What is a Camera Crew?
What is a camera crew? A question many ask when seeking professionals to execute their production vision. A camera crew is the backbone of your video production project. In fact, if you don’t have a camera crew, you don’t have the footage you need to complete a great video and deliver quality content to your audience.
But exactly what is a camera crew and how can a professional videography team help you to achieve success with your visual content? We’re discussing what makes a camera crew so special and why you should first consider hiring a professional camera crew for your video projects rather than taking the freelance videographer route.
Camera Crew Roles
The camera crew is made up of several active roles on the film set. Generally, the crew consists of:
-Director of Photography
-First Assistant Camera
-Second Assistant Camera
-Digital Imaging Technician
-Camera Production Assistant
Larger projects may have multiple in some of the above roles while smaller camera crews may not include every role. Hiring a camera crew requires an understanding of the project scope and the abilities or skills of each crew member as well as the total budget for production. All working pieces must come together for the film to be delivered in top notch quality.
Who’s Who on the Camera Crew?
Now that you know the main roles of a camera crew, let’s take a look at how each role fits the overall project scope. First, the director of photography is generally in charge of the camera department and oversees the lighting, electrical and grip crews. This role reports to the director. Camera crews are nothing without the camera operator. Also known as the cameraman, this crew member is responsible for operating the camera. They control the camera movements, angles, lens and all parts involved in the camera action.
The First assistant camera is responsible for focus of the camera. Sometimes call the focus puller, the first assistant camera is also in charge of the camera maintenance. The second assistant camera is responsible for the clapperboard. The old adage, “Lights, camera, action!” comes into play here. Second assistant camera produces the clapperboard before each camera take. The loader is a member of the camera crew that handles the medium that footage is captured on. In old production days the loader would physical load the camera film during production.
However, changes in media type have shifted the role to focus more on digital memory cards and, thus, the loader is responsible for ensuring all cameras have adequate memory to capture the scene. The digital imaging technician is responsible for overseeing the quality of the picture that the camera crew captures. They work with color-correction on-set and also have a part in the overall workflow of the production. Steadicam operators are responsible for moving the large camera rigs known as steadicams.
These stabilizers are challenging to move and require specialized camera crew to ensure they are handled properly. Finally, the camera production assistant is the member of the camera crew responsible for all in between duties or responsibilities. Sometimes referred to as an intern, the production assistant helps with everything from cleaning on set to delivering meals to camera crew members. Next time you ask, “what is a camera crew,” refer to this breakdown of the primary essential roles and how each member of the camera crew works together to make a film come to life!