In the field of cinematography, a cinematographer is the individual in charge of filming movies and television productions. Cinematographers, also titled Director of Photography (DP), are responsible for achieving the vision of the director. The rest of the camera department is subordinate to the Director of Photography, who, along with the director, has the final word on all decisions related to both lighting and framing.
A focus puller, or first assistant camera, is the member of a production crew responsible for keeping the camera's focus at the proper position during a shoot. Since 1st Assistant Cameras do not look through the camera, and cannot see the results of their focusing in real-time, this job is considered to be extremely technically difficult.
It is also the first assistant camera’s responsibility to maintain the camera through the duration of the filming period, to apply or remove any accessories, to reload the camera, to keep the camera, lenses and film gate clean, and to be aware of lens flares. Focus pullers also oversee the 2nd assistant camera and any other members of the camera assist team.
A clapper loader, or second assistant camera, is the part of a production crew, whose responsibilities are loading the raw film stock into camera magazines, operating the clapperboard, marking the actors as necessary and maintaining all records and paperwork for the camera department.
The second assistant camera is the only person who handles the negative between the manufacturer and the laboratory and in charge of keeping all records with regard to the film stock from when it is received until when it is sent out to the lab. The clapper loader (2nd AC) typically has a very high responsibility level on set, because they can easily destroy an entire shoot if the film or records are handled improperly.
A camera operator is responsible for physically operating the camera and maintaining composition throughout a given scene or shot. Depending on the environment, camera operators can be titled, cameraman, television camera operator, video camera operator, or videographer. The camera operator will collaborate with the director, director of photography, actors and crew to make technical and creative decisions.
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