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Richard Collins November 27th, 2010 03:32 PM

Professional broadcast camera course advice...
Hi to all,

I've been given the go ahead by the television and production company I work for to find a broadcast camera and lighting course. It can cost up to 5,000, and must be from a reputable trainer. It has to be a short course, possibly a weekend or even a week long.

I've never had to look up a course like it and I really don't know where to start...

The camera that I'll be working with mainly is the Panasonic HPX500E. I'm quite new to the camera, but the company really want to invest in me as a trainee and the camera's full potential.

Can anyone recommend a course, or a place to look at least, preferably in the UK. My boss said 'London' but I guess he was assuming it would be a hot bed for this type of thing.

Thanks in advance,


Brian Drysdale November 28th, 2010 03:52 AM

You should check the National Film School short course unit.
National Film and Television School

Or the BBC.

BBC Academy

Skillset may be able to off set some costs if you're not London based, but you'd need to check. Their web site also lists courses.

Most good short courses/workshops are about a week long, although that would tend to be just one aspect eg lighting rather than everything. Weekend or two day courses tend to be specialised rather than general.

Gary Nattrass November 28th, 2010 05:04 AM

I think it is a bit ambitious to learn all aspects of broadcast camera and lighting work in a weekend as it takes years to get all the skills required.

The BBC is probably your best bet as they do courses for self shooters or it may be that panasonic or the camera kit supplier can give you training on that specific camera and then do a course to fill in on the fundamentals.

What level are you at now? It may be that time spent on a shoot with other operators may be of more value than paying a lot of money for a theoretical course that may not be what you need.

Just doing a course does not make you a broadcast DOP or cameraman only experience will do that but a good basic training and understanding will help and as said the specifics of operation on the HPX500 can be taught by the kit supplier.

I could assist with some one to one training in panasonic P2 and lighting but I am not a certified trainer, I only have 30 years of experience :0)

Brian Drysdale November 28th, 2010 05:42 AM

Yes, used to be it in the BBC it was a year as a trainee camera assistant and the intensive classroom stuff lasted 3 months. Then a few years until you got promoted, although you could be acting in the job for a while.

Richard Collins November 30th, 2010 03:22 AM

Thanks for the replies so far!

I completely agree that it wouldn't make me a DOP or camera man in such a short time, but it's the start of something much bigger and I'm really lucky to have them invest in me. I have been shooting (and editing) freelance projects for a few years on pro-sumer cameras like the Z1, A1E and HVX2000, but recently started shooting with a television company on a HPX500E. I guess the transition is quite daunting and I could do with some guidance is all.

My manager at the company has taken an interest on the courses from the NFTS website, starting with the camera operator course and then HD lighting.

I'm sure this will be added to so I'll be checking daily, and I hope someone else finds something they're looking for too.

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