Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film Career

Job Description: Operate television, video, or film camera to record images or scenes for television, video, or film productions.


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Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film Career

What Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Films do:

  • Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
  • Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
  • Operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Test, clean, maintain, and repair broadcast equipment, including testing microphones, to ensure proper working condition.
  • Compose and frame each shot, applying the technical aspects of light, lenses, film, filters, and camera settings to achieve the effects sought by directors.
  • Adjust positions and controls of cameras, printers, and related equipment to change focus, exposure, and lighting.
  • Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
  • Operate zoom lenses, changing images according to specifications and rehearsal instructions.
  • 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.
  • Stay current with new technologies in the field by reading trade magazines.
  • Assemble studio sets and select and arrange cameras, film stock, audio, or lighting equipment to be used during filming.
  • Direct studio productions.
  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.
  • Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
  • Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
  • View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
  • Instruct camera operators regarding camera setups, angles, distances, movement, and variables and cues for starting and stopping filming.
  • Set up and operate electric news gathering (ENG) microwave vehicles to gather and edit raw footage on location to send to television affiliates for broadcast.
  • Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
  • Design graphics for studio productions.
  • Read charts and compute ratios to determine variables such as lighting, shutter angles, filter factors, and camera distances.
  • Prepare slates that describe the scenes being filmed.
  • Label and record contents of exposed film and note details on report forms.
  • Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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.

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.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Holland Code Chart for a Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film