(2) Are sufficient spare parts and extra expendables available for the
mission? Extra batteries are always first on a list of spare parts, followed by
extra film reels and cables, spare light bulbs for lamps, extension cords, and
Something as simple as a broken take-up reel could completely stop a
filming session. The last thing you want to happen is to run out of film, tape, or
to have the batteries die. Select your equipment, test it, and make sure your film
is of the right ISO and matches that of the other cameramen. A good cameraman has
everything necessary to perform the mission well and to keep it going in case of
Duties of a camera crew
In order to properly film a scripted movie it is necessary to have a closely knit,
well functioning crew. One person cannot possibly carry out all the jobs that must
be done, unless he has extensive training and experience in each of the jobs. Now,
lets look briefly at the duties of a working camera crew:
a. Director. As with all large groups there must be one central person who
is in charge, in a motion picture production this person is the "director". He is
in charge of the motion picture personnel, sound personnel, editorial personnel and
laboratory personnel during the production of the film.
b. Director of photography.
The director of photography, sometimes called
the first cameraman, is responsible for the pictorial quality of the production.
He also supervises the lighting of the set. The director of photography does not,
as a rule, manipulate the control of the camera. That is the job of the assistant
cameraman or camera operator.
c. Camera operator.
The camera operator or assistant cameraman is
responsible for the movements and settings of the camera. He receives instructions
from the director of photography, operates the camera being used, checks that the
film core is correct, and assures proper loading of the camera.
As a cameraman,
you, and you alone, are responsible for what comes out of your camera. In order to
make sure the product is correct, it is necessary to check and double check each
item before the camera rolls.
d. Assistant cameraman.
On large productions there may be an assistant
His job is to assist the camera operator and may handle the follow-
focus duties. Follow-focus is a technique where the cameras focus is changed while
the camera is operating. You may have a scene where an actor must walk toward the
camera from a long distance.
This requires the camera focus to change.
"follow-focus" assistant is a valued technician on any crew.