How To Be a Better Camera Operator – Part 1: MINDSET

Part 1:
The Camera Operator’s Mindset

Being diverse, responsible, flexible, enthusiastic and creative are just a few of the values you’ll need to succeed as a camera operator. In this part, I’ll be talking all about how what goes on up here *points to head* directly effects what’s happening around you. So… let’s go! Don’t switch off here because you think this might be boring, yes I’m not offering advice on operating itself, that will come later – this stuff is fundamental.

1. Know Your Craft:

Elevate yourself beyond mediocre. The world’s full of mediocre people…be outstanding! You’re a professional camera operator, make it part of your identity, be proud of it. Learn everything you can about your craft and master it…and I don’t mean dabble in it…I mean really master your craft. Become a recognized expert and you will always be in demand.

2. Offer Creative Input

There’s nothing worse than just standing behind the camera waiting to be told what to do, it’s just not good enough. Producers and Directors need your creative input; they need enthusiasm and endless suggestions on how something can be shot, improved and enhanced so that it massively exceeds their original concept. Its part of your job, so always provide masses of creative input whenever and however you can!

* This does depend on the type of production you are working on. In documentaries it’s quite common to go straight to the director with your ideas and suggestions, on drama that is not the correct etiquette where you would instead discuss ideas with the Director of Photography (DoP).

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