Camera Assistants Workshop

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This intensely practical five-day course will introduce you to the duties and professional requirements of the Camera Assistant in drama, documentary, Reality and commercials.


Course content includes:

• On set duties and protocols - with practical experience
• Assembling and wrangling digital cameras and accessories
• Data wrangling and digital workflow
• Professional equipment management
• Slating techniques
• Focus pulling basics

AFTRS Cinematography lecturers conduct this five day course with guest industry data wrangling and assistant camera practitioners. Exercises and lectures will be delivered using digital camera equipment. There will also be a visit to a leading Sydney equipment rental house (course participants' own transport).

If you’re interested in joining the Camera Department - the ‘engine room’ of any film crew - then this workshop is for you.


This very popular course is unique in Australia, and is taught by industry experts using the latest equipment in AFTRS’ state-of-the-art studios. Good Camera Assistants are always sought after in the industry.

Feedback from previous students:

"An incredible week at AFTRS with their Camera Assistant's Workshop. Met some wonderful people in the industry and had the joy of trying out some cameras, new gear and techniques. Today was a lot of fun practicing wireless focus pulling with A CRANE! Just a wonderful week led by the delightful Erika Addis."

"A great week, great people, great facilities."

"Really glad about being able to work with the experts...focus pulling sessions were particularly interesting. Having hands-on practice with the cameras and the crane was a great experience."

"The lecturers were more than willing to answer all of our questions - no matter how stupid you felt in asking! I feel more confident and knowledgeable leaving this course."

Some on set experience, and an understanding of the basic principles of photography (exposure, focal length, etc.) will be an advantage.

This course is taught in English, and is open to international students as well as those within Australia.

Five very intensive days with one offsite visit (travel via your own transport).


Michael Pickells (24/10 - 28/10 course)

Michael Pickells has worked in the camera department professionally for more than 25 years.Starting out as a clapper/loader, he worked his way up through the ranks on a diverse range of productions that included TVCs, Television Dramas,Feature Films and Documentaries.

At a time when all high-end TVCs were shot on 35mm film, only documentaries and some TV drama used 16mm and video was hardly spoken of at all.
It was a great place to learn the discipline and-on set etiquette that was a prerequisite for a professional camera team. Since that time, work in cinematography has been an ongoing passion that has taken him to many parts of the world.As well as shooting, working as a camera operator and a fair share of camera assisting/focus pulling, Michael enjoys being back at AFTRS teaching, as it fulfills a desire to pass on skills learned in the field to up and coming camera assistants.

Carolyn Constantine ( 28/11 - 2/12 course)

Carolyn Constantine began her career in Sydney as a clapper loader and later a focus puller on numerous commercials, feature films and television dramas. Having risen through the ranks of the camera department she now works as a freelance Director of Photography both in Australia and the US.

Her reputation was solidified with her notable work as DOP on a number of films by emerging Australian directors such as Cate Shortland, Pentuphouse (Kodak and Dendy Award winner) and SomersaultUnit DOP and director), Husein, Beginnings (Dendy Award winner) and Carla Drago, Boomerang (Tropfest best cinematography). She has equally made a mark on US projects such as the feature, Night Owls of Coventry by the Sundance Award winning director Laura Paglin.

Carolyn has lensed a number of high profile documentaries- Yajilarra which screened at the UN , Brian Eno on his last trip to Australia , the highly acclaimed Smoke & Mirrors show at the famous Spiegeltent and a number of Arts documentaries including Yoko Ono at the MCA a well as the recent cinema release, Wide Open Sky.

Carolyn also has numerous TV drama operating and DOP credits (Wildside, Young Lions, Headstart, All Saints, Rake, Please like Me and Headland) as well as commercials for companies such as VW ,Nike and Kellogs. As someone that is currently working in the mainstream industry Carolyn feels it’s important to pass on the skills, craft and protocols to future members of the camera department.


Not a bad idea to bring your own torch and a flat-head screwdriver!

Have any questions? Please get in touch: or 1300 065 281


AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If a participant wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee. For more information on AFTRS Open's policies, including refund policies, please see our policies page .


The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.