Advanced Tips for Stationary Camera Operators

Posted on Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 by .

advanced tips


When leading volunteers, I’ve learned the importance of consistent training, both for new members of our team and for veteran volunteers.

I’ve provided my Training Guide for Stationary and Stage Camera positions on the blog last year. You can check out that post and download the free Training Guides here:


When leading teams, occasionally I would offer some “Advanced Training” sessions on a Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon or another specified time, to give people the opportunity to learn more about the positions they were serving in.

For Camera Operators, I would offer an Advanced classes on Stationary Camera and Roaming/Stage Camera positions.

For Stationary Camera Operators, here are the topics I would cover in the workshop:

1. Helping your Director build a puzzle.
    (building shots to work complimentary with the shot coming next)
2. How to shoot with “the end in mind”.
    (how to give your director intro’s and outgo’s to your shots)
3. Comm etiquette.
    (how to communicate to your Director and team on Comm)
4. How to get your focus (zoom all the way in, focus, zoom out).
5. How to rack your focus.
6. Proper headroom on pushes and pulls.
7. Definitions of Pan and Tilt.
8. How to start your pushes and pulls before the Director cue or at the “ready” cue.
9. How to come in to serve more prepared.
    (Listen to playback, read through any production notes, study Planning Center)
10. How to be creative and take risks with new shots.

For Roaming/Stage Camera Operators, here are the topics I would cover in the workshop:

1. Helping your Director build a puzzle.
    (building shots to work complimentary with the shot coming next)
2. How to shoot with “the end in mind”.
    (how to give your director intro’s and outgo’s to your shots)
3. Cable Management:
    (how to not break cables, how to manage your cables on stage, how to roll up your cables)
4. Rack Focusing.
5. Advanced framing.
6. Advanced camera moves.
I hope these workshop topics will give you some ideas as you train camera operators on your production teams. 

About the Author_02

Author Photo

CARL BARNHILL
Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC
twelvethirtymedia.com

Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.

He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.

He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m not seeing the links to the training guide anywhere on this page. Am I missing it or can that be fixed? Interested in this content. Thanks.

  2. Sorry about that, thanks for the heads up! Link is in text and image is clickable now, you should be able to access it now without any problems.

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