A courtroom cameraman records courtroom proceedings and depositions. This requires videography skills, as well as knowledge of the law and the legal system, to provide recordings that pass legal tests and meet generally accepted standards. Some belong to professional organizations that certify their members, while others may work without formal certification. A specific license is usually not required, but having a formal degree in videography can be helpful, as can substantial experience.
In addition to recording a video, a courtroom cameraman performs video editing. Edits must comply with legal standards; the cameraman cannot, for example, distort or manipulate the testimony, but can edit a video to stabilize the tremor or solve other problems. Videographers can also insert visual displays, title cards, and other assets to create a final presentation for a lawyer to use in court. They should be familiar with the standards for determining whether a court will accept a video as evidence to ensure that the recordings are appropriate.
During courtroom sessions, the courtroom videographer may record the sessions for the courtroom or for attorneys’ reference, depending on the policy. Lawyers may find it helpful to review video and transcripts of the day’s proceedings as they plan the trial and respond to unfolding events. Some courts may allow the use of real-time video in the deposition if a witness is unable to appear in court, in which case a court videographer can configure the system and travel to the witness to record and broadcast.
Companies offering videography services may also provide transcripts, closed captioning and related services. This is typically the responsibility of other personnel, allowing the courtroom cameraman to focus on capturing good video and audio of a deposition or trial. A sound technician can provide assistance to improve sound quality, which can help lawyers avoid challenges based on unclear testimony. Editing can also be used to clean up the audio quality and get a clearer sound.
Educational videography programs may include segments for people interested in offering legal services. This includes discussions of how to set up and divide in legal environments and specific legal issues that may arise while filming, editing and using video. Professional organizations also offer workshops and classes for their members. Some may require certain classes and an exam before allowing videographers in, ensuring a basic standard of quality among their members.