#BeAnAwesome: Cinematographer

For those who enjoy fiddling around with cameras, read on as coursesmalaysia.com reveals the reality of being a cinematographer!

Cinematographers – sometimes known as directors of photography – are involved in creative aspects of filmmaking to produce recorded visual moving images for films, videos, TV productions and other specialist areas, including interactive media.

Following the instructions of the director, cinematographers judge the best angles and distances to film in order to enhance the material being filmed – be it a dramatic film, a nature documentary or a reality series –  select lenses, filters and sometimes film, and direct the camera and lighting crew accordingly.

Experienced cinematographers may be assigned some creative responsibility for interpreting the director's intentions, and may be solely responsible for filming scenes without actors, for instance sweeping panoramic views of the city.

You will handle single and multi-camera operations along with other specialist equipment. There is also an increasing use of digital technology.


Cinematographers can specialise in a certain genre, medium or film format.

Academic and other requirements

While a degree is not compulsory, you will need technical skills and experience in filming and handling equipment. A diploma or degree in cinematography or film production and membership with a professional institute of cinematography can be advantageous.

Personal skills and attributes

Are you interested in colour, shape and visual composition? Do you have strength and stamina? Are you willing to work odd hours due to shooting needs?


Most cinematographers work their way up from junior positions such as runners or camera operators. You will generally find work in the motion picture industry, employes either by a production house or as a freelancer.