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Advice on camera work as a career please


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#1 Jonathan Sommerville

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 03:16 AM

Hey guys, I'm 18 years old and just finished college in the UK, for various reasons I wont be going to a university this year but hopefully I will be next year.

I would love to be a camera operator and I would just like to ask what's the best way to get into this field? Should I be looking to do a degree in film or media next year, or should I be going out and getting myself a camera and start filming whatever I can?

I've tried to get work experience at places such as the BBC but I don't think they have any more places until next year

Any help would be appreciated
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 03:45 AM

Hey guys, I'm 18 years old and just finished college in the UK, for various reasons I wont be going to a university this year but hopefully I will be next year.

I would love to be a camera operator and I would just like to ask what's the best way to get into this field? Should I be looking to do a degree in film or media next year, or should I be going out and getting myself a camera and start filming whatever I can?

I've tried to get work experience at places such as the BBC but I don't think they have any more places until next year

Any help would be appreciated


Try using the search function, there is a recent thead.
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#3 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 03:53 AM

I would love to be a camera operator and I would just like to ask what's the best way to get into this field? Should I be looking to do a degree in film or media next year, or should I be going out and getting myself a camera and start filming whatever I can?



The first thing you need to decide is wether you want to be a camera operator for Film/TV Drama/ Commercials or for Broadcast work. Two very different fields. If its the former then you'll be freelance and you need to work from the ground up as a camera trainee to loader then focus puller then operator. Contacting the bbc is of no use to you if you want to work in film/drama/commercials. If its the later then there are still some companies that employ full time staff and they usually have their own inhouse training.
To work as a trainee you need to cold call every single focus puller and clapper loader in the country, introduce yourself and try and get work with them. Its hard but be persistant and you'll make it. Pick up a copy of Doug Harts Camera Assistant and Dave Elkins The Camera Assistant to give you a good base knowledge.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 04:44 AM

Just to save Phil repeating himself:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=47526

Yes, crossing over from broadcast to films etc is becoming more difficult now that the BBC doesn't make drama in house. A lot of people started there in the past and are working in the outside industry, but there tends not to be the same spectrum of work now. That's not to say you can't started there and move on, but just be aware of the differences.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 19 August 2010 - 04:44 AM.

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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:55 AM

Hey guys, I'm 18 years old and just finished college in the UK, for various reasons I wont be going to a university this year but hopefully I will be next year.

I would love to be a camera operator and I would just like to ask what's the best way to get into this field? Should I be looking to do a degree in film or media next year, or should I be going out and getting myself a camera and start filming whatever I can?

I've tried to get work experience at places such as the BBC but I don't think they have any more places until next year

Any help would be appreciated


The answer to these types of career questions really can't be addressed in short forum posts. As you've already seen here and elsewhere, there is a lot more to building a viable career that pays the bills than just learning which buttons to push.

Please take a look at "What I Really Want to Do: On Set in Hollywood" (link below). I feel strongly that the key to getting and maintaining a career is knowledge of how the actual motion-picture industry actually functions across the globe. It's also very helpful to keep abreast of current news in the worldwide industry in terms of contracts, tax incentives, and other issues that help determine exactly where movies will be made at any given time.

Once you know how the industry really works and where the work is, then you'll have an easier time finding a way in that suits your specific situation.

Good luck!
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 07:09 AM

Every time you fail to use the search function, I will shoot another helpless kitten.

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#7 Brian Rose

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 09:28 PM

Every time you fail to use the search function, I will shoot another helpless kitten.

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That kitten doesn't look so helpless to me. Looks like he's become self aware!

I won't live in a world run by damn dirty cats.
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Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

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Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine