Camera Operator’s Career in News and Documentary. What’s the benefit?

“Travelling around the world to witness what is happening is my job. It is a job closest to adventure.”

I said that to my boss in the plane returning to London. This has stayed on my mind ever since. I think it`s true.

For those considering of moving into the news industry, I would like to share what I think are the benefits of this job.

I have worked as a news/documentary cameraman for the last three years and it has been an incredible experience to say the least.

News filming is incredibly fast. Something happens somewhere in the world and you film it for broadcast in the same day. You are constantly witnessing new things and you learn new topics as you stand on the front line of the history. You meet new people all the time and you usually get to enjoy the food unique to the location. You get paid to travel to different countries. You usually end up places where normal people will never get the access.

From cameraman’s perspective, News is a great way to practice your camera skill. You learn how to film through countless of filming opportunities. Let’s face it, not all the TV News filming looks good. But you are kind of forgiven for that. I’ve made millions of mistakes there and I am glad that I did. Why? Because I believe you become expert at a subject through making every single possible mistake you can make.

Within few days you are onto a completely different next topic.

​You are in a new situation. How are you going to film that? You have less than two minutes to figure that out. You are constantly challenged with new environment. It’s great for improving the camera skills.

Gaza Strip. Where it was bombed by the Israel side. Everywhere we filmed, it was tragic. Not all the footage was used unfortunately..

Live filming in Rome. We panicked because our live image transmitter was not working properly for our live broadcast.

France Election in 2017. When Macron was voted for president. Their silence stood out while everybody cheered. Spotting interesting subjects to film is something you will learn in the job.

Somewhere in Iceland. We went to film a fishing subject. Our filming suffered in heavy rain and strong wind.

Read More:
What is it like to be a News Cameraman?
What I learned about career as Cameraman
Production Company: Merits of working full time
The demerit of working in a Production Company

It’s like getting an adrenaline jab all the time, your mind is excited often. (I don’t know whether that is a good thing though!)

You never get bored. That’s the characteristic of this job.

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