SO YOU WANT TO BE A CAMERA OPERATOR
Thursday 06 January 2005
If you have a good eye, creative flair and technical skill, and you can work at speed while keeping calm under pressure, then a career as a camera operator could be for you.
Nick Stevens, broadcast manager at Quadrant, an independent corporate communications company, with an in-house video production and broadcast arm, has been working in the media industry since 1998.
His career started at Millbank Studios in London, gaining camera experience in the political and news environment of Westminster, before joining Quadrants head office in Cardiff, as a senior camera operator, and working up to broadcast manager, where he is charged with the day to day running of the broadcast facilities and camera crew.
He said: camera work is very technical requiring a lot of concentration to get the right shot. You will also need a steady hand, patience and stamina, as the camera equipment is very heavy and the hours can be long and un-sociable.
You might work as part of a team, controlled by a director, or you may be working alone, with the sole responsibility for delivering the shot and, so making quick decisions is another valuable skill.
When filming on location, you could be based anyway - in the middle of a muddy field in the pouring rain, or on a beach location in the hot summer. I like the variety which comes with my job.
Its a tough area to get into, so youll need plenty of enthusiasm. Good educational qualifications show your ability to learn, but there is no official route into the industry. First jobs are usually in support roles, and then with more experience, camera operators work as freelancers, for production companies and in-house at TV stations.