 10% earned around $80,000. The movie industry paid an average annual wage of $45,000 while television paid about $40,000.