Camera Operators for video production

Let’s talk camera operators

The camera operator is one of the most important people on set. They are the one to control the camera and capture all the footage as instructed by the director.

How many cameras will you need?

Depending on what you are shooting, it might be worth having more than one camera. Multi-cam filming saves time during production, allows the crew to work more efficiently on set, and will give you more footage to work with when editing. For example, if you are shooting an interview, you might want a second camera to capture another angle. This will give you more variety when editing your video. Another situation where it is useful to have a second camera is when shooting drama or action. Consider a scene with two or more actors interacting with each other. There is a lot to cover. By having two or more cameras all positioned in different spots, you are able to reduce the number of takes needed and save time.

Camera operator

A Cam and B Cam

If you do decide to shoot with multiple cameras, it is important to be organised. To start, name your cameras. This can be A Cam and B Cam, or primary and secondary. It doesn’t matter what you call the cameras, just that you name them and keep track of what is recorded on each one. Not only will this help during filming, but it will also speed up the editing process. Next, create a detailed shot list. For every scene you must list each camera setup for every camera. This will make sure the camera operator knows where they need to be and what the other cameras are doing. Without detailed pre-production planning, you will likely have delays and confusion on set.

Read this article for more tips on multi-camera shooting.

Camera person

Shooting B-roll 

Shooting B-roll is like shooting any other footage. It is important to have a plan of what shots you need to get. Use your script and shot lists to help you during the shoot. Be sure to allow enough time to get everything you need.

Camera operator

Interview set up

When setting up for an interview, there are a few things to think about. The main thing is location. Where are you going to shoot the interview? Do you have a quiet area with enough room for your crew and all required equipment? Is the location relevant to the story and looks interesting on camera? Are you able to access the location when you need to? How will the environment feel to the interviewee? Make sure it is a location where your subject will feel comfortable.

Man interviewing women

Next Steps

Your camera operator is one of the most important people working on your video. They are the person to capture your vision. Keep reading to learn about the role of a video Producer.