Camera experience, networking and some education are key skills needed to become a courtroom videographer. In addition, there are voluntary certification programs in the United States that can enhance a videographer’s resume. Many of these workers are self-employed and act as independent contractors serving the local legal community.
The main purpose of a courtroom cameraman is to film evidence or evidence interviews. These testimonials can take place in many different locations, from a commercial office to an individual’s home. These different shooting locations mean that the videographer must be very familiar with their camera equipment, knowing how to adjust it to the environment for the best possible results.
One way to become a court videographer is to practice filming different events such as weddings. Your experience with your own camera, lighting and focus will increase with each shoot. It is good practice to interact with people at events, especially if they are hired by local courts; you can bring business cards to hand out to potential customers for future communication.
Once your camera skills have improved, you should visit a nearby courthouse; many lawyers and other legal professionals must remain in the halls during certain court proceedings. When lawyers and other staff leave the courtroom during the process, it can be a good time to hand out business cards to them to generate business. If possible, you can ask for business cards from legal professionals for a follow-up phone call.
Another way to become a court videographer is to attend a college that offers courses in videography. In fact, these colleges may offer a certificate of completion or even a degree after passing specific film courses. As a result, many students find work in independent films through networking with college administrators and faculty, especially if the school offers specific courses in testimonial filming; the certificate or diploma adds a level of professionalism to the worker’s resume, which often attracts clientele.
Videographers are not required to hold a certificate or license for film testimonials, but a US Videographers Association offers a certificate that ensures that each filmmaker understands their impact on the legal system. The group covers the basics of filming and how to demonstrate professional manners when working with witnesses and attorneys. Many association members who wish to become a courtroom videographer will receive more work after earning this certification.
Also, to become a court videographer, you must have the ability to write and submit contractual agreements to the attorney or court professional before accepting an affidavit filming project. Some testimonials may be canceled unexpectedly; the agreement must note your minimum payment for the day, even if the deposition does not take place. Having a mutual understanding of this expectation helps ensure that a good working relationship is maintained between the cameraman and the witness.