A camera operator or cameraman/camerawoman is a professional operator of a film or video camera. In filmmaking, the leading camera operator is usually called a cinematographer, while a camera operator in a video production may be known as a television camera operator, video camera operator, or videographer, depending on the context and technology involved, usually operating a professional video camera.
The camera operator is responsible for physically operating the camera and maintaining composition and camera angles throughout a given scene or shot. In narrative filmmaking, the camera operator will collaborate with the director, director of photography, actors and crew to make technical and creative decisions. In this setting, a camera operator is part of a film crew consisting of the director of photography and one or more camera assistants. In documentary filmmaking and news, the camera is often called on to film unfolding, unscripted events. In 2006, there were approximately 27,000 television, video, and motion picture camera operators employed in the United States.
Important camera operator skills include choreographing and framing shots knowledge of and the ability to select appropriate camera lenses, and other equipment (dollies, camera cranes, etc.) to portray dramatic scenes. The principles of dramatic story telling and film editing fundamentals are important skills as well. The camera operator is required to communicate clearly and concisely on sets where time and film budget constraints are ever present.
Video Production is also known as videography. Technically, it is the process of creating video by capturing moving images, and creating combinations of parts of this video in live production and post-production (video editing). In most cases the captured video will be recorded on electronic media such as video tape, hard disk, or solid state storage, but it might only be distributed electronically without being recorded. It is the equivalent of filmmaking, but with images recorded electronically instead of film stock.
Practically, video production is the art and service of creating content and delivering a finished video product. This can include production of television programs, television commercials, corporate videos, event videos, wedding videos and special-interest home videos. A video production can range in size from a family making home movies with a prosumer camcorder, a one solo camera operator with a professional video camera in a single-camera setup (aka a "one-man band"), a videographer with a sound person, to a multiple-camera setup shoot in a television studio to a production truck requiring a whole television crew for an electronic field production (EFP) with a production company with set construction on the backlot of a movie studio.