Filmmaker Vs. Videographer

Filmmakers and videographers both aim to capture messages or emotions. We'll explore the similarities and differences between their responsibilities, salaries, and career outlooks.

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Comparing Filmmakers to Videographers

Filmmakers and videographers capture stories, both real and imagined. The end product, as well as some of the duties related to lighting and deciding on camera shots, can also be compared.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Filmmakers Bachelor's Degree $70,950 (Producers and Directors) 12% (Producers and Directors)
Videographers Bachelor's Degree $59,040 (Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators) 12% (Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Filmmakers vs. Videographers

Filmmakers create larger-scale motion pictures, while videographers focus more on shooting personal and corporate material, as well as footage for news organizations. The movies filmmakers capture often have a planned storyline and actors, or they include formal interviews with real people. Conversely, videographers make films of candid events that are often more real and less planned. Additionally, filmmakers usually work with large production crews, while videographers typically work alone or with only a small crew.


Filmmakers take an original script or a screenplay based on a novel and create a visual interpretation. They may even assist writers during the script writing process. After that, they suggest movie ideas to studios and work to raise money. This gives them the budget they must adhere to, allocating money to different departments. Filmmakers also watch taped and live auditions for actors, choosing the best fit for each role based on looks and talent. Producers hire directors, and these directors work with the actors to bring forth the best characterization and emotion.

Job responsibilities of a filmmaker include:

  • Supervising the selection of music and sound elements that are added to the film in post-production
  • Taking part in television, radio, and magazine interviews to call attention to upcoming projects
  • Selecting the topics for documentaries, as well as any angle that will be applied
  • Determining what computer generated images should be used


These artists capture weddings and sporting events, in addition to other events. They also make films for corporations and colleges, including promotional and training videos. Sharing their work on social media sites or a personal portfolio website to gain new jobs is often the first step. Once hired, videographers may meet with clients to determine which shots and specifications they have in mind for the project. Moving cameras, recorders, lights, and props to and around the location is another of their responsibilities.

Job responsibilities of a videographer include:

  • Developing a detailed contract, including a breakdown of the budget and schedule
  • Maintaining copyright protection on their published videos
  • Creating graphics and other images that may go in the video
  • Obtaining authorization to shoot on some locations that may otherwise be closed off and private

Related Careers

As an individual with a potential future as a filmmaker, you could also consider a career as an actor, because both work to tell a story. As someone with an interest in videography, you may want to also look into a job as an art director, since both develop the look and design of visual arts.

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