Position and move cameras to frame and compose shots

Business Sectors (Suites): Camera
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 29 Mar 2020


​This standard is about positioning and moving cameras to frame and compose shots in line with production requirements.  This could apply to any type of production including feature films, TV dramas, commercials, documentaries, sports coverage, outside broadcast and live or stage events.  This could apply on a multi or single camera shoot. 

It includes positioning and moving cameras, framing and composing images to meet aesthetic, technical and continuity requirements, co-ordinating with others in order to achieve the desired results, and monitoring the technical and aesthetic quality of the image.

This standard is for Camera operators and any others who are directly involved in composing the shot.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​select positions for shots which are practical, agreed with the relevant personnel and do not interfere with other camera positions
  2. select camera positions that achieve required perspective, framing and composition of images
  3. maintain desired framing and composition during shots
  4. make safe and independent judgements about the variations of camera positions needed to compensate for changes in performers' positions and other variables
  5. select lens angles (focal length) which suit given style of camera movement and achieve desired framing and composition
  6. make sure movement of cameras does not disturb other people
  7. frame and compose camera images to meet required production styles and intended mood for each shot
  8. frame and compose each shot to conform to acceptable visual continuity and match eye-line of other shots in intended sequences
  9. frame and compose shots to take into account any intended laboratory processes, post-production or vision mixing effects
  10. check that any desired camera movements and desired technical effects can be carried out in line with safe methods of working
  11. frame and compose images to allow for required aspect ratio(s)
  12. arrange route, timing, start and finish points of any camera movements which maintain desired composition and agreed style, throughout each shot
  13. confirm image quality meets required aesthetic and technical standards
  14. report and rectify any practical problems which hinder desired composition
  15. communicate with performers and crew concerning variations in position, movement or complex shots at appropriate times
  16. re-create shots during shoots which were established during any rehearsals
  17. record useable shots with acceptable amounts of pre and post roll footage
  18. ensure all discrete camera movements, zooms and focus changes are in harmony and work together to achieve desired results
  19. coordinate with crew and production colleagues on an ongoing basis

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the principles of picture composition: how to compose an image in terms of shape, line, texture, tone, colour, and proportion; and their relationships to one another, particularly as they apply to moving pictures
  2. how camera position, lens height, distance from subject and lateral position affects shot framing and composition
  3. how camera position, lens angle and camera movement affect perspective of shots in terms of mass, line, tone, texture, colour and parallax
  4. how to achieve required depth of field
  5. what aspect ratio is required for the shoot, whether the image may subsequently be seen in any other aspect ratio or ratios and how to modify framing and composition to allow for different aspect ratios
  6. how to determine limitations that may be imposed on the movement of cameras and supporting equipment
  7. potential technical or practical problems which may hinder desired composition, and how these can be dealt with effectively
  8. how shots are assembled into a sequence, and how the sequence of shots affects the composition of each individual shot
  9. how to frame shots to allow for any mixes, dissolves, wipes or other transitions
  10. how laboratory processes, post-production or vision mixing effects may affect framing and composition when sequences contain superimpositions or split-screens
  11. how to frame and compose shots and maintain composed image throughout any camera, subject or artiste movement
  12. what lens angles (focal lengths) suit different styles of camera movement
  13. how artiste's eye-line affects composition and framing
  14. where to get information on agreed style of production and intended mood of shot
  15. when it is appropriate to communicate with artistes and others, either directly or through a third party, concerning variations in position or movement, to achieve required composition and how to do so constructively
  16. how to liaise with production colleagues during complex shots to achieve desired shots including crane shots
  17. all currently used methods of dealing with visual continuity
  18. all currently used camera models, accessories and lenses and major obsolescent models
  19. how to carry out zooms, focus changes  and discrete camera movements including pan, tilt, crane or track
  20. the purpose and benefits of recording footage pre and post roll
  21. the implications of overshooting on ingest time and editing
  22. current health and safety legislation, risk assessments and other instructions and procedures for safe methods of working and who to liaise with regarding this
  23. any factors or requirements of camera movement techniques which may affect the shooting environment or have an impact on health and safety of self and others


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



camera; artistic input; moving pictures; production requirements; artistic aspects; image; shoot;