Film/Television Camera Operator Kaitango Whakaahua Whitiāhua/Pouaka Whakaata
Film and television camera operators use digital and film cameras to record events and scenes for television, movies and videos.
Film/television camera operators may do some or all of the following:
- carry and set up cameras and equipment such as lighting rigs and kits
- work with and follow the instructions of the director
- operate cameras to film or record the action
- keep the camera in focus.
Directors of photography may do some or all of the following:
- study scripts and interpret how scenes should look
- select suitable cameras and equipment
- decide on the location of cameras and lights
- direct camera and lighting crew during filming
- work with the director and editor during editing.
Film/television camera operators need to have a good level of fitness as they stand for extended periods and carry heavy camera equipment. They also need to have good hearing and normal colour vision.
Useful experience for film/television camera operators includes:
- working for a production company
- video or television work.
Film/television camera operators need to be:
- able to work well under pressure
- good at problem solving
- efficient and reliable
- good communicators with strong people skills.
Film/television camera operators need to have:
- technical skills for operating film and video cameras
- up-to-date knowledge of filming methods and equipment
- knowledge of camera exposure, focus, colour and lighting
- understanding of the filming and editing process.
Film/television camera operators:
- usually work 10-hour days, and may need to work evenings and weekends and be on call
- work in television and film studios, or outdoors on location, where they work in most weather conditions
- may travel to a wide range of locations in New Zealand and overseas.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a film or television camera operator. However, English, maths, media studies, digital technologies, drama and photography are useful.
Film/television camera operators usually specialise in working in either film or television in a number of roles, including:
- Second Assistant
- Second assistants process the shot footage or data and carry and set up gear such as lighting rigs.
- First Assistant/Focus Puller
- First assistants or focus pullers are in charge of the camera equipment and making sure the focus is correct.
- Digital Imaging Technician
- Digital imaging technicians are responsible for image quality control, on-set colour correction, and workflow (making sure footage is processed and gets where it needs to be) when a production uses digital cameras.
- Director of Photography
- Directors of photography organise production camera crews and make artistic and technical decisions about how scenes are shot.
Years Of Training
There are no specific entry requirements to become a film/television camera operator. However, a relevant tertiary qualification in film, television or video production is useful.