A Day in the Life
Cameraperson Location Single Camera
Arrive base, meet the sound recordist, pack the kit in the people carrier, pick up the revised schedule for the days shoot, and head for the hills. We're filming the new Ford Coupe charging around the Cotswolds. 09:30
On location after a coffee en route and we have to rig the car with mini-cameras before anything else can be done. This is a slow fiddly process. 10:00
Send the car off with the presenter - no room for the crew, and get the digibeta camera set up for some passing shots. 11:00
Review some to the material - to check it's OK, and climb up the hill for a big high angle shot. Using walkie talkies to cue the car to set off. 12:00
After shooting a range of passing shots, we move to the next location and set up for an interview. We've bright sun and the shade from the trees... we have to negotiate with the director to find a suitable location as the contrast here is way too high! 13:00
Interview completed we zoom off to the pub with the famous contributor ... for a pie and chips, and an orange juice! 13:45
The director's anxious to make the most of the beautiful light, and I have to agree. So we set off to a smart country house to film statics showing the car's exterior and interior styling. Use a radio mic on the presenter so we can shoot really wide and not see a boom. 15:00
A second car arrives for some comparison shots - complete news to me! But this is to be expected in this game.... anything can happen and usually does. Director wants a different and wacky style for this sequence ... but it has to look right with everything else we've shot. Aeroplanes overhead are a pain - noises - and we lose a bit of shooting time. 16:00
All's going really well now, even the Presenter's in a good mood! This makes shooting some 'Pieces to Camera' fun. 17:30
The sun's gone, temporarily - cloud - so shoot some close-ups, where the lighting is less critical. Hope the cloud clears - we need some more wide-angles to make this film 18:00
Fantastic! Sun now scorching low across the landscape, and the car, and the shots look great. Set up a special end sequence, and get a lot done in a short space of time as conditions are perfect. 19:00
WRAP. Director's pleased - phew - let's hope he'll be shooting with us again soon.. at least we got lunch! Pack the kit away at high speed and zap home to base.
What you do: The range of the job?
Take the shots as requested by the director but also add considerable creative and practical input yourself. Set up the kit, deal with contributors, actors and often impatient directors! shoot shots that will intercut with others in the studio, or will intercut well with your other shots to make a film. In factual television the cameraperson will also light the set up when necessary, so may be called a lighting cameraman...
Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?
Visual flair and ideas, an instinct for picture composition, teamworking skills, strength and stamina (lots of heavy kit.) Patience, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of the photographic principles that you are using every day. Love of travel and being away from home!
Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?
Camera Assistant (trainee) to Cameraperson/Camera Operater, to Lighting Cameraperson/ DOP.(Director of Photography)
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