In this blog post I am going to explain how someone would get into a Camera related job in the film industry, what they would need to know and what they would need to have. I am also going to explain all the different jobs that involve Camera work.
What do they do?:
There are many different kinds of jobs involved with cameras such as, camera assistant, camera operator, director of photography/cinematographer and focus puller.
The camera assistant:
These are people who help the camera operator with jobs and do what ever they are told, this tend to be preparing equipment and the setup before shoot so it ready for everyone else to go straight to shooting the scene. They don’t use any of the equipment just set it up.
This person personally operates the camera and has the camera assistant running around for him. he doesn’t tend to set up him self but knows how to use the camera to get the best shots for the scene. They do a range of things from standing still for a still shot or running around with a steady cam on or using a dolly.
Director of photography/Cinematographer:
They are in charge of what shots are used in the scene they talk with the director to try to understand their vision and recreate it on-screen the best they can. They would also talk with the camera operator as he is the one actually carrying out the shot.
When the shoot is happening there is no time for the camera operator to adjust the focus for the certain technique and that’s where the focus puller comes in. While the camera operator is lining up shots a filming the scene the focus puller is adjusting the focus whenever it is needed. They don’t have time to look through the view finder so they have to know specifics such as depending how far the subject is from the camera is how in/out of focus they are so they know where to adjust it so that it draws attention to the important character in the scene.
How to become one?:
You can get a degree in film production which you can then specify into what ever it is in the industry your interested in however in camera work for example you tend to start at camera assistant and move your way up. You can get into the business without a degree but you need a lot of luck. If you know someone in the industry you may be able to start out as a runner and progress from there, it may take longer but it is possible.
You have to develop your eyes to be able to identify the different techniques used in film, the best way of doing this is watching films with a better understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. Once you understand the ins and outs of the techniques then you can start using them yourself in one of the jobs above or in your own work.
I learned about the job of a focus puller and that the camera man doesn’t always change the focus himself. I understand in more detail each induavidual job around the camera and what they involve.