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looking for professional words of all camera positions


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#1 sitebai

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 10:52 PM

hi all,

here's a question. i just want to know the professional words of all positions of cameramen in a studio shooting.

For instance, what's the name of the cameraman carrying the camera on his shoulder and moving all the time to catch the proper moment with a camera assistant following and helping him, which is quite different from steadycam?

Another example is the fixed camera position, i know it's always fixed in a studio. And it shoots by zooming in and out without any motion. But i have no idea what is its professional name.

Anybody knows the names? or who knows that kind of website provides information in this field?
Thank you very much!
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 11:09 PM

hi all,

here's a question. i just want to know the professional words of all positions of cameramen in a studio shooting.

For instance, what's the name of the cameraman carrying the camera on his shoulder and moving all the time to catch the proper moment with a camera assistant following and helping him, which is quite different from steadycam?

Another example is the fixed camera position, i know it's always fixed in a studio. And it shoots by zooming in and out without any motion. But i have no idea what is its professional name.

Anybody knows the names? or who knows that kind of website provides information in this field?
Thank you very much!


B-Camera
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 11:26 PM

hi all,

here's a question. i just want to know the professional words of all positions of cameramen in a studio shooting.

For instance, what's the name of the cameraman carrying the camera on his shoulder and moving all the time to catch the proper moment with a camera assistant following and helping him, which is quite different from steadycam?

Another example is the fixed camera position, i know it's always fixed in a studio. And it shoots by zooming in and out without any motion. But i have no idea what is its professional name.

Anybody knows the names? or who knows that kind of website provides information in this field?
Thank you very much!


The camera department is generally very small.

It is headed by the director of photography. He makes all the decisions pertaining to camera position, lenses, filtration, camera movement, etc.

Next down the line is the camera operator who does exactly what it sounds like. He carries out the plans of the DP and often (not always) has considerable input into the composition and movement of the shot.

The focus puller or 1st assistant camera focuses the camera during shots, threads the camera, manages it technically, and keeps it in operating condition. This would be that guy carrying the camera and sticks from position to position.

A digital imaging technition (DIT) handles a bunch of tech stuff relating to digital movie cameras. This is over and above what a 1st AC does because of the complexity and the workload sometimes being more than one person can handle. This position is not present on a film-shooting set and isn't even always used on a film shot digitally.

The clapper or 2nd AC assists the 1st AC in his work. As "clapper" implies, one main duty is to slate shots and keep accurate camera logs.

The loader loads fresh film into magazines, downloads shot film from magazines into cans to send to the lab, and does a lot of paperwork related to the film itself and the camera dept.

Often, the dolly grip is considered a sort of honorary camera department member, because he works so closely with the 1st AC and operator. As a focus puller, I'll assert that good dolly grips are rare, underappreciated, and worth their weight in gold!

There are also a few specialty positions that work with the camera crew, but aren't always present because not every scene needs their services. These would include jobs like a steadicam operator and a jib operator.
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#4 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 12:45 PM

The camera department is generally very small.

It is headed by the director of photography. He makes all the decisions pertaining to camera position, lenses, filtration, camera movement, etc.


I don't agree with the Camera Department necessarily being small. Of course, it all depends on the actual production and budget of a film. On some productions, the Camera Department is somewhere big compared to other departments and the other way around (Let's say a film with a lot of CGI = Visual Effect department being big...or a film with a lots building sets = The Production Design department being big...A film with no CGI, very little Production Design can have the Camera Department as one of their biggest department)

It's correct that the Director of Photography is heading the Camera Department, but then you would need to specificity Camera Department? Because a DP is usually also head of the Lighting, Grips and sometimes the Electrician Department.

Edited by Ziryab Ben Brahem, 04 October 2009 - 12:46 PM.

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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 04:26 PM

Camera departments grow with stunts and explosions but it's all relative. As the scene gets bigger, the other departments get bigger as well. I think a DP would rather add an electrician or a grip first. On a smaller budget movie, you can get by with just a second and no loader but when you start losing grip and electric, you lose momentum. A DP can often operate himself so you can lose a man there too.
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#6 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 07:00 PM

hi all,

here's a question. i just want to know the professional words of all positions of cameramen in a studio shooting.

For instance, what's the name of the cameraman carrying the camera on his shoulder and moving all the time to catch the proper moment with a camera assistant following and helping him, which is quite different from steadycam?

Another example is the fixed camera position, i know it's always fixed in a studio. And it shoots by zooming in and out without any motion. But i have no idea what is its professional name.

Anybody knows the names? or who knows that kind of website provides information in this field?
Thank you very much!



Hi, Sitebai!

To quickly answer your questions, the CAMERA OPERATOR you're describing is skilled at operating HANDHELD as well as with various other tools, like fluid heads, gear heads, and remote heads. Some specialize in underwater operating, aerial, and Steadicam.

The second "example" you are describing isn't necessarily used in narrative filmmaking. Television studios will use cameras mounted on PEDESTALS which can roll in any direction, "ped" up and down, and are generally equipped with ZOOM lenses. This is also just known as a CAMERA OPERATOR.

For EVERYTHING you need to know about the various positions in the Camera Department, I urge you to read everything you can on this site as well as the information you'll find at http://www.realfilmcareer.com, http://www.whatireallywanttodo.com, and in the book, "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood."
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#7 sitebai

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 10:42 PM

Hi guys,

Thank you for what you've done!
But i think you have not solved my problems.
I just want to know the name, professional definition, of the camera position, especially in the TV industry.
Because i'm drafting my profile for my application, so i need to mention my professional experience, including servicing
as a cameraman in shows. But i only know the names people call here in my country, China, in Chinese, but i don't know what
you people call the position in professional way and in English. What i'm applying aims to be accepted by the organizations in
English speaking country. So i need everything on my profile is accurate and professional in English.

So, can anybody supply me information what i need more precise? What's the names of all camera positions in a TV show?
Thank you.

(I HOPE I EXPLAIN MY QUESTION ADEQUATELY CLEAR!)
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:16 AM

Hi guys,

Thank you for what you've done!
But i think you have not solved my problems.
I just want to know the name, professional definition, of the camera position, especially in the TV industry.
Because i'm drafting my profile for my application, so i need to mention my professional experience, including servicing
as a cameraman in shows. But i only know the names people call here in my country, China, in Chinese, but i don't know what
you people call the position in professional way and in English. What i'm applying aims to be accepted by the organizations in
English speaking country. So i need everything on my profile is accurate and professional in English.

So, can anybody supply me information what i need more precise? What's the names of all camera positions in a TV show?
Thank you.

(I HOPE I EXPLAIN MY QUESTION ADEQUATELY CLEAR!)



The name your looking for is: Camera Operator. There's nothing more than that. It's just "Camera Operator."

If you're ALSO in charge of the lighting and all the Camera Operators, then you could give yourself the title: Director of Photography.

But in general, if you are operating a camera in any way (tripod, jib, crane, Steadicam, handheld), you are simply called a Camera Operator.
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#9 John Sprung

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 02:12 PM

The only other variation is that because the Steadicam is its own specialized skill set, and something of an athletic feat, the Camera Operator who uses it is often credited as Steadicam Operator. On smaller productions, often the DP also operates, and the 2nd AC does both the clapper and loader jobs.




-- J.S.
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Metropolis Post

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Abel Cine

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rebotnix Technologies