Camera Operator

Camera Operators use a variety of technical and creative skills to record video shots for film, television, sporting events, news and documentary productions. They work closely with the director and director of photography to use their technical expertise with the camera to frame shots optimal for desired effect.

Duties and tasks

  • Frame camera for desired shots and angles and set up for common shots quickly and accurately
  • Must have technical knowledge of camera functions and ability to use appropriate functions for desired shots
  • Read scripts and plan camera shots and angles required for each scene
  • Set up additional equipment such as dollies, tripods, microphones, lighting, etc. for necessary shots
  • Successfully operate equipment, repairing and maintaining equipment to ensure it runs efficiently and at highest quality
  • Understand editing process as it relates to camera shots required
  • Visualise impact created by particular shots and work with director and other crew to set up shots for desired effect and experiment with new ideas

Skills required

  • Ability to Work in a Team
  • Creativity
  • Operations Control
  • Problem Solving Capabilities
  • Technical Camera Knowledge

Working conditions

Camera Operators work in a wide variety of settings and circumstances. They may work in a studio indoors, on location in various settings needed for production, or on outside broadcasts filming live sporting events, musical performances or news stories. Many Camera Operators work long, inconsistent hours based on the needs of production and may work on projects for a specific length of time, then need to find a new project upon completion. They may need to work in uncomfortable or repetitive circumstances in order to achieve the desired shot.

Professional associations / Industry information

Society of Camera Operators

Related jobs and job titles

  • Cameraperson
  • Cinematographer
  • Film Producer Assistant
  • Photographer
  • Production Crew Member
  • Projectionist
  • Television Producer Assistant