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Give Us a Job! In The Media Industry

Researcher Get the job

It is becoming increasingly common for a researcher to have to work for minimal payment or for free, before getting a fully paid job. Freelancers tend to be Freelance and as it is a common job need to build a good reputation to be hired by large companies Work experience and contacts are the best way to enter a job as a reasearcher however a degree in any of the following could help: Broadcasting and media, design, art, architecture, theatre, journalism, public relations, English, politics, History.


programme researcher provides support to the producer and production team. Researchers contribute ideas for programmes, source contacts and contributors and collect, verify and prepare information for film, television and radio productions. A researcher can work on a wide variety of programmes or within one subject area. The work involves organising, planning and researching everything that will happen during the programme - who will be interviewed; location; will the film crew fit; does the budget stretch? The researcher has a responsibility for fact checking, writing briefs for presenters and ensuring that there is adherence to appropriate legislation relating to the production. The role may also be known as a specialist, live-footage or picture researcher, broadcast assistant or assistant producer. The job can be seen as an apprenticeship for the producer role and a chance for ambitious recruits to show their potential.

The variety and type of work carried out by a researcher depends on individual producers and the companies that employ them.

Typical Work activities:

- In radio, broadcasters will do elements of their own programme research, assisted by the producers and researchers. - Researchers in radio will contribute to the development of websites that enhance programme delivery. - In television and film, researchers may be involved in a wide variety of activities and the role may be roughly divided into two: factual research (checking all the information used in making a film is accurate, e.g. period costume and architecture), and picture research (examining archives for film, video and photographic material to be used in documentaries). - meeting with producers, directors, designers, presenters

and writers to discuss the research needs of a programme; - generating and developing new programme ideas; - conveying findings accurately to others in report form and ‘briefs’; - sourcing and researching facts, figures and information using the internet, film and tape archives, specialist collections, picture libraries, museums and government departments; assessing contributors’ suitability for the programme, researching and booking appropriate people and locations; - booking resources and facilities; recruiting freelance staff and negotiating fees; - providing administrative support such as typing, answering the phone and dealing with contracts; - briefing scriptwriters and presenters on topics, - updating scripts and editing news reports; sourcing copyright for literary and music sources and gaining clearance for any materials used;


Get the job

Pay = ÂŁ7- ÂŁ8 per hour

Runners are often freelance and employed full time on short contracts

There are no needed qualifications but a passion for media and hard working ethic is needed. Although its an entry level job into the industry the experience gained is important to gain better job roles in the industry. Studying Media or Film at A Level or a degree could help.


runner is an entrylevel position, the most junior role in the production department of a broadcast, film or video company. There is no single job description as runners act as general assistants and undertake whatever basic tasks are required to ensure the smooth running of the production process. Runners’ general responsibilities include tea making, transporting scripts and hire equipment, taking messages, looking after guests and getting everything in place for shoots. This role offers the opportunity to gain vital experience and knowledge of the production process, offering valuable networking opportunities, and is often seen as the first step on the ladder for people aspiring to roles in broadcasting media.

Typical work activities: - fetching and carrying items, such as equipment, tapes, cable and scripts; - transporting cast, crew and production staff between offices, studios and shoot locations; - driving cars, vans or trucks between locations and around sets; - helping set up a location for a shoot; - keeping the set clean and tidy; handing out post and messages to colleagues within the production team; - delivering post to local clients; - undertaking basic research; - answering the telephone; photocopying and undertaking

- general administrative work; - taking care of petty cash; - looking after studio guests; - hiring props; - making arrangements for staff on location, such as booking meeting rooms or ordering food; - transcribing production tapes; - picking up cast for make-up calls; - ordering stock; - making and handing out tea, coffee and lunches; - sorting out the kit bags, for example checking that the camera bag contains all the necessary items; - writing down shot lists; - using maps, tapes and clapper boards, and other film and television production equipment.


Get the job

Range of typical starting salaries: £18,000-£25,000 However it can be as high as £70,000 on a senior level. The majority of film/video editors are employed on a freelance basis, working on short-term contracts A degree in video or media would be useful and alot of experience in editing will help to get a job also.


igital technology, specialist computer software and high-quality digitisation of sound and pictures have effectively replaced the traditional manual method of cutting film. Depending on the product, an editor may be very involved in creating the narrative, structure and tone of the programme or film. In some situations, they may be given creative freedom while in others they may be needed merely to operate the machine.

Typical work activities:

receiving a brief, and maybe an outline of footage and/or a shot list, script, or screenplay; assembling all raw footage, with camera shots either recorded or transferred onto video tape in preparation for inputting into the computer; inputting uncut rushes and sound, and synchronising and storing them into files on the computer; digitally cutting the files to put together the sequence of the film and deciding what is usable; creating a ‘rough cut’ (or assembly edit) of the programme/film and determining the exact cutting for the next and final stages; reordering and tweaking the content to ensure the logical sequencing and smooth running of the film/video.

overseeing the quality and progress of audio and video engineering and editing; consulting with the director, producer and/ or client throughout the post-production process; familiarising yourself with the style of specific directors; experimenting with styles and techniques including the design of graphic elements; selecting the most effective shot of a scene in terms of drama, story relevance or continuity; writing voiceover/commentary; suggesting or selecting music; if freelancing, negotiating rates of pay and conditions, managing business affairs, and/or liaising with an agent. The final stage of the process requires the skills of the online editor, who is often employed in a specialist post-production facility. An online editor is responsible for delivering the final product to the required specifications. Their role is focused on technical aspects such as correcting faulty footage, grading/colouring, and adding special effects to finish the film or programme. In lower budget productions one editor may perform both the offline and online editing.

Director Get the job

Directors must have exceptional artistic vision and creative skills to develop an engaging and original film. Unerring commitment and a deep passion for filmmaking are essential, along with the ability to act as a strong and confident leader. to remain calm and think clearly under great pressure, are key skills for this role. There are no needed qualifications but their are many training courses for directors. Directors earn an average of $86,000 per year a with the middle 50 percent earning between $42,000 and $105,000


requires great creative vision, dedication and commitment. Directors are ultimately responsible for a film’s artistic and commercial success or failure. Responsibilities:

Typical work activities:

Directors may write the film’s script or commission it to be written; or they may be hired after an early draft of the script is complete. Directors must then develop a vision for the finished film, and define a practical route for achieving it. During pre-production, Directors make crucial decisions, such as selecting the right cast, crew and locations for the film. They then direct rehearsals, and the performances of the actors once the film is in production. Directors also manage the technical aspects of filming, including the camera, sound, lighting, design and special effects departments.

eing a director is a high level job. As many Directors work their way up over many years from entry level positions, getting work experience as a Runner on a film set or in a production office is an ideal starting point. Observing successful Directors at work, whilst immersing oneself in the practical process of filmmaking, are vital first steps on this fiercely competitive and highly challenging career path.

The Director is the driving creative force in a film’s production, and acts as the crucial link between the production, technical and creative teams. Directors are responsible for creatively translating the film’s written script into actual images and sounds on the screen - he or she must visualise and define the style and structure of the film, then act as both a storyteller and team leader to bring this vision to reality. Directors’ main duties include casting, script editing, shot composition, shot selection and editing. While the practical aspects of filmmaking, such as finance and marketing, are left to the Producer, Directors must also always be aware of the constraints of the film’s budget and schedule. In some cases, Directors assume multiple roles such as Director/ Producer or Director/Writer. Being a Director

During post- production, Directors work closely with Editors through the many technical processes of editing, to reach the final cut or version of the film. At all stages, Directors are responsible for motivating the team to produce the best possible results. Directors must also appreciate the needs and expectations of the film’s financiers.

Loacation Manager Get the job

Rates of pay vary widely. Most location managers work as freelancers and are paid on a contract basis. Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree, HND or foundation degree in a subject related to communication or media studies, or photography, film or television, may increase your chances.


ocation managers are responsible for making all the practical arrangements for film or photographic shoots taking place outside the studio. Productions are made in a wide range of places and location managers need to research, identify and organise access to appropriate sites. As well as arranging and negotiating site use, the role usually includes managing sites throughout the shooting process. This involves working to strict budgetary and time limits and maintaining a high standard of health and safety and security. The demands of organising crews and dealing with a range of people make this an intense and varied role.

Typical work activities

A location manager’s role follows a sequence of activities from pre-planning to the completion stages of a production. Typical activities include: assessing scripts or story boards and scheduling them according to location; meeting with the director and designer to discuss projects and working to their creative vision; collating ideas and undertaking research using resources such as the internet, specialist location libraries, local and regional film

commissions and agencies; visiting and photographing locations appropriate to budget in order to assess suitability; making preliminary enquiries regarding access, parking and location use; liaising with the director to discuss and show ideas and photographs; collating practical information on potential locations, such as hotels for accommodating the crew and cast, and, in the case of photography shoots, often booking the hotel and making travel arrangements; liaising with key members of the production team to assess visual and technical specifications; researching locations thoroughly to ensure no disruptive noises or events are likely to occur during the shoot; negotiating access and drawing up a contract with location owners; organising permissions for access, for example, with local authorities and the police; scheduling crew arrival dates and times and keeping all parties informed on site; suring the technical specifications for equipment, power sources and crew accommodation on site are met; ensuring compliance with health and safety and security requirements and undertaking risk assessments;

Floor Manager Get the job

Range of typical starting salaries: £16,000 £22,000. Range of typical salaries at senior level/with experience, e.g. after 10-15 years in the role: upwards of £25,000. Like many other media jobs the majority of Floor manager’s are freelance workers on short term contracts


elevision floor managers ensure that sets, props and technical equipment are safe, ready to use and in the right position prior to filming. They have a liaising and coordinating role, acting as the link between the director and the many people involved in a production. It is the floor manager’s responsibility to pass on cues to presenters and guests to ensure timings are met and the broadcast goes smoothly. The floor manager ensures that events go according to a set plan and that people taking part know their particular roles and how it fits in with whatever else is happening. The work is mainly studio-based, but may also include outside broadcasts, depending on the production.

Typical work activities

checking that equipment, e.g. microphones and earpieces, are working before the show; seating the audience (if in attendance); referring to floor plans; assisting guests on the show; relaying instructions from the control room to the studio floor using a talkback system; keeping the director and producer informed of action off-camera; assisting in the planning and preparation of productions;

overseeing the work of other departments, such as sound, lighting and props; rehearsing live shows; giving cues and time counts to presenters, actors or guests; organising runners to make the best use of studio time; looking ahead in the programme schedule to anticipate any changes to the set or to see what props are required later in the show; briefing and looking after those involved in the programme; managing the audience, e.g. explaining safety requirements, show timings and what will happen during filming and when the programme will be aired; dealing with any technical problems; controlling the studio and halting production if necessary; liaising with public relations staff to agree who will be interviewed, for example at sports matches; passing information and progress reports from live events to studio presenters; adhering to health and safety regulations, e.g. keeping ‘safe areas’ and fire exits clear of equipment.

Director of photgraphy Get the job

The average salary of a director of photography ranges between $51,334 to $108,803

To do this job you need a good portfolio and previous work to show your photography skills. A degree in media, photgraphy or film making would be usefull The job can be long hard hour during production.

Typical work activities:

1) Plans, directs, and coordinates motion picture filming: Confers with DIRECTOR, MOTION PICTURE regarding interpretation of scene and desired effects. 2) Observes set or location and reviews drawings and other information relating to natural or artificial conditions to determine filming and lighting requirements. 3) Reads charts and computes ratios to determine required lighting, film, shutter angles, filter factors, camera distance, depth of field and focus, angles of view, and other variables to produce desired effects. 4) Confers with ELECTRICIAN, CHIEF to establish lighting requirements. 5) Selects cameras, accessories, equipment, and film stock, utilizing knowledge of filming techniques, filming requirements, and computations.

6) Instructs camera operators regarding camera setup, angles, distances, movement, and other variables and signals cues for starting and stopping filming. 7) Surveys set or location for potential problems, observes effects of lighting, measures lighting levels, and coordinates necessary changes prior to filming. 8) Views film after processing and makes adjustments, as necessary, to achieve desired effects. 9) May direct television productions which utilize electronic cameras. 10) May specialize in special effects and be designated Director Of Photography, Special Effects.

Camera Operator Get the job

The rate for camera operators working a ten-hour day on TV factual/documentary programmes is ÂŁ285; for commercials ÂŁ411; and for TV news ÂŁ227. Entry into this job with out a degree is common however qualifications in media studies, photography/film/television or media production can be usefull.


television camera operator works with digital, electronic and film cameras in multi and single-camera operational conditions, producing pictures for directors by combining the use of complex technology with creative visual skills.

Typical work activities: A camera operator usually works under the direction of a director and/or director of photography and may be supported by a camera assistant. The role involves a mix of technical and creative skills. Work activities vary greatly depending on the type of programme, for example studio/outside broadcast programmes, television dramas, commercials, documentaries, current affair and news, and whether the camera operator is using one of several cameras or a portable single camera (PSB). However, generally typical work activities include: assembling, preparing and setting up equipment prior to filming, which may

include tripods, monitors, lighting, cables and leads, and headphones; offering advice on how best to shoot a scene, explaining the visual impact created by particular shots; planning shots - when filming an expensive drama scene, such as an explosion, there may be only one chance to get things right so shots need to be meticulously planned beforehand; practising the camera moves required for pre-arranged shots; studying scripts; finding solutions to technical or other practical problems (for an outside broadcast, for example, the natural light conditions need to be taken into account when setting up shots); being prepared to innovate and experiment with ideas;

Sound Designer Get the job

The majority of sound designers are freelance Qualifications in music or music technology are important for this job and knowledge about music production and the software. The payment can also vary depending on the project. They work long hours and have to meet deadlines!


ound Designers are responsible for providing any required sounds to accompany a production. They may work in film or TV, theatre, video, or computer and hand held games. Most Sound Designers are experienced supervising sound editors who have managerial responsibilities.

Typical work activities:

They manage the entire sound post production process, as well as creating the sound concept for the production. Sound design involves both creating the sounds for major events such as a battle or a shipwreck, and creating the ambient sound that creates the atmosphere and feeling of a production. Sound effects are usually added during the editing process of the production to create a particular location or mood. Sound Designers are responsible for creating these sound effects and making sure they are used effectively and correctly.

Sound Designers may be employed by audio post production houses, or they may work on a freelance basis using their own digital audio workstations. They usually own their own recording equipment. They need to work long hours to meet a demanding schedule of deadlines.

Sound Engineer Get the job

Typical starting salary: £16,000 - £18,000 Typical salary with experience, £30,000 £35,000. The Freelance sound technicians can earn £230 £500 per (ten hour) day Many sound technicians are freelance and have great knowledge of music editing, mixing and production software. Having a degree in music or music technology can be usefull.


ound technicians are required to assemble, operate and maintain the technical equipment used to record, amplify, enhance, mix or reproduce sound.

Typical work activities: The specific activities carried out by a sound technician vary according to the sector in which they are employed. Sound technician roles can be split into two categories: production - the recording of all sound on set or on location; post-production - the balancing, mixing, editing and enhancing of pre-recorded audio. Production activities include: assessing the acoustics of the performance area and assembling and operating the necessary equipment; consulting with producers and performers to determine the sound

requirements; selecting, positioning, adjusting and operating the equipment used for amplification and recording; applying technical knowledge of sound recording equipment to achieve the determined artistic objectives; recording sound onto digital audio tape or hard disk recorders; monitoring audio signals to detect soundquality deviations or malfunctions; anticipating and correcting any problems; maintaining and repairing sound equipment. Post-production activities include: integrating (synchronisation) of prerecorded audio (dialogue, sound effects and music) with visual content; re-recording and synchronising audio (post-synching); mixing and balancing speech, effects and music; creating and altering sound effects for use in films, television, etc.

Producer Get The Job

Range of typical starting salaries: £18,000-£25,000. Range of salaries with experience: £40,000-£55,000, and for departmental heads, £60,000-£80,000 plus benefits. Freelancer producers can earn £1,062 and £1,812 for a 50-hour week


roducers are the main players in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes. Producers work closely with directors and other production staff on the shoot. Increasingly, they need to have directing skills themselves as the producer may also be the director and may take care of all project operations. Producers arrange funding for each project and are responsible for keeping the production within the allocated budget. roducers are responsible for facilitating a project from beginning to end. They are involved in every stage of the television programme, film or video, overseeing the project from start to finish, both in the studio and on location. Essentially team leaders, they are supported by production assistants, coordinators and managers, depending on the size of the project.

Most producers are educated to degree level. Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree or HND level may increase your chances:

Typical work activities:

raising funding; reading, researching and assessing ideas and finished scripts; commissioning writers or securing the rights to novels, plays or screenplays; building and developing a network of contacts; liaising and discussing projects with financial backers - projects vary from a small, corporate video costing £500 to a Hollywood feature film at more than £100million; using computer software packages for screenwriting, budgeting and scheduling; hiring key staff, including a director and a crew to shoot films or videos; controlling the budget and allocating resources; pulling together all the strands of creative and practical talent involved in the project to create a team; maintaining contemporary technical skills; organising shooting schedules - dependent on the type of producer and availability of support staff; troubleshooting; supervising the progress of the project from production to post production; holding regular meetings with the director to discuss characters and scenes; acting as a sounding board for the director; bringing the finished production in on budget.

Line Producer Get the Job

No qualifications can prepare anyone completely for this hugely demanding role. Line Producers must have considerable industry experience, which can only be acquired by working for a number of years in film The Average Line producer has a salary of £40,000+ when experienced. Hours are on average 50 a week.


ine Producers are in charge of all the business aspects of the physical production of films. They are called Line Producers because they cannot start work until they know what the ‘line’ is between the ‘above-theline’ costs, which relate to writers, producers, directors and cast, and the ‘below-the-line’ costs which include everything else, e.g., crew salaries, equipment rentals, development costs, locations, set design and construction, insurance, etc. Line Producers are usually recruited onto the production team during the later stages of development. They are given the script and asked to assess the likely ‘below the line’ cost of the production which involves breaking down the screenplay into a schedule - a timetable for the film shoot that shows how long it will take to shoot each scene. From this schedule the Line Producer can accurately estimate the cost of each day’s shooting, and produce a provisional budget estimating the total amount of funding required. Once the Producer and Executive Producers have raised the required finance, the film can go into preproduction.

Typical work activities:

During pre-production, Line Producers work closely with the Director, Production Manager, First Assistant Director, Art Director and other Heads of Department to prepare

the production schedule and budget, and to set the shoot date. Line Producers oversee all other pre-production activities, including hiring the production team, setting up the production office, location scouting, ensuring compliance with regulations and codes of practice, sourcing equipment and suppliers, selecting crew, engaging supporting artistes and contributors, and monitoring the progress of the art department and other production departments. During production, Line Producers hand over control of the final budget to the Production Accountant, and delegate the day-to-day operation of the production office to the Production Manager and Production Co-ordinator. However, Line Producers are ultimately responsible for overseeing all activities, and for ensuring that the production is completed on time and within budget. This requires setting up and implementing financial monitoring systems, controlling production expenditure, controlling production materials, and monitoring and controlling the progress of productions. Line Producers usually allow a 10% contingency in the budget to cater for unforeseen circumstances, and spend much of their time juggling figures and resources. Line Producers are responsible for certain Health and Safety procedures, and for sorting out any insurance claims.

Designer Get the job

Production designer is not typically an entrylevel position. The wage varys alot and can be considerably more if freelance. A design qualification is good preparation for work in production design as it will allow you to build up a portfolio, which you can use to demonstrate your imagination, technical ability and strong sense of spatial understanding. Entry without a degree or HND is sometimes possible


roduction designers are responsible for the visual concept of a film, television or theatre production. They realise a design style for sets, locations, graphics, props, lighting, camera angles and costumes, while working closely with the director and producer. Once the concept is decided, designers usually appoint and manage an art department, which includes a design and construction team. They often form a strong partnership with a particular director with whom they may work on many productions. Designers tend to specialise in either film, television or theatre, although there may be some overlap. In the theatre, production designers are also called stage or set designers.

Typical work activities

Most production designers work as freelancers and so an important part of their work is marketing their skills and experience, making contacts and briefing agents. First tasks usually include clarifying the brief and agreeing a suitable fee and timescale, which is sometimes done by an agent. After this, work activities might then include: reading scripts to identify factors indicating a particular visual style;

considering the production brief, which may be written or oral; meeting the producer and director to discuss concepts and production requirements; researching art history, background politics, historical information and producing design ideas; planning and monitoring the design budget; providing scale drawings or models for studio or theatre sets; producing design ideas for costumes, wigs, props, special effects, make-up and graphics; identifying and assessing potential studios and locations; sourcing appropriate materials and researching effects; presenting ideas to others involved in the production, such as actors and camera operators; researching, estimating and preparing a property list; hiring and managing an art department team or teams (depending on the size of the production); instructing the set construction company, scenic artists and special effects specialists, and monitoring their work; liaising with the costume designer and the director of photography, as well as the props, lighting and sound directors; attending progress meetings, rehearsals and filming to advise on visual presentation.


Get the Job

Gaffers are fully qualified electricians, and usually rise through the ranks of the Lighting Department, although some may have a degree in Electrical Engineering. Salaries vary greatly depending upon the type of production and your level of experience. They tend to be upward of £25,275 Freelance salaries range widely; feature films currently pay a weekly rate of £1,275 - £1,375 Gaffers can work long hours and be employed to a company or freelance


affers are in charge of all the electrical work on a production, leading the team of technicians who install the lighting equipment and arrange the power supply in order to create the designed lighting effects. Gaffers work closely with the Director of Photography to visualise in a practical way the ‘look’ they are trying to achieve. Several years’ experience may be required in order to qualify for the role of Gaffer. They may work on location, or on a film studio set. On larger productions there may be more than one Gaffer, e.g., there may be a separate Rigging Gaffer who is solely in charge of the rigging team, in which case there will also be an overall Supervising or Chief Electrician.

Typical work activities

One of the Gaffers’ key responsibilities is Health and Safety. They conduct risk assessments and certify the electrical safety of the production. They must keep control of the lighting budget, and oversee the work. Gaffers help in the selection of the best lights and equipment for the production, ensuring that they are within budget. They are in charge of the technical work of carrying out recces, and planning and preparing the lighting installations and equipment.

Gaffers check the list of lighting with the Best Boy to ensure that the correct equipment is ordered, and mediate between the lighting crew and the DoP. They must be able to suggest and interpret ideas, and have a thorough knowledge of a wide range of equipment, and of its operation. They position the equipment, and operate the lights during filming. Gaffers need to be committed to completing the job, often in difficult circumstances. They choose the lighting team, and must be aware of the legal regulations relating to working with electricity, driving, and employment. Gaffers act as the spokesperson for the lighting crew. There may be a considerable amount of travel involved in this role, and irregular, unpredictable working hours

Broadcast journalists Get the job

Range of typical starting salaries: £15,000 - £20,000. . salaries at senior level/with experience £22,000- £52,000 There are three main entry routes into broadcast journalism: direct entry into a traineeship moving across from print journalism ‘pre-entry’ by completing an accredited degree or postgraduate qualification. Some are freelance and other employed like most other media industry job roles.


roadcast journalists research, investigate and present news and current affairs for television, radio and the internet. Their aim is to present information in a fair, balanced and accurate way through news bulletins, documentaries and other factual programmes. Broadcast journalists can fill a number of roles within the media including editor, reporter, presenter/news anchor, producer and correspondent.

Typical work activities

Although exact duties and responsibilities will vary from role to role and between radio, television and the internet, broadcast journalists will generally be involved in many of the following duties on a daily basis: generating ideas for stories and features and following leads from news agencies, the police, the public, press conferences and other sources; pitching ideas to editors and commissioners; researching and collating evidence and information to support a story using relevant information sources such as the internet, archives, databases, etc.; writing scripts for bulletins, headlines and reports;

selecting appropriate locations, pictures and sound and exercising editorial judgement on the best angle to approach a story from; identifying necessary resources and deploying/ managing technical crews for location shoots, including sound operators and camera crew; providing directorial input, advising crews on what to film or record; using portable digital video (DV) cameras and other equipment to record material and appropriate editing software to produce complete packages for broadcast; preparing and presenting material ‘on air’ for both pre-recorded and live pieces; identifying potential interviewees, briefing them, preparing interview questions and conducting both live and recorded interviews; preparing timings for each news item and monitoring these during broadcast; deciding on the running order for bulletins and making any necessary changes during broadcast; developing and maintaining local contacts and assuming a public relations role; understanding and complying with media law and industry codes of conduct.

Sources Used

Industry Booklet


ublished by: Lewis Lacey

Industry booklet  

Industry job roles booklet by lewis lacey btec media