Have you ever considered a career in filmmaking? If you enjoy working with a camera, a career as a camera operator might be a good choice for you. Camera operators are essential to the filmmaking process and get to work on a variety of projects, so every day on the job is different. If this sounds interesting to you, read these tips for starting a career as a camera operator.
What Does a Camera Operator Do?
A camera operator is responsible for controlling the camera and filming shots for films, music videos, documentaries, and more. After the director and director of photography decide on their vision for the film, the camera operator is in charge of turning that vision into a reality. This involves deciding on an approach to the filming, knowing how to use tools like cameras and lenses, and working with other members of the camera team and other teams like the lighting team.
Tip #1: Gather Your Equipment
No career in camera operating would be possible without the proper equipment! Before you can start your career, you’ll need a quality camera, lenses, filters, and other essential filmmaking equipment. Most employers will expect you to have these materials, and you won’t be able to practice your art without them.
Tip #2: Learn How To Use a Camera
Once you’ve acquired a good camera and equipment, learn how to use it. Explore the camera to learn about its basic settings, and study up on filming techniques to use in your work. One way to learn more about various techniques is by watching the work of other filmmakers to see how they approach the filming process.
Tip #3: Take a College Course
You’re in college now, so what better way to learn about filmmaking than by taking a course on it? A class can teach you about the history of film, the anatomy of a camera, filming techniques, and other roles in the filmmaking industry. While you don’t always need a formal degree in film to become a camera operator, some employers will require it, and it’s never a bad idea to have some education on the topic.
Tip #4: Get an Internship
The best way to learn is through experience, so try getting an internship either in the filmmaking industry or another position that involves film. In these types of internships, you’ll be able to watch experienced camera operators do their jobs and learn from them. You’ll also be able to try your hand at filmmaking, which may give you a better idea of whether it’s something you’d like to do as a long-term career.
Tip #5: Practice!
Practice makes perfect, so practice camera operation on your own whenever you get the chance! This could mean filming on your own for fun, helping friends with film projects, or taking on some freelance filming jobs. This will give you the opportunity to apply the skills you’ve been learning and improve as a camera operator.
If a career as a camera operator is something you’d like to pursue, follow these tips for starting a career as a camera operator. You’ll be filming your own videos like a pro in no time!