If you want to pursue a career in television an easy way to break into the industry is to learn how to become a cameraman. All you need are some basic skills and a little experience to land a paying gig. Here are some tips to help you get your first job.
- Take video production classes. Inexpensive courses are available at community colleges and even at your local public access station. Take entry-level classes that cover camera operation, floor direction, audio board operation, script writing and maybe even video editing. Even if you only want to run camera, the more skills you acquire the more marketable you are.
- Volunteer. Now that you have the skills you need some experience. Offer to volunteer at your city’s PBS station. They regularly hold telethons and create shows so they can use the help. Volunteer opportunities are also available at public access stations. There are always show producers in need of another set of hands.
- Intern. Internships are a great way to break-in at a station and you don’t have to be a student. You just won’t get paid much if at all. Remember a pay check isn’t your goal at this point. You need hands-on experience.
- Contact your local news station. Apply to be a production assistant (PA). These are the guys and girls behind the camera. Even if the station of your choice isn’t hiring now, fill out an application. PAs are entry-level positions so turnover is high. Positions open up regularly.
- Check out other opportunities. Television stations aren’t the only employers that need cameramen. Event planners, independent production boutiques, sport teams, theater production groups and filmmakers all need cameramen.
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