Unit of competency details

CUFCAM401A - Shoot a wide range of television content (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACAM401 - Shoot a wide range of screen contentUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Title change. Edits to performance criteria for clarity. 14/Jan/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 11/Nov/2010


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100701 Audio Visual Studies 25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to shoot a wide range of content for television programs.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by a camera person who usually works without supervision to shoot television content using professional video equipment. The person undertakes the preparation and technical aspects of a shoot, including camera, sound and lights.

On occasion, the camera person works with a sound recordist or lighting technician and may coordinate their operations. Other duties may include manipulation of cameras, e.g. on dolly tracks and cable control.

Program styles covered by this unit include news and current affairs, corporate videos, coverage of events and relatively complex documentary materials. Typically the camera person contributes creatively to outcomes and works collaboratively with producers or directors, either as an employee of a production house or as a freelancer on assignment.

More complex skills associated with shooting material under special conditions are covered in:

  • CUFCAM501A Shoot material for screen productions under special conditions.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Prepare for shoots

1. Attend pre-production briefings and contribute creative ideas for the visual interpretation of intended productions 

2. Appraise ideas for shots, taking into account the potential impact on costs, timelines, scripts and technical feasibility

3. Survey locations  prior to shoots  as required

4. Plan, prepare and pack required equipment and accessories  for shoots, including special requirements, such as lenses  and filters 

5. Ensure equipment is in working order and fix minor faults or arrange to have them fixed

6. Select capture media  that is appropriate and sufficient to meet production requirements

7. Anticipate OHS requirements as they apply to the preparation and implementation of shoots

8. Complete required documentation 

Set up shoots

9. Survey sites and determine camera positions to achieve shots  and compositions best suited to production requirements

10. Generate a range of ideas that offer creative solutions for particular productions

11. Appraise ideas for potential impact on cost, schedules, technical feasibility and suitability to meet production requirements

12. Set up and implement lighting  plans, and install required cables

13. Confirm light temperature and exposures are sufficient for production requirements by utilising appropriate light meters

14. Position microphones and conduct audio checks

15. Liaise and collaborate with other production personnel  and talent  to maximise creative outcomes

16. Rehearse shots as required

Shoot content

17. Check camera movements  to implement planned and rehearsed shots where applicable

18. Ensure captured shots meet editing and other post-production requirements

19. Employ photographic and composition techniques to achieve aesthetic requirements and to capture well-composed and well-focused shots

20. Collaborate with other production personnel where applicable and respond to directions as required

21. Coordinate inputs from other crew members as required to achieve the desired images

22. Ensure safe work practices are applied at all times

23. Record audio using appropriate microphones or coordinate sound operations as required

Wrap up shoots

24. Pack and store equipment using safe lifting practices

25. Ensure recorded content is identified, labelled and available for post-production

26. Ensure locations are left in original state

27. Brief editors and producers on post-production issues as required

28. Complete necessary documentation

29. Review and reflect on own performance and note areas for improvement

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills sufficient to interpret and discuss creative requirements for productions
  • ability to work and communicate effectively as a team member
  • technical skills sufficient to:
  • operate a range of professional camera, lighting and audio equipment in the context of a range of program styles
  • manipulate and move cameras and cables as part of a team
  • initiative and enterprise in the context of:
  • making creative contributions to program ideas and outcomes
  • troubleshooting and solving operational problems quickly and efficiently as they arise during shoots
  • self-management and planning skills sufficient to:
  • work under pressure
  • balance creative and technical requirements
  • evaluate own contribution to creative solutions
  • literacy skills sufficient to provide written and verbal instructions, e.g. shot lists, labelling
  • numeracy skills sufficient to make decisions that take account of budgetary constraints

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of production and post-production team members
  • broad understanding of the creative and technical elements of a range of television productions
  • broadcast language and terminology
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of shooting a wide range of television content
  • features of a range of cameras and equipment
  • framing techniques and shot composition
  • well-developed understanding of photographic principles, such as:
  • exposure
  • focus
  • tonal relationships
  • light sources
  • sensitivity and balancing
  • camera interpretation of colour
  • colour correction techniques
  • colour temperature and compensation and how this determines the selection of gels and filters
  • features of different types of light-measuring devices
  • basic principles of lighting, e.g. key, fill and back light
  • types of artificial/introduced light sources available to camera operators
  • OHS and public health and safety procedures, particularly as they relate to shooting on location
  • characteristics of commonly used microphones and their application in a range of environments
  • characteristics of audio signals under variable conditions, e.g. pitch, wavelength, frequency, dynamics and distortions

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • ability to work within production deadlines and to plan and organise all aspects of camera shoots
  • ability to contribute creative interpretations and ideas in the context of planning shots to meet production requirements
  • collaborative approach to work, including ability to work under direction
  • ability to operate a range of cameras and ancillary equipment
  • knowledge and application of photographic principles.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to professional equipment based on items listed in the range statement
  • access to facilities to produce a show tape, which demonstrates aptitude across a reasonable spectrum of program types and the ability to gather content across a variety of locations, conditions and subject matter
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of a range of screen content shot by the candidate to determine whether production requirements have been met
  • observation of the candidate setting up and operating camera and lighting equipment on location
  • written or verbal questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • BSBCRT402A Collaborate in a creative process
  • CUFCAM402A Shoot television content in a multi-camera environment
  • CUSSOU406A Record sound on location.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Productions  may include:

  • animations
  • corporate videos
  • documentaries
  • drama
  • EFP (electronic field production)
  • ENG (electronic news gathering)
  • events or performances
  • infotainment
  • life style programs
  • news and current affairs
  • pieces to camera
  • training videos.

Locations  may include:

  • on location (interior, exterior)
  • outside broadcast
  • studio.

Shoots  may include:

  • combined video and audio function
  • fixed/supported
  • hand-held operation
  • separate video and audio record functions
  • single-camera.

Equipment and accessories  may include:

  • autocue monitor
  • AVCHD (high definition)
  • batteries - lead/acid Ni-Cad/lithium ION
  • Betacam
  • Betacam SP
  • cables
  • cue card holders
  • digital Betacam
  • digital DVC Pro
  • DV Cam
  • DVD camcorder
  • headphones
  • lighting kit
  • microphones
  • fixed
  • pole
  • lapel
  • Mini DV
  • mobile phones
  • mounts
  • talkback facility
  • tape recorder
  • tripod
  • two-way intercom
  • video split monitor.

Lenses  may include:

  • fixed
  • lens hood
  • macro
  • micro
  • wide-angle
  • wide-angle adaptor
  • zoom.

Filters  may include:

  • chromatic
  • colour
  • colour correction
  • correction filters
  • enhancers
  • graduated: hard-edge, soft-edge, attenuated coloured, neutral density
  • non-specific colour
  • polarising
  • ultraviolet.

Capture media  may include:

  • CD
  • DVD
  • flashcards
  • P2 solid-state drive
  • small hard drive
  • videotape.

Documentation  may include:

  • computer generated/manually written
  • emails/SMS
  • fault reports
  • film and battery labels
  • production schedule
  • running sheets
  • script
  • shot lists
  • stock order forms.

Shots  may include:

  • close-up
  • cutaway shot
  • establishing or master shot
  • extreme close-up
  • eye-level shot
  • hand-held
  • high-angle
  • long shot
  • low-angle
  • mid shot
  • pan
  • point-of-view shot
  • static
  • tilt
  • track
  • wide shot
  • zoom in
  • zoom out.

Lighting  may include:

  • back light
  • bounced light
  • colour temperature
  • effect light, e.g. on backgrounds
  • fill light
  • flood light
  • HMI (hydrargyrum medium arc-length iodide)
  • interior lights
  • key light
  • light meters
  • spot light
  • tungsten
  • types of luminaries.

Production personnel  may include:

  • animator
  • camera assistant
  • director/producer
  • editor
  • floor manager
  • journalist/reporter
  • researcher
  • safety officer
  • sound mixer/designer
  • sound recordist
  • supervisors
  • technical producer.

Talent  may include:

  • actors
  • general public, e.g. vox pops
  • interviewees
  • interviewers
  • journalists/reporters
  • performers
  • presenters.

Camera movements  may include:

  • dolly
  • hand-held
  • pan
  • tilt
  • tracking
  • zoom in/zoom out.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - Camera/cinematography

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units