What does a camera assistant do?
Camera assistants give essential support to the other members of the camera department. They work with camera operators or camera supervisors, helping with the photography of a TV programme in any way necessary.
This can include labelling tape and materials as they’re used, setting up camera rigs or making teas and coffees for the rest of the camera team. Experienced camera assistants often operate a second camera when needed on a shoot.
When camera assistants work on location, they help unload and set up the equipment, make sure camera batteries are charged, cards are ready, monitors working and have any other camera accessories like lenses or filters ready for the camera operator. They are often required to set up and adjust lights during filming and provide basic camera maintenance.
They can work on single-camera location shoots or in multi-camera studio shows like sports broadcast, reality ob-docs and entertainment programmes. Camera assistants can operate as freelancers.
What’s a camera assistant good at?
- Photography: have a good eye and understanding of composition, light, colour, focus and framing
- Technical knowledge of cameras: have a good understanding of the latest motion picture equipment, cameras, lens, filters monitors and lights
- Taking instruction: listen, do what’s asked accurately, stay calm under pressure, pay close attention to detail
- Communication: work well with crew members, onscreen contributors, presenters and production staff, be responsive
- Handling cameras: be well coordinated, prepared to lift and move heavy camera equipment frequently throughout a shoot