A variety of educational training options are available for those seeking camera technician training, but bachelor's degree programs in film studies are most common for camera operators. Bachelor's degrees typically take 4 years for a full-time student to complete, and may be available entirely online. Such programs are widely available through universities and film schools, and prerequisites are minimal, with students be required to demonstrate minimum levels of scholastic ability. Another source of camera technician training is workshops and seminars.
Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies (BFA)
Students in BFA film studies programs learn about all technical and artistic aspects of creating films. A variety of cameras and equipment options are introduced during the curriculum. Programs may require you to meet certain scholastic prerequisites before beginning your education. Specific coursework includes:
- Film and dramatic theory
- Lighting and sound
- Dramatic writing
- Film composition
- Camera operating
Workshops and Seminars
Numerous workshops and seminars are available for students through various educational institutions, often focusing on a technical aspect of camera operation. Workshop and seminar training is available across the country, especially in areas where more career opportunities in the film industry are available. Topics may include:
- Advanced lighting techniques
- Filming tips for specific types of productions
- Review of new types of equipment.
Following the completion of an educational curriculum, camera operators normally work as production assistants to acquire on-the-job experience in order to learn their trade. Tasks include background, camera and lighting setup. Several years of experience in an entry-level position is generally required for advanced positions on a film crew.
A variety of professional organizations are available in the United States for camera operators. Such organizations provide access to peer networking forums, continuing education courses and other professional development resources. Some associations, such as the American Society of Cinematographer (ASC) and the Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS), provide access to regular publications that focus on the technical aspects of the craft.
Prospective camera technicians should complete a bachelor's degree program. After graduation, students will likely find a job as a production assistant and may elect to continue their education via publications from the ASC and SCMS.