What does a Camera Operator, Television, Video, and Motion Picture do?

Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to record images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, video production, or motion pictures.

Jobs Roles

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