Career summary

Details for Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture


Description

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

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Edit video for broadcast productions, including non-linear editing.
  • 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.
  • Set up and perform live shots for broadcast.
  • Set up cameras, optical printers, and related equipment to produce photographs and special effects.
  • 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.
  • Use cameras in any of several different camera mounts, such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted.
  • Observe sets or locations for potential problems and to determine filming and lighting requirements.
  • View films to resolve problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.
  • Stay current with new technologies in the field by reading trade magazines.
  • Operate zoom lenses, changing images according to specifications and rehearsal instructions.
  • Download exposed film for shipment to processing labs.
  • Reload camera magazines with fresh raw film stock.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Direct studio productions.
  • Receive raw film stock and maintain film inventories.
  • Read and analyze work orders and specifications to determine locations of subject material, work procedures, sequences of operations, and machine setups.
  • 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.
  • Design graphics for studio productions.
  • Write new scripts for broadcasts.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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