We all love to watch television and movies in the cinema hall. We enjoy them. We talk about them and their star cast. We talk about how good or bad the actor and their acting was especially in the lead roles. We talk about the Director. But we hardly remember persons who toiled behind the scenes and make us watch them as they are. Some of these persons are the Cameraman, Sound Recordist, screenwriter, cinematographer, film editor, producer, and other crew members who make it happen.
What is the Definition of a Cameraman?
A cameraman is a person who is responsible for recording shots for a variety of films and broadcast purposes. They capture video images that enhance television shows or broadcast news programs. These people work in the studio or on the scenes of a news story that involves both live and recorded broadcasts. A cameraman uses all the technical aspects of lenses, filters, zooms, and other camera settings to capture scenes as per the clients’ requirements and film directors.
What does the cameraman do?
The job responsibility of a cameraman operator arranges from operating the camera equipment to recording video. They are also responsible for setting up cameras and lighting. They have to use different lenses and angles and panning shots before recording sessions. They must know how to choose lenses, films, and filters. They have to work closely with the other crew members and the director during the shooting.
A cameraman must be able to create special effects, add the right mix of tone, mood, etc to the picture, and must be adept with the use of light and exposure techniques.
In short, a cameraman plays an indispensable role when making a video or broadcasts for television or for cinema hall.
How do you become a Cameraman?
In case you want to work in the entertainment industry, a career as a cameraman is one way to do so. But being a cameraman requires experience with the camera and video equipment.
You must possess these skills in order to start a career as a cameraman.
- Aesthetic Interest
- Technical Skill
- Good Observation
- Visual creativity
- Ability to handle heavy equipment
In a survey, it was found that around 67% of cameramen are graduates and 3.7% are postgraduate. However, you can become a cameraman even after you have passed high school.
In order to become a cameraman, you may require some experience such as production assistance or camera operator. Other than a passion for the film industry you will need three key elements to be a success in your career as a cameraman. Let us explore the list of steps for you to become a cameraman.
These three steps are
- Diploma in Cinematography.
- An internship as a cameraman.
- Effective career development skills.
Step 1: Diploma in Cinematography
A diploma in Cinematography is a profession for those who are eager, committed, and passionate about a career in filmmaking. A diploma in cinematography course primarily teaches you about the camera and light works working on film production, television production, or any other live event. You also learn to make technical and artistic decisions related to the image.
You learn important concepts in cinematography like visual storytelling, camera techniques, lighting methods, scene composition, and working with the entire film crew. The diploma in cinematography introduces students to concepts like editing through short film project genres, film lighting, basics of cinematography, and digital cinematography.
A two-year Diploma in cinematography is sufficient to start a career in movies, television, and documentaries. The course also helps students in gaining experience in fieldwork.
Step 2: An Internship in Cinematography
A good film school will give its students access to campus job boards, social media pages, and career development advisors to assist in finding cameraman internships. The internship is important as all good cameraman positions require you to complete a cameraman internship.
Step 3: Effective career Development skills
Once you have completed your internship, you will have all the skills required for the job as a cameraman for news, TV, or movie production. These skills will help you in finding the right job in the industry.
Prestigious Institutes for Cinematography in India
- Film and Television in India
- National Institute of Film and Fine arts
- Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute.
- Biju Patnaik Film & TV Institute, Cuttack
- Deviprasad Goenka Management College of Media Studies, Mumbai
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication (I.I.M.C.) New Delhi
- Institute of New Media Development and Research, Pune
- National Institute of Design
- SARK Institute of Film Studies, Kolkata
- Government Film & Television Institute, Hessarghatta Road, Bangalore
- CRAFT Film School, New Delhi
The average fee for Diploma in Cinematography course would range between INR 35,000 and INR 1,25,000.
Topics Covered in these Institutes
A full-time Diploma in Cinematography course of two years has the following modules which are much more than a short-term course that covers broader concepts. Here are a few of the modules that are covered in the syllabus:
|Film Dimension and Packaging||
|Process and Printing||
|Films for Motion Pictures
|Motion Picture Cameras
|Transfer of Film to Video
|Various Camera Test
|Types of film Cameras
|Digital film making
The course fees for Diploma in Cinematography range from INR 35,000 and INR 1,25,000.
Why should you become a Cameraman?
A cameraman records shots for a variety of films and broadcasting purposes. His job responsibility includes cleaning, testing, and maintaining his equipment. They use technical aspects of lenses, filters, zooms, and other scenes.
A cameraman can work in a variety of settings, including in television studios, production studios, sports venues, or at private events such as weddings. They may also work on location at remote destinations for films, music videos, documentaries, commercials, short films, or advertisements.
The career as a cameraman has become a lucrative option as their requirement is forever high due to the ever-expanding film and television industry. The cameraman job vacancy is going to increase further in the near future due to the rapid globalization of the entertainment industry.
Diploma in cinematography graduates may take up entry-level job roles in the capacity of cameraman production, motion control operator, camera operator, and camera assistant.
Here are the following job profiles of cameraman:
- Director of Photography
- Video Editor
The top recruiters for cinematographers are Doordarshan in the government, Private TV channels, film studios, television studios, news studios, and corporate. They can start their own as a freelance cameraman, especially in wedding photography.
The scope and future prospects for a cameraman depend on factors like the nature of work and largely on their personal contacts and references.
What is the salary of a Cinematographer?
At the entry level, a cinematographer can earn between Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per month. However, with experience, the cinematographer can earn between Rs 40,000 and 50,000 per month.
Future Prospects for Cameraman
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an increase of 18 percent from 2019 to 2029 in the number of people employed as cameramen. This is an exceptionally fast rate growth rate. This increase can be attributed to the fact that there is a growth in the number of internet platforms like streaming services and developments in special effects that require an experienced cameraman to produce the desired result.