Who’s Who In The Camera Department (Camera Lesson 19)

Summary: Ryan covers the different roles and responsibilities of the positions in the camera department: director of photography, camera operator, 1st assistant camera, 2nd assistant camera, digital media technician, digital image technician, and finally camera production assistant.

Length: 5:30 minutes

Video Lesson

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In this video I’m going to give you an overview of the crew positions in the camera department, what they do, and who they report to.

Crew Size

The size of the camera crew is dependent upon both the budget of the production and the needs of the project. The benefit of having a larger crew is that it allows each person to focus more closely on their given task. And since they can really focus on that task, they can do a better job at it. So often times the quality of the video goes up the larger the crew gets.

Benefits of Large Camera Crew (Camera Lesson 19)

But it is always a balancing act: larger crews can also make logistics on-set more difficult, and larger crews can make for an intimidating experience if your subject or the talent is not used to being in front of the camera. So having a bigger crew isn’t always the best choice.

Drawbacks of Large Camera Crew (Camera Lesson 19)

If you need to have a smaller crew due to a small budget, or to create a more friendly environment on-set, or maybe that is just how you like to work, then that means you’ll have to shoulder more of the responsibility yourself.

Starting at the top, lets take a look at the roles and responsibilities of the camera department...

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
2 replies
    • Tim
      Tim says:

      “Slate the scene” means putting the slate up in front of the camera before the scene starts. The slate shows the different information important to that take, such as scene number, take number, director, DP, etc. It is also used to sync sound when the sound isn’t recorded to the same media as the visuals, such as with film and external audio mixers.


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