Cameraman's Checksheet
by James Jaeger

Here's a checksheet I would recommend the cameramen knowing. It is serious business when all or part of the day's footage is ruined because some point found here was ignored.

__________ Camera has been fully checked out and works.

__________ Correct film in the camera.

__________ Camera(s) set at correct speed (i.e. each camera on the speed appropriate to its position).

__________ Camera(s) have correct filters on.

__________ Camera(s) are set to the correct T-stop or f-stop.

__________ Diopter focus set for operator's eye.

__________ Camera sound is on the correct setting, if any.

__________ Camera batteries are fresh.

__________ Camera microphone batteries are fresh, if any.

__________ Camera is properly threaded and closed to be light tight.

When Filming:

__________ Get focus at telephoto position.

__________ Make sure the film-advance light, if any, is properly flashing or indicating.

__________ Make sure there are NO unusual noises coming from camera.

__________ Footage is in absolute dead focus.

__________ On single system cameras, Make sure microphone recording VU meter is indicating proper recording level and mic is properly connected.

Any cameraman and DP failing to make sure these points are mentally or physically checked through and DONE as appropriate for each and every shot or film project (as appropriate) are subject to termination and will not used for a camera position again unless they personally pay for any and all footage (and shooting costs) that were incurred due to any of these points being neglected.

It is the Director of Photography's and the Production Manager's joint responsibility to ensure that this checklist is known (and done) by all prospective cameramen, especially Operators, 1st and 2nd Assistants.

NOTE: Permission is granted by the copyright owner to disseminate this article in whole or in part provided credit is given to the author (with a link to the article's source URL)
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