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Television Camera Operator

Although you can enter this profession through a range of degrees it is vial that you have a show-reel and a real passion for television, film and photography.

As a television camera operator, you'll work with digital, electronic and film cameras. Your end goal is to produce the required high quality shots through your creative abilities and by using the latest technology. 

You'll work under a director or director of photography and may be supported by a camera assistant.

You will need to able to work on a variety of programmes ranging from locally produced, low budget tv shows, to new programmes and documentaries as well as television ads and highly produced dramas.

Work Activities:

  • Assemble, prepare and set up equipment prior to filming, which may include tripods, monitors, lighting, cables and leads and headphones
  • Offer advice on how best to shoot a scene and explain the visual impact created by particular shots
  • Plan shots, for example when filming an expensive drama scene, such as an explosion, there may be only one chance to get things right, so shots need to be meticulously planned beforehand
  • Find solutions to technical or other practical problems (for an outside broadcast, for example, the natural light conditions need to be taken into account when setting up shots)
  • Be prepared to innovate and experiment with ideas
  • Take sole responsibility in situations where only one camera operator is involved in the filming
  • Keep up to date with filming methods and equipment
  • Repair and maintain equipment

Salary

Salary will vary greatly depending on the budget of the programme you are working on.