For some people, their dreams of a job in the entertainment industry involve visions of themselves in a starring role on-screen – but for so many others, their ideal career is one that takes them behind the cameras. If you’re interested in working as a film or television camera operator, you might be wondering: how do I get a job in the entertainment industry?
Breaking into the industry as a camera operator can be challenging, but getting your career started on the right foot can make all the difference. Here are a few tips for how to get a job as a camera operator in film or television.
Learn as Much as Possible About the Job
Understanding a few basics, like the career outlook, daily duties, and even average salary for a camera operator can be extremely helpful in beginning your career. Learning about the job might help you narrow down your career; for example, you may decide that you’d rather operate a camera on a film set versus a nightly news program.
As a camera operator, you’ll be responsible for recording the video content for television, film, music videos, commercials, or even corporate productions such as training videos. You can expect to use both digital and film cameras, and your main instruction will come from the director of photography or director. A typical day on the job might involve anything from setting up the camera and selecting lenses to follow a camera script and resolving technical issues. Depending on the type of production, you might be part of a very large crew or be working solo.
Seek Out the Right Education and Training
One of the most important qualifications of a camera operator is technical education, one that prepares him or her with the proper skills and experience to be successful onset. You may find that attending a specialized multimedia school, especially one that combines hands-on experiences with classroom time, gives you a competitive edge in the industry.
Focus on Strengthening Valuable Skills
While there’s much to be said for talent and enthusiasm, there are also a few characteristics that can help you succeed as a tv or film camera operator. Your attention to detail, communication skills, patience, and ability to work with a team will all prove extremely valuable in your career, so always take the opportunity to strengthen these traits. Physical stamina is also important, so make sure to keep up healthy habits.
Build Your Experience
Finally, you’ll need to start gaining as much experience as possible. For many individuals, this means working on independent projects, taking additional training courses, or even offering their services on a volunteer basis to local nonprofits or organizations. You may begin your career as a grip, a camera assistant, or even a production assistant, working your way up until you reach your goal of becoming a camera operator.
Break into the Industry with a Multimedia Education
Before you can get started as a film or tv camera technician, you’ll need a multimedia education to get your foot in the door. At the Media Schools, located in Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, and Miami, our film and video production program takes students on a deep dive into the industry, providing a mix of hands-on experiences and content taught by expert teachers. Once you graduate, you’ll be well-prepared to take your next steps towards getting a job as a professional camera operator and achieving all of your biggest career goals.
For more information about how to become a camera operator, including more details about our multimedia education programs, contact our team today.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images