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Careers in

Film and Television

Always wanted to be involved with Television and Film? Read more and get a headstart towards your ultimate career!

What Jobs do they do?

A

perfect guide ready for students to learn about the careers in film and television, with deatails of every job type and the requirements, this

guide will help you achieve your dream. This guide will also show the pay, hours and the jobs what you would have to do. Now it is down to you to pick which job you want!


Runner

Pay: £6- £7 an hour Working hours: Variable If you want to take a first step into a media career, and you are willing to turn your hand to any task that needs doing, this job could be ideal for you. Runners are general assistants behind the scenes in the film and television industry. As a runner, you would do any small jobs

and basic tasks necessary to help the production run smoothly. In this job you will need to develop good working relationships with all levels of staff. You will need to be organised and manage your time well. You will also need to think on your feet and use

your initiative. To get into this job, employers are likely to be more interested in your enthusiasm and attitude than your qualifications. You will probably need to get experience by volunteering or by getting a work placement before you get paid work.

Qualifications

No specific academic or training qualifications are required for Runners. Media studies degrees are not necessarily considered particularly relevant when selecting Runners, and many companies are more interested in applicants with retail or catering experience. Media studies degrees may raise false expectations in students, and many would-be Runners find it hard to cope with the reality of making tea and fetching food for clients. A bright and enthusiastic attitude, and willingness learn, are the most useful attributes. Personality and communication skills are also important at entry levels.

What Jobs do they do?

•collecting and delivering equipment, scripts and other items •fetching lunches and making tea and coffee •distributing messages and post •filing and photocopying •answering the phone and greeting visitors •driving vehicles around sets or between locations •finding props •looking after studio guests •keeping sets clean and tidy.


Researcher

Pay: Variable Working hours: Variable If you like investigating things and you’d like a job in the media, this could be the ideal job for you. In this job you would support producers by finding the information, people and places needed for television or radio programmes. To become a

media researcher you should be good at speaking and writing. You’ll need to be a good organiser and be able to work accurately. You’ll also have to be patient and determined when trying to track down information that is hard to find. You can get into this

Qualifications

job in a variety of ways, including by starting out as an assistant or through having specialist knowledge. Doing a course in media production can be useful, but it’s more important for you to get practical experience, and to develop a network of contacts in the industry.

Specialist Researchers are likely to be graduates of Art, Architecture, Theatre, Interior or 3D Design courses. Some individuals may also undertake higher level courses in Film and/or Theatre Production Design. After training, it is equally important to acquire on the job experience of how Art Departments work. Individual course accreditation in certain subject areas is currently being piloted.

What Jobs do they do?

•discussing programme ideas and research needs with producers •finding and checking information, using sources such as the internet, libraries and museums •searching media libraries and archives for music, photographs and film footage •writing briefs for presenters, or briefing scriptwriters •checking copyright and arranging permission to use archive material •finding studio audiences and programme contributors •scouting for locations •keeping detailed records •researching and writing content for websites linked to TV programmes and films


Editor

Pay: £25,000+ Working hours: 30-40

If you want to get into film or TV, and want a job that is both creative and practical, this could suit you well. Film or video editors put together pictures and sound to produce a piece for film or television that is suitable for broadcasting. Skilled editors can have a big influence on the quality of the

finished piece. In this job you will need to have a good sense of timing, to put together pieces that flow well. You will need attention to detail and patience. You will also need the ability to meet tight deadlines. This is a job where your technical skills and experience, plus your personal qualities, are

likely to be valued more highly by employers than qualifications. You can get experience through voluntary work, working for equipment hire companies or by being a ‘runner’. Courses in film, video or media production can teach you some of the skills you will need.

Qualifications

Although no specific qualifications are required for Editors, FT2 (Film and Television Freelance Training) provides industry recognised training for all job roles, including Editing, involving apprentice-style attachments to professional crews, combined with short course training opportunities. Alternatively, short courses specialising in Assistant Editing for digital (non linear) cutting rooms provide a useful starting point. The National Film and Television School (NFTS) offers industry recognised short courses for all grades. Post graduate courses are also available.

What Jobs do they do?

•finding out about the needs of the project from the director or client •transferring film or video footage to computer •examining the footage and deciding which shots to keep and which to cut out •cutting and joining shots using editing software •keeping a clear idea of the storyline, even though you may be editing scenes out of sequence •creating a ‘rough cut’ from the chosen material •digitally enhancing picture quality •using computer software to add titles, graphics, sound and any visual effects •putting all the elements together, in order, for the final version •creating DVDs.


Director

Pay: Variable Working hours: Variable

If you are imaginative, and can lead others to work towards your creative vision, this job could be for you. Directors have overall responsibility for the way films or television programmes are made. As a director, you would use your creativity, organisational skills and technical

knowledge to manage the whole production process. As you would be leading a team of people with very different roles, in this job you would need good communication skills. You would need to be very organised and good at planning. You would also need to make strong

decisions, manage your time well and keep to your budget. There are many different routes to getting into this job. You could start out as a ‘runner’, or progress from camera or acting work. Courses in media production could teach you some of the skills you would need.

Qualifications

While there are numerous training courses and reference books on directing, formal qualifications are not necessary to become a Director. Studying the art and craft of directing is important, but the role can only really be mastered through in-depth practical experience. Writing a screenplay, directing one’s own short film or an amateur play, are all good starting places. Extensive industry experience is also crucial to this role; up-to-date knowledge of filmmaking techniques and equipment is vital, as is learning how to work with actors to create a performance.

What Jobs do they do? •meeting producers •commissioning a script or an idea for a documentary •interpreting scripts and developing storyboards •deciding on how the production should look and where it should be filmed •planning the shooting schedule and logistics •hiring the cast and crew •guiding the technical crew •directing the actors (or the contributors to a documentary) •supervising the editing to produce the final ‘cut’.


Floor Manager Pay: Variable Working hours:Variable As a production manager, you would organise the business, finance and employment issues in film and television productions. You would be in charge of the production budget and making sure that everything ran smoothly during filming You will need substantial

experience in TV or film, in-depth understanding of the production process, and a network of contacts in the industry. Your experience and track record will usually be more important than your formal qualifications, although accounting skills and qualifications would

be an advantage because of the budget management work involved with this job.

Qualifications

Current Health & Safety and First Aid qualifications are essential for the role of Production Manager. Although no other specific educational or training qualifications are required for this role, a degree in a media related or specialist subject may provide some useful background information. Wide experience in, and knowledge of, the production process is essential. Successful completion of specialist courses in Production Management, and in relevant IT software, e.g. Movie Magic is useful when working on drama productions.

What Jobs do they do? •meet the producer and other senior production staff to examine scripts or programme ideas •draw up a production schedule and budget based on the necessary logistics, timings and estimated costs •negotiate costs to make sure they come within budget •hire the crew and contractors •have final approval over bookings of resources, locations, equipment and supplies •arrange any necessary permissions and risk assessments •manage a production office team, which might include production assistants, production secretaries and a production coordinator.


Location Manager Pay: Variable Working hours: Variable Location 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.

Qualifications

No formal qualifications are required to become a Location Manager. Industry experience is key, and the best place to start is in the conventional entry-level role of Runner. Ideally, on-the-job training may then be acquired by progressing to the role of Location Scout, or Assistant to an established Location Manager. A full driving licence is essential for this role, as is a good working knowledge of health and safety requirements. The successful completion of any Health and Safety training courses is extremely useful.

What Jobs do they do? •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; •ensuring 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; •distributing maps, directions, parking plans and all relevant support information to all services and crew; •arranging schedules for the day with the assistant director to ensure continuity; •managing the location on the day and resolving practical or people-related problems as they arise; •supervising location support staff throughout the process;


Director of Photography Pay:£40,000 Working hours:Variable Directors of

Photography (DoPs) are key Heads of Department on film productions, and theirs is one of the major creative roles. They are requested by the Director, and must be approved by the financiers, studio and/or completion bond company. DoPs work closely with the Director and Production Designer to give a film its visual signature.

Lighting is one of the fundamental elements in filmmaking; the way in which light falls on an actor’s face, reveals an interior space, or illuminates a landscape, can create mood, drama and excitement for the audience. The ability of cinema to entertain and emotionally move an audience is the result of a highly collaborative process which encompasses performance, editing and music. The role

of the Director of Photography or Cinematographer is to provide a film with its unique visual identity, or look. Most DoPs work on commercials and promos as well as on feature films. Although the hours are long, and some foreign travel may be required, involving long periods spent away from base, the work is highly creative and very

rewarding.

Qualifications

Stills photography provides a good all round understanding of composition and light. The National Film and Television School’s MA in Cinematography provides the opportunity to specialise, and is taught by practising DoPs. Although DoPs do not need to have electrical qualifications, they do need to understand the functions of a variety of lighting equipment, and to have thorough knowledge of cameras, lenses and film stocks. They may have previously studied Drama, Stills Photography, or Art, or taken a Film/ Media Studies degree, where useful research skills are also developed.

What Jobs do they do? DoPs must discover the photographic heart of a screenplay, using a variety of source material including stills photography, painting, other films, etc. They realise the desired look using lighting, framing, camera movement, etc. DoPs collaborate closely with the camera crew (Camera Operator, 1st and 2nd Assistant Camera, Camera Trainee and Grips). During filming, DoPs also work closely with the Gaffer (whose lighting team are key to helping create the required look of the film), the Production Designer, Costume Designer, and the Hair and Make Up Department.


Camera Operator Pay:Programme Variable Working hours: 12-14 Daily A television camera operator works with digital, electronic and film cameras in multi and singlecamera operational conditions, producing pictures for directors by combining the use of complex technology with creative visual skills. The work is based in three settings:

•in a studio, where the camera operator usually follows a camera script, which gives the order of shots. This is practised at rehearsal and is cued by the director during recording. The skill lies in interpreting what the director wants and acting quickly and effectively to

achieve it; •outside broadcasts, working as part of a team of camera operators filming live events, such as sporting and ceremonial occasions and music performances; A camera operator might specialise in any or all of these disciplines.

Qualifications

No specific qualifications are required to work in this role, although film schools and training courses offer a good basic grounding in the skills and knowledge required and in practice many Camera Operators have studied for higher level qualifications. The most useful courses offer practical experience and may also include work experience placements. Relevant courses include City & Guilds courses, BTEC HNC/HNDs, Foundation degrees, first degrees and postgraduate qualifications in media, film and TV production or cinematography. Basic stills photography, which develops visual and composition skills, also provides a useful starting point in training for this role.

What Jobs do they do? •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);


Sound Designer

Pay:£27000+ Working hours: Variable Depending on the film’s budget, Sound Designers usually start work at the same time as the other Sound Editors; on a big effects film requiring a strong sound concept, this may be before shooting begins; on a modest budget production, it could be when picture lock is achieved (the

Director and/or Executive Producer have given final approval of the picture edit). Their first task is to identify the three main kinds of sound effects required: spot effects (gunshots, clocks, doors closing, dog barking, etc.), atmosphere effects, (rain, wind, traffic, birdsong, etc.), and

sound design effects (dinosaurs, aliens, spaceships, computers, etc.) Once this sonic shopping list is complete, Sound Designers source different kinds of sounds, and often create and record original new material

Qualifications

Competition to become a Sound Designer is increasingly high and even those entering the film industry at junior levels have a B.Mus (Tonmeister) or similar qualification. Many Sound Designers have also specialised in Film and Television Sound at postgraduate level. Sound is one of the best served areas for film and television training in the UK with provision ranging from specialised short courses, to qualifications at HND, BA and post graduate levels. Individual course accreditation in certain subject areas is currently being piloted. As part of Creative Skillset’s and the UK Film Council’s Film Skills Strategy,

What Jobs do they do? Sound Designers track lay all the sound effects on a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), or a powerful computer loaded with dedicated software, working towards the Premix (when all disparities in the sound effects tracks are smoothed out, or cross faded, by the Re-Recording Mixer). This is followed by the Final Mix, when dialogues, ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement), Foley, atmosphere, music and special effects tracks are seamlessly blended together. Because most Sound Designers are also Supervising Sound Editors, they usually oversee the “deliverables” – including the Music and Effects version of the film which allows the dialogue track to be replaced with different language versions.


Sound Editor

Pay:£27,000 Working hours:Variable A Sound Editor creates the soundtrack by cutting and synchronizing to the picture, sound elements, such as production wild tracks, dialogue tracks, library material and foley in analog or digital form and presents these to the rerecording mixer

for final sound balance. Depending on the complexity and the tightness of the schedule it may be necessary to employ a dialogue editor and/or foley editor. They work closely with the sound designer, re-recording mixer and the director to establish what sound effects are

required throughout the production and to ensure that these effects are available from sound effect libraries, or can be created to production requirements within tight time schedules

Qualifications

Foley Editors are usually graduates of Arts, Music, Electronics, Maths, or Sound Technology courses, who have also specialised in Sound at post-graduate level. Sound is one of the best served areas for film and television training in the UK with provision ranging from specialised short courses, to qualifications at HND, BA and post graduate levels. Individual course accreditation in certain subject areas is currently being piloted. As part of Creative Skillset’s and the UK Film Council’s Film Skills Strategy, A Bigger Future, a network of Screen Academies and a Film Business Academy have been approved as centres of excellence in education and training for film.

What Jobs do they do? •After listening to the various recordings of the actors saying their lines, the sound editor picks the one to use, making sure the actors’ speech syncs with the scene. He also edits out any unwanted background noise. •If none of the dialogue can be used, the sound editor has to do automated dialogue replacement. The actors rerecord their lines, making sure they sync with the scene. •The sound editor introduces background noises to enhance the scene’s mood


Sound Mixer Pay:£34,000 Working hours:Variable Production Sound Mixers are responsible for the difficult job of ensuring that dialogue recorded during filming is suitably clear. Although much of the storytelling and the emotional impact of a script are conveyed through dialogue, most film sets are challenging environments for

Mixers because there are often unwanted noises to deal with, or the required camera shots hamper the placing of microphones. It is sometimes easier to re-record actors’ dialogues after shooting (post-syncing), but the majority of Directors prefer to use the actual lines of dialogue recorded

during filming by Production Sound Mixers, Boom Operators and Sound Assistants using multiple microphones and DAT (Digital Audio Tape) or hard disk recorders. Production Sound Mixers work on a freelance basis on features and drama productions.

Qualifications

As the head of the production sound department, Production Sound Mixers must undertake specialist training in sound recording before starting out at junior levels within the sound department and progressing through the sound roles. Sound is one of the best served areas for film and television training in the UK with provision ranging from specialised short courses, to qualifications at HND, BA and post graduate levels. FT2 (Film and Television Freelance Training) offers training for Sound Assistants involving apprentice-style attachments to professional crews,.

What Jobs do they do? In the same way as Directors endeavour to ensure that they have adequate overall coverage of each scene, Production Sound Mixers work with the Boom Operator to select suitable types of microphone (e.g. close-ups or extreme angled shots may require clip microphones that do not appear in frame), and carefully reposition these microphones for each set-up, to ensure adequate sound coverage. If music is required in a scene, Production Sound Mixers also set up playback equipment and speakers for the actors. At the end of each shooting day, Production Sound Mixers may send the day’s sound recording files to post production via ISDN as well as handing over the meticulously labelled originals to the Camera Assistant, who packages them up with the camera rushes. Production Sound Mixers finish work when the film wraps (is completed).


Sound Recordist

Pay:ÂŁ20,000+ Working hours:Varaible

The majority of Production Sound Mixers train in sound recording but start working in the industry at junior levels as sound trainees. This period of on the job training lasts approximately two years before sound trainees are ready to become sound assistants. Working with equipment

manufacturers or hire companies can also provide the opportunity to learn about sound equipment and to make useful industry contacts. Experience may also be gained by working on commercials, short films and television productions. Once individuals progress to becoming boom

operators, they usually work with the same Production Sound Mixers over a number of years, gaining extensive experience, before they in turn are offered the opportunity to head up the sound department as Production Sound Mixers.

Qualifications

Re-Recording Mixers are usually graduates of Music, Sound Technology, or increasingly, Computer Sound Design courses. Because this is a highly competitive area, many also go on to specialise in Film and Television Sound at post-graduate level. Sound is one of the best served areas for film and television training in the UK with provision ranging from specialised short courses, to qualifications at HND, BA and post graduate levels.

What Jobs do they do? In the same way as directors endeavor to ensure that they have adequate overall coverage of each scene, Production Sound Mixers work with the boom operator to select suitable types of microphone (e.g., close-ups or extreme angled shots may require clip microphones that do not appear in frame), and carefully reposition these microphones for each setup, to ensure adequate sound coverage. If music is required in a scene, Production Sound Mixers also set up playback equipment and speakers for the actors. At the end of each shooting day, Production Sound Mixers may send the day’s sound recording files to post production via ISDN as well as handing over the meticulously labelled originals to the camera assistant, who packages them up with the camera rushes. Production Sound Mixers finish work when the film wraps (is completed).


Producer

Pay:£18,000-£80,000Working hours: Variable Producers 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. Creative input and the level of decision making varies, as this is dependent on the client and the brief

Qualifications

There are no set qualifications for the grade of Producer - however, as the head of a team of both accounting and creative personnel, the Producer has to have an extensive understanding of the nature of film production as well as a strong grasp of business and financial issues. He/she must have experience of working in the film industry, preferably as part of the Production Team

What Jobs do they do? •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;


Executive Producer

Pay:£18,000- £80,000Working hours:Variable The traditional role of the Executive Producer is to supervise the work of the Producer on behalf of the studio, the financiers or the distributors, and to ensure that the film is completed on time, and within budget, to agreed artistic and technical standards. The term often applies to a producer who has raised a significant proportion of a

film’s finance, or who has secured the underlying rights to the project. Typically, Executive Producers are not involved in the technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but have played a crucial financial or creative role in ensuring that the project goes into production. Executive Producers may be well established

Producers, who are able to strengthen a production package and attract money to the project. Alternatively, they may have a more specialised background, as a Distributor, Sales Agent or financier, and possess specific skills or contacts that make them critical to the success of the film.

Qualifications

Executive Producers may be well established Producers, who are able to strengthen a production package and attract money to the project. Alternatively, they may have a more specialised background, as a Distributor, Sales Agent or financier, and possess specific skills or contacts that make them

What Jobs do they do? As there may be several Executive Producers on a film, it is difficult to define their

exact responsibilities. However, they usually fall into one or more of the following categories: · Development - the Executive Producer secures the rights to a story and develops the screenplay, but then hands over to the lead Producer, and has no direct involvement in the physical production of the film. · Packaging - the Executive Producer authorises and supervises the packaging of the film. · Financing - the Executive Producer raises a significant proportion of funding for the film, assists with presales, or helps to secure distribution agreements


Line Producer Pay:Variable Working hours:Variable The Line Producer is one of the first people to be employed on a film’s production by the Producer and Executive Producers. Line Producers are rarely involved in the development of the project, but often play a crucial role in costing the production in order to provide investors

with the confidence to invest in the project. As soon as the finance has been raised, the Line Producer supervises the preparation of the film’s budget, and the day-today planning and running of the production. Line Producers are usually employed on a freelance basis.

They must expect to work long hours, though the role can be financially very rewarding. Career advancement is based on their experience and reputation. Where a Line Producer has a creative input to the production, he or she is often credited as a Co-producer.

Qualifications

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, television and/or commercial production. Individuals usually progress to the role of Line Producer by working their way through a variety of roles in Assistant Direction, Location Management and/or the Production Office. Many start their careers as Runners or Production Assistants. Line Producers must also attend the required Health & Safety courses.

What Jobs do they do?

Line 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-the-line’ 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 pre-production.


Designer Pay:VariableWorking hours:Variable Production 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.

Qualifications

Relevant degree/HND subjects include those related to art and design. The following subjects in particular are most likely to provide relevant skills and knowledge: •theatre/performance design; •creative/performing/technical arts; •interior design;

What Jobs do they do?

•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;


Sources All the information from this guide was found within these different sites listed below, if you have time please vist these sites for more information about each one. Now it is time for you to start building your own career whether it means going to university or getting a placement with a company. You might be the next Micheal Bay or Steven Speilberg, we wish you the very best.

http://www.creativeskillset.org/ http://www.wikipedia.org/ http://www.prospects.ac.uk/ All images where found on Google Images

Now it is down to you!

Created by Zac Brown

Careers in Film/Television  
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