Career outlook for TV or film camera operator
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would use film or digital video cameras to shoot films, TV shows, adverts and music videos. You would follow instructions from a director or director of photography.
- Set up camera equipment
- Plan and rehearse shots
- Follow a camera script and take cues from the director or floor manager
- Choose lenses and camera angles
- Solve technical problems such as lighting
- Work with other technical departments such as lighting and sound
You may be the only camera operator. You would then use a portable single camera.
You could also be part of a TV studio camera team. On feature films and TV drama productions you may be part of a very large crew. You would then have a specific role, such as:
- Second assistant camera (clapper loader) – load and unload film, count the takes and help the camera crew
- First assistant camera (focus puller) – judge and adjust the focus on each shot
- Grip – build and use any cranes and pulleys needed to move a camera during shooting
You would usually specialise in either film or television work. However, thanks to digital cameras and HD technology, camera professionals are finding it easier to work across different areas.
UK employment status
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