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FILM AND VIDEO EDITORS AND CAMERA OPERATORS CAREER INFORMATION

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Film and video editors and camera operators record images that entertain or inform an audience. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. Editors construct the final productions from the many different images that camera operators capture. They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production.

Duties: Camera operators and film and video editors typically do the following:

  • Choose and present interesting material for an audience
  • Work with a director to determine the overall vision of the production
  • Discuss filming and editing techniques with a director to improve a scene
  • Select the appropriate equipment, from type of camera to software for editing
  • Shoot or edit a scene based on the director's vision

Most camera operators have one or more assistants working under their supervision. The assistants set up the camera equipment and may be responsible for storing it and caring for it. They also help the operator determine the best shooting angle and make sure that the camera stays in focus.

Likewise, editors usually have a few assistants. The assistant supports the editor by keeping track of each shot in a database. Assistants may do some editing themselves.

The increased use of digital filming has changed the work of many camera operators and editors. Many camera operators prefer using digital cameras, because these instruments give the operator more angles to shoot from. Digital cameras have also changed the job of some camera assistants: instead of loading film or choosing lenses, they download digital images or choose a type of software program to use with the camera.
Nearly all editing work is done on a computer, and editors often are trained in a specific type of editing software.
The following are examples of types of camera operators.

  • Studio camera operators work in a broadcast studio and videotape their subjects from a fixed position. There may be one or several cameras in use at a time. Operators normally follow directions that give the order of the shots. They often have time to practice camera movements before shooting begins. If they are shooting a live event, they must be able to make adjustments at a moment’s notice and follow the instructions of the show’s director.
  • Electronic news gathering (ENG) operators work on location as part of a reporting team. ENG operators follow events as they unfold and often record live events or breaking news. To capture these events, operators must anticipate the action and act quickly to shoot it. They sometimes edit their own footage in the field and then send it back to a studio to be broadcast.
  • Cinematographers film motion pictures. They usually have a team of camera operators and assistants working under them. They determine the best angles and types of cameras to capture a shot.
    They may use stationary cameras that shoot whatever passes in front of them or use a camera mounted on a track and move around the action. Some operators sit on cranes and follow the action. Others carry the camera on their shoulder while they move around the action.
    Some cinematographers specialize in filming cartoons or special effects.
  • Videographers film or videotape private ceremonies or special events, such as weddings. They also may work with companies and make corporate documentaries on a variety of topics. Some videographers post short videos on websites for businesses. Most videographers edit their own material.
  • Many videographers run their own business or do freelance work. They may submit bids, write contracts, and get permission to shoot on locations that may not be open to the public. They also get copyright protection for their work and keep financial records.

 

OUTLOOK & WAGE DATA

United States

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2010

2020

Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture

26,800

27,300

+2%

540

California

Employment

Percent 
Change

Job Openings

2008

2018

Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture

5,000

5,300

+6%

160

Wage Data

Pay
Period

2010

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$9.76

$13.58

$19.42

$28.06

$39.07

Yearly

$20,300

$28,200

$40,400

$58,400

$81,300

California

Hourly

$12.17

$14.50

$19.51

$39.20

$60.50

Yearly

$25,300

$30,200

$40,600

$81,500

$125,800

Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.

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State and National Trends
Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.
Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.

projections period for national data is 2010-2020.
Occupation Trends FAQs
Employment Trends by Occupation Across States
Compare Employment Trends by Occupation
Employment Trends by Industry and Occupation

 

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National Data Source: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections

 CA.gov logo State Data Source: 
California Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division

Gainful Employment Data

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Last updated: 11/12/2014 2:32:32 PM