Industry Roles – Studio Crew
Studio Camera Operator
A Studio Camera Operator can often be hired as staff rather than freelance, but this is not always the case. In contrast to location camera work they often use different camera equipment, such as large studio pedestals, and are directed from the gallery as to how to move the camera, frame shots, and which shots they must capture. Studio shoots often use multiple cameras and are often live so quick thinking and the ability to work as part of a team is essential. Although it can sometimes be less creative than location camera filming, it is often fast paced and so is just as enjoyable.
The Camera Supervisor is a management role, which involves supervising the entire camera crew on multiple camera shoots. The Camera Supervisor is in charge of communicating ideas from the Director, and making sure that the crew are performing their allocated tasks. In addition they suggest how many crew members need to be hired, if any specialist kit is required, and they raise any concerns regarding the health and safety of the crew.
The Steadicam Operator is responsible for setting up, monitoring, and achieving specific shots. Depending on the shoots requirements they may be hired for a single, or several days. The Steadicam Operator is a specialist within the camera department, who is able to achieve fluid camera movements by balancing the camera with the use of the Steadicam Kit. They must be physically fit as the equipment is heavy, and they must have lots of energy as hours can be long. The advantage of this kit is that as there is less of a need for lots of grip equipment, the set up time is reduced allowing the shoot to progress faster.
The Sound Assistant supports the rest of the sound team in various ways, ensuring that all sound kit is well maintained and ready for use, helping to mic people and, on occasion, basic Boom Operating. The Sound Assistant role is an entry level position where most of the sound department start their careers, so they must be prepared to work hard and for long hours. However it is a great opportunity for networking and learning their craft as it’s a very hands on approach with the opportunity to shadow senior members of the team, and lots of contacts can be made.
The Sound Supervisor is a senior role working on multi-camera shows either in Studios or on Outside Broadcasts (OBs). They are in charge of highlighting any potential sound problems such as acoustic levels and unwanted external noises, and they are then responsible for offering suitable solutions. In addition, as this is a senior role, they are in charge of monitoring the rest of the sound team in regards to safety and their technical ability, so leadership skills are essential.
Assistant Floor Manager
The Assistant Floor Manager assists the Floor Manager and on studio shows will usually look after the audience and contributors, which allows the Floor Manager to focus on other tasks. They will often give cues to the audience when certain reactions are needed. They may also supervise the runners, to make sure that the production is running efficiently.
The Floor Manager is responsible for the ensuring that the production schedule is running to time, so they must liaise with the Director and co-ordinate many people including, guests, the audience and presenters/actors. The Floor Manager is the Director’s link between the studio floor and the gallery so they need impeccable time management and communication skills.