The essential significance of the visual component to the film and television, and the fact that camera studios had already existed in Europe and around the world, contributed to establishing the Film Camera Class in 1970, at the Academy for Theater, Film, Radio and Television, on the initiative of a group of professors from the film department. During the same year, the first entrance exam was held and in the school year of 1970/71, the first generation of students, future film cameramen, started the studies. The founder of the Film Camera Class was Vladeta Lukić (1910-1978), film amateur before the World War II, a law graduate and prominent cameraman with over 40 short and a number of feature films taken in the post-war period.
In the past 48 years, since the Camera Department was established, over 250 students from all the regions of ex Yugoslavia graduated from the department. They represent the most significant creators of a film image in their environments and are awarded by numerous awards and recognitions on festivals in the country and abroad. Besides cinematography, our former students are also leading and inevitable creators on various television stations, as well as in the field of photography. Creative work by those educated at the Camera Department is the most secure foundation of each new project in the film, television, photography, and other multimedia processes.
Today, the Camera Department includes undergraduate and master studies, while those who graduated have an option to continue their education on specialist and Ph.D. artistic studies in the field of dramatic and audiovisual arts at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. Undergraduate academic studies at the Camera Department last for four years (8 semesters). To enroll the studies, the applicants take the affinities and abilities test which consists of three eliminatory parts. First part includes taking photographs on the assigned subject. For the second part, the applicants make films on the assigned subject. The third part includes a written test in general, art, and technical culture, and an oral exam. Upon completed undergraduate studies, the student acquires the title Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic and Audiovisual Art - Camera Operator.
M.A. studies should last for one year (2 semesters). Enrollment to M.A. studies is conditioned by completion of appropriate artistic undergraduate academic studies. Eligible applicants take the entrance test consisting in the review and analysis of submitted practical works and projects which the applicants submit at the time of application (feature film, short film, documentary, TV creation of any genre, experimental film, animated film). Works must be author’s work of at least 15-minute duration. After the papers are reviewed, applicants are interviewed by the commission in order to test their creative and artistic potential to continue the education during M.A. studies. Upon completed M.A. studies, the student acquires the title Master of Arts in Dramatic and Audiovisual Art - Camera Operator.
The Camera Department currently includes three majors: Film Image, Television Image, and Photographic Image. The course Film image is taught in all the years of undergraduate and M.A. studies. Within this course, the undergraduate students study the historical development of devices for recording and reproduction of motion pictures, elements and types of film cameras, handling film cameras, tools and accessories for film recording, visual composing of a film image, types and use of stage technique, nature of light, types and characteristics of light sources, filters, working in a film studio, illumination inside and outside, creating different light atmospheres, work of director of photography, elements of style in a motion picture, film space, film time, style continuity, principles of film image forming, perspective, particularities of creation of film image for various forms and genres (feature film, documentary film, experimental film, Internet contents), movement of the film camera, recording procedure in the function of style, topics and ideas of the film work, use of objective and many other methodological units. During M.A. studies for the same course, students deal with methodological units such as: director of photography, position of the image author, analysis of the director of photography script, research work, visual sketches, work with the director, creative and technical rehearsals, work with scenographer, work with costumographer, particularities of work in different genres, style determining and visual continuity, interpretation of space in different structures, director of photography and image post-production, film image and upcoming technologies, and others.
Photographic Image is taught in all years of undergraduate and master studies. During undergraduate studies, the course teaches the origin and development of photography, nature of light, analogue and digital photographic cameras, technical characteristics and the use of objective, natural and artificial sources of light, exponometry and applied sensitometry, classic photographic materials, digital sensors, chemical processing of photographic image, digital processing of photographic images, elements of composition of photographic images (line, surface, shape, texture, value, color), principles of composing photographic images (repetition, gradation, harmony, contrast), characteristics of composition in photographic images (unity, balance, rhythm), documentary, artistic and propaganda photography, photographic genre (portrait, landscape, architecture, report, nude, still life), illumination in photography, specificity of illumination of human face, body, interior, matte, glossy and combined surfaces, subjective and objective in a photographic image, two-dimensional and three-dimensional space, perception of photographic images, form and style in the photography, style unity, optical handwriting and other methodological units. During M.A. studies, the Photographic Image course, among others, focuses on studying photography as a communication system, space and protagonist in the photography, generating photo-realistic image, digital composites of taken and generated image, theory of information in photography, informational, emotional and propaganda message in photography, forming of basic and secondary meaning of photographic message, level of expression in photography, ideal photographic communication system, ratio of static and kinetic information - photography and cinematography, differences in composing photographic and cinematographic image, forms of manipulation by photographic and cinematographic information, future development of photographic and cinematographic image from the point of view of information theory.
The Television Image course is taught during the first two years of undergraduate studies and deals with topics specific for the creation of television image - technical parameters and basics of usage of electronic analogue and digital cameras, standards and rules of television recording, particularities of ENG and EFG recording, creating image for different television genres and programs (news, fiction, documentary, entertaining, educational program), sensors, optical systems and qualitative parameters of modern electronic cameras, digital and analogue picture, analogue-digital conversion, compression and the quality of television image, new telecommunication media and devices, lights in the studio and outdoors for the needs of television, post-production of television image, etc.
The Special Visual Effects course deals with visual effects originating in front of the camera, in the camera and visual effects in post-production, front projection and rear projection, concepts of size and volume in visual effects, the ratio of micro and macro elements in the image, relativity of size and idea of three dimensionality, lights for the need of creating special effects, stroboscopy, inclination and concatenation, glass painting and mate painting, color difference (blue and green screen), traveling mate, multi-film systems, color separates and super contrast materials, devices for special filming (Rostrum camera, Zoptic system), special techniques of filming, copying effects, digital composing of the image, computer programs for creating special visual effects, parameters of digital image in software for digital composing, etc. The Animation course deals with the history of movement, history of animation, storyboard, visualization in animation, principles of animation, flat plate techniques, sand animation, cell animation, pin screen, spatial techniques in animation, pixilation, time lapse, stop motion, puppet animation, techniques of collage and assemblage, computer animation, basic animation software, two-dimensional and three-dimensional techniques of computer animation, rotoscope, flash animation, development of archetype and stereotype characters, problems in animated film production, video games, interactive animation, and other topics.
Apart from the abovementioned ones, the Camera Department teaches other courses important for the education of future image creators. Visual Arts, Visual Art Genres, Visual Media, Technology Of Photo-Film Image, Technology of Electronic Media, Film Directing, Film Editing, Documentary Film, Applied Music, Sound Recording and Design, Film History, Art History, Film Production, Television Production, Esthetics, Psychology, etc.
After graduating the Camera Department, students are trained for individual works as authors in the most complex and most demanding forms of image creation, not only in the applied, utilitarian area but also in the pure artistic visual creation. Graduated camera students work in the field of cinematography, television, photography, Internet contents, as well as in the light design for different uses, post-production of cinematographic, television and photographic image, creation of generated and composite image and other interdisciplinary and multimedia forms of creation.
Since its foundation, the following professors taught at the Camera Department: Vladeta Lukić, Branibor Debeljković, Žika Albunović, Milorad Marković, Nevenka Redžić, Predrag Popović, Nikola Majdak, Pavle Vasić, Čedomir Vasić, Leposava Vušković, Ph.D., Iztok Čadež, Ph.D, Dejan Pantelić, Ph.D., Srećko Prnjat, Ph.D., Luj Todorović, Vladimir Krasnjuh, Vojislav Opsenica, Veljko Pavlović, Milorad Glušica, Milan Miletin, and Dragan Jovanović. Today, the Camera Department comprises: Miladin Čolaković and Vladan Pavić, Full Professors; Ivan Šijak, Aleksandar Kostić, Petar Popović, and Branko Sujić, Associate Professors; Nebojša Bašić, Aleksadar Ilić and Aleksandar Pavlović, Assistant Professors; Igor Marović and Milica Drakulić, Expert Associates.