When seeking a camera operator for your project, you may feel overwhelmed with choices. But consider this: are all camera operators created equal?
Each and every camera operator has a unique talent, a skillset that distinguishes them from an ocean of options. Here are some tidbits of advice to employ on your hunt for a cameraman:
- Find the camera operator that FITS the job— review samples of their work and make your decision based on footage that is similar to your vision for your own project. An excellent Steadicam operator may not know the first thing about drones, for example.
- Don’t just read their resume, WATCH their reel— spot the flavor and style of the individual shooter, don’t merely take their word for it. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is an entire demo reel of video worth? Much, much more.
- Deal with the OPERATOR, not the studio— no matter how great a studio’s demo reel may be, it doesn’t mean a thing if they send you a less competent operator than their overall reel represented. Find out who’s responsible for the more impressive shots (or at least the shots that reflect the style of your personal vision) and contact them directly.
- Price matters, but QUALITY matters more— don’t choose a camera operator based on who’s got the lowest price tag. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean good. Once you’ve contacted the appropriate operator, negotiate your price from there. If you only seek out the cheapest person for the job, consider that your project may look just as cheap.