Camera Department Course

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  • This course is open for 12 weeks
  • 12 lesson series
  • Certificate of completion


About this Course
“EXT. French Rivera Resort – Day” doesn’t look great when it’s out of focus or underexposed. No matter how brilliant the acting, vibrant the set, or spectacular the script – the entire world created by a talented cast and crew must pass through the lens and be captured on camera.  So understanding how the camera lens can shape the world is one of the most powerful tools in the cinematographer’s arsenal.
In the Camera and Lens Course, we will demystify the camera and lens, giving you techniques used in Hollywood every day.  Academy Award-winning and Emmy-winning cinematographers teach you focusing and exposure techniques. Learn how to use the Zone System, work with the latitude of your camera, use the secret power of focal length, and how to use the shutter for technical and artistic shots. We also cover how to use macro focus, lens care, the science of lenses, and the role of the camera crew on set.
The Camera and Lens course is one of the most thorough and complete cinematography courses available and is adaptable to whatever camera type you’re using – whether it’s a DSLR or Arri Alexa.  Learn from the best and unlock the power of your camera to produce professional results with the FilmSkills Camera and Lens Course.

In order to receive certification to work in the Camera Department you must take the following online course:

  • Welcome to the Film Industry
  • Camera Department


After completing the online training, you will be emailed a password so you can sign up for the following hands-on training sessions:

  • Camera Assistant Training


After completing the online and hands-on portions, you will receive your official Level One Certification.

After competing Level One, you will receive an email to be able to move onto Level Two. If you work on five professional productions and receive positive evaluations from each supervisor, you will receive Level Two Certification.

The lessons
  • Camera Operator

    Learn the duties and responsibilities of the camera operator both on and off the set.
  • 1st Assistant Camera

    Learn the duties and responsibilities of the 1st Assistant Camera.
  • 2nd Assistant Camera

    Learn the duties and responsibilities of the 2nd Assistant Camera on set
  • Tripods and Sliders

    Learn the types of camera support equipment - from tripods to jibs - and how to properly use them.
  • Introduction to Lenses

    Learn about the attributes of the camera lens and how to choose the best lens for your production
  • The Zone System

    Learn how to use the zone system to determine the proper exposure for your shot
  • Shot Types

    Learn the intricacies of framing, the basic shot types, advanced variations on these shot types, how to quickly communicate your vision to the cinematographer, and the emotional responsive invoked by various shot types.
  • The Frame

    Identify and work with different aspect ratios, manage conversions from film to HD, NTSC to HD, title safe requirements, and how various aspect ratios are adjusted for different exhibition and broadcast formats.
  • Exposure

    Learn how to properly determine the exposure of your shot
  • Focal Length

    Learn how changes in the focal length affect the shot, both creatively and technically  
  • Focus

    Learn how to properly set focus, set focus marks, rack focus and work with the hyperfocal point.
  • Lens Care

    Learn how to properly handle and care for a camera lens