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So you want a job in film and television?

There are huge numbers of young people competing for very few jobs. It is difficult to stress exactly how competitive film and television work is, but a good guide is that 9 out of 10 actors are out of work at any given time. Up until recently you had to be a member of the actors union Equity to get a professional acting job and you were allowed an Equity Card only after you had worked professionally for some time. Thankfully this catch 22 situation no longer exists, although the film and television industry remains a very closed shop to all but the most dedicated and well connected. Only 6% of actors earn more than 30,000 per year. A recent survey found that nearly half of those working in the UK film and television industry earned less than 6,000 a year from the profession. Many actors and film makers work for very little, especially at the beginning of their careers. Most jobs are short term. Many experienced actors and film makers need to do other work to supplement their income.

If you are you still interested in film and television work after reading the above information, then you clearly have the strong commitment necessary to begin a career in film and TV. However, commitment on its own is not enough. How can I get a career in film and television? You need specific training and experience in film and TV. Most of the careers below require formal training, usually in the form of academic courses. Entrance to courses will depend on relevant exam results at post-16, and auditions (for actors) Depending on your chosen career, you will also need experience in screen-acting or filmmaking. You should begin making films right now and start compiling material for your showreel. Your showreel is a vital piece of equipment for the actor and film-maker, showing future employees your skills and range. As your career progresses, your showreel will also develop, tracking how your skills and experience develop over time Whatever your chosen career in film and television, ACT 2 CAM is here to help you get to the next level, offering new skills, vital experience and showreel material to help you on your way to success. What is included in this pack? With more than 60 pages and more than 100 job descriptions and career paths in film and television, we hope you find this career pack useful. We have also included careers advice, tips for becoming a successful actor or film-maker as well as some links to useful websites. Please consider the environment and do not print out this document unless necessary (although please feel free to forward it to whoever you think may benefit from it!).

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this career pack, please get in touch with us by email or by phone 0191 2704255

Here is ACT 2 CAMs list of top 10 tips on how to become a successful working screenactor or filmmaker: 1. Decide now if you really want to do screenacting or filmmaking. You have to be dedicated. If you are, then read on. 2. Start getting experience in front of and behind the camera, right now! Build up a showreel of your work. Follow every opportunity to make films. The better the quality, the more professional you come across and the more likely you are to get noticed. 3. Enrol in a screenacting or filmmaking classes. Join your local ACT 2 CAM group and MAKE FILMS NOW! Visit or for more information. Get expert training on screen and behind the camera. Good actors and filmmakers study their entire lives. Good classes are run by professional teachers and industry experts with enhanced CRB checks. 4. Seek out and mix with likeminded people. There are plenty of ambitious young actors and filmmakers out there. Make opportunities to meet industry professionals whenever possible. "Who you know" is extremely important. 5. Promote yourself. Send your showreel and CV with a brief cover letter to all the casting directors and agents in your area. Follow up with postcards every four to six months, updating them on your current film projects. 6. Seek out work. Read the trade papers regularly, as well as online publications. The Stage, The Knowledge and Production and Casting Report are just 3 of the many resources out there. Make sure you know what is being filmed and where, and get your showreel directly to directors and producers whenever possible, requesting work. 7. Get yourself where the work is. Make sure you are in the right place at the right time. Find out about auditions and screentests in your area. Look out for filmfestivals and media competitions. 8. Be realistic. Know that you can be successful even if you don't become famous. There are very many people wanting to get into in film and television. Do not expect too much too soon. 9. Persevere. Keep going, and believe in yourself. There will be times when you will need to ask yourself that question #1 again Is this what you really want? 10. Give yourself the best possible chance. The competition is huge, and the opportunities are few and far between. You have to make sure you have the experience, the skills and the showreel when that opportunity arrives.

Actor What is the job? An actor communicates a character and/or situations to an audience through speech, body language and movement. This usually involves interpreting the work of a writer under the instruction and support of a director, although some work may require the actor to devise a character or improvise the reactions of a character to a situation. Work varies enormously, from live stage performances of the classics and community theatre to soap operas, radio work and film parts. An actor's role may also involve education, training or therapy, as well as entertainment. An acting career inevitably incorporates periods of unemployment, underemployment and alternative employment. Work activities vary from actor to actor and even for the same actor, depending on the contract. However, activities include varying combinations of the following: job seeking and networking; liaising with an agent; preparing for and attending auditions; learning lines and rehearsing; researching or undertaking activities to help prepare for a part; discussing interpretation and delivery with company members and the director; performing for a live audience; performing in a studio or 'on location' for film, television, internet and radio broadcast; doing voice-overs for advertisements or recording audiobooks; managing the performance area, costumes and props; undertaking activities associated with touring, such as driving a van, get-ins and getouts at theatres (i.e. setting up and dismantling the performance area); liaising with venue managers and accommodation providers; keeping records for company managers; working as a walk-on or extra for television or film.

It is essential to realise that, on average, actors spend about 90% of their working life 'resting' (i.e. not employed as an actor), so it is important to have other ways of being occupied and generating an income. Skills Being an actor requires a range of skills, including: Good stage, screen or vocal presence The ability to enter into another character and engage with an audience The ability to memorise lines Good understanding of dramatic techniques Having the confidence, energy and dedication to perform Creative insight

Typical career routes: Getting into acting almost always requires formal training, and this is usually in the form of academic courses at drama schools or performing arts centres. Different schools have different reputations and those with the best reputations are extremely competitive.

Many courses are similar to university degrees, entailing three years of full-time study although it is possible to take a one year postgraduate qualification if relevant previous study has been completed. The most popular courses are in acting, drama or musical theatre and acceptance depends on factors including: Relevant exam results: A levels, GCSEs and BTEC diplomas in subjects such as English, Drama and Performing Arts Auditions Experience in amateur or professional acting

Without these qualifications, the best option would be to pursue practical opportunities as much as possible, and participate in amateur productions, films and workshops wherever possible. Experience and building a CV is important in acting, although it is not everything and strong or appealing actors, especially younger ones, may find major roles without a huge amount of prior activity. Most actors do work steadily, though, and many see their work as a lifelong progression, using self discovery and internal reflection to improve their skills, broaden their repertoire and build their reputation. Some useful websites: Some North East agents: Acting agents and casting directors prefer you to write to them rather than email, including your CV, headshot and showreel (if you have one). If you are under 18 please remember to take an adult chaperone to every audition, casting or work placement. For free advice on acting as a career, more details of agents and casting directors nationwide, or free audition and casting help, contact ACT 2 CAM on 0191 270 4255. ADR Recordist Automated Dialogue Replacement, also known as looping or dubbing. This is the critical process in film and TV whereby dialogue is recorded in a studio for any number of reasons: to replace existing production sound that is not usable either for technical considerations (usually due to a noisy location) or editorial ones (lines of dialogue have been changed); to add a voice-over to a film (often planned from the outset, but occasionally added at the last moment to help clarify a hazy plot); to add group voices not covered by production sound; to record dialogue for an animated production; or to dub the film into another language. Aerial Specialist Camera Pilots fly the aircraft that carries the aerial camera crew (aerial director of photography (DoP) and aerial camera assistant). Together they shoot the aerial sequences

that form part of the finished feature film. Camera Pilots are also responsible for flying any aircraft, including helicopters, planes, hot air balloons, etc., that appear as action props in finished films. This may involve performing difficult stunts requiring a high degree of expertise and experience. Anchor/Host Anchor/Presenters work at the front line of television and radio. They introduce and host programs, read the news, interview people and report on issues and events. As the number of channels and radio stations increases, so do the openings, but opportunities to become a Presenter are still scarce and competition is fierce. Presenters work across the whole spectrum of broadcasting national and regional television and radio, satellite and cable channels and also in the non broadcast sector, e.g., training and corporate productions. Most are employed on short contracts and the hours can be long and unsociable. The work may be studio based or on location. Some Presenters achieve celebrity status and command high salaries, but life in the public gaze is not always desirable. Some Presenters work on a range of programs; others specialize in a particular type, such as current affairs. The calm and relaxed manner of successful Presenters makes the job seem easier than it is. They are usually involved in the careful planning that goes into every program, including rehearsals and research, and they keep the program running to plan while on air, working closely with the production team, often following detailed instructions while reading from an autocue and/or script, and responding positively to any problems or changes. They may write their own material and they also need to be able to memorize facts and ad lib when necessary. Animal Trainer Animal Trainer - Someone who conditions animals to perform various behaviors on cue. Animator Animation is the art of making images that appear to come to life on screen. It features in all kinds of media, from feature films to commercials, pop videos, computer games and websites. Animators use a range of techniques to make images appear to move, and most specialize in one of the following: * 2D drawn animation * 2D computer animation * stop frame or stop motion animation * 3D computer generated (CG) animation 2D drawn animation consists of a series of images which the Animator draws on special paper. Each image represents one stage of a movement, for example, of a character walking or smiling. Traditionally the images are traced onto film and colored. Scenery is then added by layering sheets of film. Increasingly, however, the images are scanned into a computer and colored using specialized software. When viewed at speed and in sequence the images appear to move. In 2D computer animation, the Animator works with a specialized software package which is used to create and animate characters, and add scenery and a soundtrack. Stop frame or stop motion animation uses models, puppets or other 3D objects. The model is photographed, then moved a fraction by the Animator and photographed again. When the photographs (or frames) are played at normal speed, the images appear to move.

3D CG animation uses specialized software to create animations. This technique is often used in feature films and computer games. The work can be extremely painstaking and time consuming, but Animators are expected to meet deadlines and production schedules. Although some Animators create their own characters and stories, others follow a brief from a director, animation director or key animator. Often they work with established characters and layouts. Animator (with Live Action) A live action/animated film is a motion picture that features a combination of real actors or elements: live action and animated elements, typically interacting. Originally, animation was combined with live action in several ways, sometimes as simply as double printing two negatives onto the same release print. More sophisticated techniques used optical printers or aerial image animation cameras, which enabled more exact positioning, and better interaction of actors and animated characters. Often, every frame of the live action film was traced by rotoscoping, so that the Animator could add their drawing in the exact position. With the rise of digital special effects, combining live action and animation has become more common. The Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for example, include substantial amounts of animation, though it may not be recognized as such because of the animation's realistic, non cartoony appearance. Art Dept, Leadman AKA: Leadman, Lead Person Member of the art department who is in charge of swing gangs and/or set dressers and reports to the set decorator. Art Dept, Swing Set Dressers who dress and strike sets, as well as pick up and return the dressing. They work apart from the shooting crew, as they are always either prepping a set for shooting or striking it after it's been shot. Art Director Art Directors act as project managers for the biggest department on any film - the art department. They facilitate the production designer's creative vision for all the locations and sets that eventually give the film its unique visual identity. Art Directors are responsible for the art department budget and schedule of work, and help the production designer to maximize the money allocated to the department. Art Directors are usually requested by the production designer, and are responsible for the assistant art director, the draughtsman* (as many as 20 draughtsmen may be employed on big budget films), the art department assistant(s) and all construction personnel. As Art Directors must find practical solutions to creative problems while simultaneously monitoring the budget, this is highly skilled work. Many Art Directors work on television dramas and commercials, as well as on films. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home. Art Directors work on a freelance basis. What is the Art Director job? On big budget films, Art Directors start work up to 4 to 5 months before shooting begins (on low

budget films 8 weeks may be sufficient). When the final schedule is delivered (detailing the precise order of scenes in which the film will be shot), Art Directors begin the work of overseeing the preparation of the first sets required. Art Directors analyze the script to identify all props or special items that may require longer lead times. Simultaneously, a team of draughtsmen draw up numerous plans for sets and locations for use by Art Directors when working with the construction managers and their team. This is an extremely busy, pressured time for every member of the art department; as well as coping with this pressure, Art Directors must also tightly control the budget (which is prepared and monitored on a spreadsheet). On big productions, weekly meetings with the accountant are key to this process. A major part of Art Directors' work is troubleshooting - they must find cost effective solutions which also provide practical answers to construction and decorating problems. During pre-production, they are also responsible for commissioning all special effects (such as explosions or car crash sequences), hiring all vehicles (from cars to horse drawn carriages) and organizing the casting of all animals (chosen by the director). As the shooting date approaches, Art Directors liaise closely with the location manager to negotiate when locations can be prepared and dressed. During filming, Art Directors continue to oversee the construction, dressing and striking (dismantling) of the remaining sets. After the film wraps (shooting is completed), Art Directors must ensure that all sets are struck and locations cleared, and that all outstanding art department bills are paid. Assistant Director (1st) The First Assistant Director (AD) is the director's right hand person, taking responsibility for a number of important practicalities so that the director is free to concentrate on the creative process. During pre-production, First ADs break down the script into a shot by shot storyboard, and work with the director to determine the shoot order, and how long each scene will take to film. They then draw up the overall shooting schedule (a timetable for the filming period). Once the film is in production, Firsts are in charge of making sure that every aspect of the shoot keeps to this schedule. Responsibilities: First ADs' main duties are assisting the director, coordinating all production activity, and supervising the cast and crew. They are also in charge of a department of other assistant directors and runners. Overall, they provide the key link between the director, the cast and the crew, while also liaising with the production office, and providing regular progress reports about the shoot. Before the shoot, the Firsts' main task is to create the filming schedule, working in careful consultation with the director in order to fulfill his or her creative ambitions. When drawing up the shooting schedule, First ADs must also be aware of budgetary constraints, cast availability and script coverage. Preparing the storyboard, overseeing the hiring of locations, props and equipment, and checking weather reports, are all key pre-production duties for Firsts. During production, they must ensure that everyone is on standby and ready for the director's cue for action. First ADs' core responsibility is to keep filming on schedule by driving it forward, so they frequently make announcements and give directions to coordinate the cast and crew. They also control discipline on the set, supervise the other assistant directors, and oversee the preparation of the daily 'call sheet' (a document detailing daily shooting logistics, which is distributed to all cast and crew). Firsts are also responsible for health and safety on set or location, and must take action to eliminate or minimize hazards at all times. Skills:

First ADs must be authoritative team leaders and motivators, while also being approachable team players. They need exceptional organizational and time management skills. The ability to plan ahead, trouble shoot and pay close attention to detail is vital in this role. Being an excellent communicator, with tact and diplomacy skills, is also essential as they must routinely deal with problems or even crisis situations. They must also constantly prioritize tasks, and may be frequently interrupted, the ability to multi task is crucial. Firsts work long and often unsocial hours on a freelance basis, so a strong commitment to the job is essential. As they also usually work under highly pressurized and stressful conditions, a flexible and positive approach is highly valued. Assistant Director (2nd 2nd) AKA: 2nd 2nd Assistant Director, Third Assistant Director, 3rd Assistant Director An Assistant to the second assistant director; responsible for (among other things) directing the movements of extras. Assistant Director (2nd) The Second Assistant Director is the first assistant director's right hand person. The Second AD's main function is to ensure that all the first AD's orders and directions are carried out. Seconds have two main responsibilities during production: they prepare and draw up the 'call sheet' (a document detailing daily filming logistics, which is distributed to cast and crew), under the supervision of the first; and they oversee all the movements of the cast, ensuring that the principal actors are in makeup, in wardrobe, or standing by on the set at the correct times. On smaller productions, on which there is no third assistant director, Seconds may also be responsible for finding and looking after background artists (extras). Most Seconds also assist the first in liaising between the set or location and the production office, updating key personnel on the timings and progress of the shoot. Responsibilities: On each day of a shoot, Seconds must prepare and draw up the next day's call sheet, (which involves confirming the details of who needs to be on set and at what time, the transport arrangements, extras required, etc.). These details must be approved by the production office before the Seconds can distribute the call sheet to the cast and crew. Ensuring that everyone knows their 'call time' (the precise time they will be required on set) is a key responsibility any delay to filming due to bad time keeping negatively affects the day's schedule and budget, and is considered unprofessional and extremely inefficient. Once the day's filming has begun, Seconds must ensure that all actors are ready for filming when they are required, which entails coordinating any transport requirements, as well as makeup and wardrobe timetables. In some cases, Seconds may also be in charge of finding extras, sometimes in large numbers at short notice, and coordinating their transport to, and activities on, the set or location. Skills: Seconds must have excellent organizational and time management skills to coordinate arrangements and to make efficient plans. First class communication and interpersonal skills are also essential, as Seconds must deal with a large number of people, convey messages and give instructions clearly, concisely and confidently. Cast members may be under pressure to learn script lines, or to hone their performance, and need to be dealt with tactfully and diplomatically at all times.

Paying close attention to detail and always attaining very high standards of efficiency are vital skills for successful Seconds. To foster the confidence of first ADs, Seconds must consistently offer capable support and assistance. As the work is on a freelance basis, and involves long and unsocial hours, Seconds must be extremely motivated and always flexible. Assistant to Producer The Assistant to the Producer is an administrator who works closely with producers throughout the production process. They are involved at the pre-production stage through to post production and marketing and distribution. They must be well organized, flexible, and have a good overview of the production process. The producer will determine their responsibilities throughout the production on a day to day basis. Their tasks may include writing coverage on scripts, drafting letters, making phone calls, running an office, interviewing personnel, coordinating the fundraising process, assisting with duties on and off set, liaising between the producer and the post production team, and helping to prepare publicity materials. They may also be asked to help with copyright, arranging meetings and events, and managing money. They are sometimes asked to contribute to strategic thinking in relation to projects in development. A good Assistant to Producer can have a significant influence over the production and is sometimes given an associate producer credit. They may work as freelancers or employees of a production company. As well as excellent organizational and administrative skills, script reading skills, experience with script writing software, and knowledge of the film industry is an advantage. Associate Producer An Associate Producer position can often be an entry level one. Often referred to as the 'AP', an Associate Producer generally assists the producer in putting the TV program or film together. Duties may include writing, editing, organizing scripts, running the teleprompter in news casts, or helping the editor by making beat calls. An Associate Producer needs good writing and editing skills, and may often be called upon to make simple editorial decisions when editing video by choosing the shots that match the copy. The Associate Producer will generally be required to rewrite wire copy, and may also be responsible for cueing up tapes, and making sure scripts are in order. The Associate Producer may also pitch story ideas, help guide the editorial content of the program, assist with promotions, handle some bookings as well as manage the growing tape needs on the program. The role may also have the responsibility for assisting with the show's or film's webpage. Audio Recordist A member of the sound crew responsible for operating the audio recording equipment on a set.

Autocue Operator Autocue is a name commonly given to the computerized prompting system used by presenters. The Autocue Operator follows the script and ensures that no matter how fast or slow youre talking, the Autocue keeps up with you. Best Boy

The term Best Boy refers to the best electrician in the team led by the gaffer (chief lighting technician). Best Boys coordinate the team of lighting technicians, and deal with all the logistics and paperwork relating to the role. They liaise between the production office and the lighting company, and relay information for the gaffer. Best Boys ensure that equipment is ordered, arrange its delivery, and ensure that it arrives in the right place at the right time. They are also in charge of dealing with any damaged or malfunctioning equipment. This is a senior lighting role, and varies according to the size of the production. The Best Boy is the gaffer's right hand person. Responsibilities: Best Boys have specific responsibility for liaising with other members of the production team, e.g., the first assistant director, the special effects director or the art director. On location they may liaise with the building maintenance team, or with the electrician in a particular building. It is the Best Boys' responsibility to check the lighting team members' time sheets in order to verify the hours they have worked. Best Boys issue written orders, and assist the gaffer in coordinating the other lighting technicians in the team. The work is demanding, and the hours long and unpredictable. Best Boys may work a six day week, and up to 12 or 13 hours per day. Skills: Lighting technicians need several years working experience before becoming Best Boys, and it is unlikely that anyone would attain this position before reaching the age of 25. They must be organized, able to motivate other team members and to communicate effectively with other production departments, as well as acting as the liaison with the lighting company. Best Boys must be aware of health and safety legislation and procedures. Boom Operator Boom Operators assist the production sound mixer on film and television sets, and operate the boom microphone, which is either hand held on a long arm or dolly mounted (on a moving platform). If radio or clip microphones are required, Boom Operators position them correctly around the set or location, or on actors' clothing. Boom Operators are responsible for positioning microphones so that sound mixers can capture the best quality dialogue and sound effects. If this is done well, a great deal of money can be saved by not having to rerecord (post sync) the dialogue at a later stage in the film or television production. Boom Operators are also responsible for all the sound equipment, ensuring that it is in good working order, and carrying out minor repairs where necessary. Boom Operators begin work on the first day of principal photography, after reading the script several times, and familiarizing themselves with the characters and their lines of dialogue. Members of the sound department arrive half an hour before call time, in order to unload and set up all the sound equipment. Boom Operators are given "sides" (small booklets of pages from the script that are to be shot each day), so that they can memorize all lines of dialogue and anticipate when to move the boom during filming. During the morning rehearsal with the director, director of photography and the actors, Boom Operators carefully note all planned camera movements and lighting requirements, so that they can ensure that the microphone does not accidentally fall into shot or cast shadows. Boom Operators are on set virtually all day, positioned with the camera crew, with whom they must develop good working relationships as they are often asked to move slightly because of lights or camera angles; Boom Operators may also make similar reciprocal requests. They finish work when the film wraps (is completed). Boom Operators work on a freelance basis, and report directly to production sound mixers in production sound departments. They usually specialize in either film or television, but may also work on commercials. The hours are long and the work often involves long periods working away from home.


Boom Operators need a basic understanding of electronics. They should also have a good working knowledge of all sound recording equipment and microphones. Key Skills include: excellent aural skills dexterity and agility ability to anticipate a good memory good timing precise attention to detail diplomacy and sensitivity on set knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures Broadcast Engineer Broadcast engineering is the field of electrical engineering, and now to some extent computer engineering, which deals with radio and television broadcasting. Audio engineering and RF engineering are also essential parts of broadcast engineering, being their own subsets of electrical engineering. Broadcast engineering involves both the studio end and the transmitter end (the entire airchain), as well as remote broadcasts. Every station has a Broadcast Engineer, though one may now serve an entire station group in a city, or be a contract Engineer who essentially freelances his services to several stations (often in small media markets) as needed. Modern duties of a Broadcast Engineer include: Maintaining broadcast automation systems for the studio and automatic transmission systems for the transmitter plant. There are also important duties regarding radio towers, which must be maintained with proper lighting and painting. Occasionally a station's Engineer must deal with complaints of RF interference, particularly after a station has made changes to its transmission facilities. Camera Assistant (1st) When characters in films run out of a burning building or simply walk across a room to open the door, they are usually moving closer or further away from the camera. This means that the focal length the distance of the camera lens from the subject is constantly changing. Adapting or "pulling" focus to accommodate these changes is the main responsibility of the 1st Assistant Camera (AC). 1st ACs are usually requested by the director of photography or the camera operator and work on a freelance basis. Hours are long and the work can be physically demanding. What is the job? The role of the 1st AC (until recently known as Focus Puller) is one of the most skilled jobs on a film crew. 1st ACs are responsible for focusing and refocusing the camera lens as actors move within the frame of each shot, but they do not look though the lens to do this; they pull focus according to a set of complex marks (which are placed on the set, on the floor, on props, etc., during the director's on set rehearsal time with the cast), and by using their instincts and experience of judging focal lengths. As it is impossible to see whether the focus is sharp until the rushes are screened, 1st ACs rely on experience and instinct for each focal adjustment. Because reshooting scenes is expensive, and actors may be unable to recreate their best


take, 1st ACs must be extremely reliable and good at their work, and should be able to cope effectively in stressful situations. 1st ACs are also responsible for camera equipment such as lenses, filters and matte boxes, and for assembling the camera and its accessories for different shots. 1st ACs arrive on set or in the studio before the director, director of photography and camera operator, and ensure that the camera and all required lenses are prepared for the day's shoot. If the director or DoP wants to try out a specific lens, the 1st AC assembles the camera so that they can look through the eyepiece to assess the shot. At the end of each shooting day, 1st ACs clean the equipment and pack it up in preparation for the next day. If there is a problem with the rushes (such as a scratch on the film), focus pullers liaise with the film lab to rectify any faults with the camera or stock. Typical career routes: Since becoming a 1st AC is about acquiring hands on experience, it is essential to serve an apprenticeship, starting out as a camera trainee and progressing to become a 2nd then 1st AC. Some 1st ACs may start out by working at a junior level in a film lab or camera equipment facilities house. However, since the essence of the job is learning how to gauge focal length to such a degree that it becomes second nature, being around working cameras and learning how to use them is a crucial part of any apprenticeship. Some of the best 1st ACs see this role as an end in itself and make a good living; others go on to become directors of photography. Essential knowledge and skills: 1st ACs must develop their ability to pull focus to such a degree that it becomes instinctive. This requires excellent knowledge of cameras, lenses and all related equipment. They must also keep up to date with new techniques and equipment. They need expert knowledge of photochemical and digital film processing. Key Skills include: good eyesight and the ability to accurately judge distances agility and speed precise attention to detail ability to collaborate and to work as part of a team diplomacy and sensitivity when working with artists and crew physical stamina and strength knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures Camera Assistant (2nd) 2nd Assistant Cameras (ACs) are key members of the camera crew, and are responsible for the smooth running of the entire camera department. Audiences watching a finished film are not conscious of the camera a complex piece of machinery, powered by batteries which must be charged and reloaded. Nor are they thinking of the difficult job of anticipating when a magazine (the sealed container that feeds the unexposed film into the camera) is about to run out, and what a pressurized job it is to reload quickly so that the flow of filming is not disrupted. These are some of the responsibilities of the 2nd Assistant Camera. Most 2nd AC's are requested by a camera operator or 1st AC, and work on a freelance basis. They often work on a combination of commercials, promos and features. What is the job? 2nd ACs assist the camera operator in positioning and moving the camera, and are responsible for loading and unloading film magazines, changing and charging camera


batteries, changing lenses, operating the clapper board, filling out and filing all camera sheets, liaising with film labs, and ordering the correct amount and type of film stock. 2nd ACs work closely with 1st ACs (focus pullers), and supervise any camera trainees. Depending on the size of the feature film, 2nd ACs start work two or three weeks before the first day of principal photography, assisting the director of photography (DoP) and camera operator with any tests required on film stock or/and with artists. During the shoot, 2nd ACs begin work early in the mornings, unloading, organizing and preparing all the camera equipment for each day's work. During rehearsals, they mark up the actors' positions, enabling the 1st AC to calculate any changes in focus. When the camera starts to roll, 2nd ACs mark each take with a clapperboard (which identifies the take and enables the assistant editor to synchronize the sound and picture in preparation for editing). 2nd ACs position themselves next to the camera, where they can anticipate all camera movements, and monitor how much film stock is being used. They must know when a new film magazine should be prepared. At the end of each shooting day, 2nd ACs pack away all the equipment, label up film cans, and dispatch them to the labs with detailed camera sheets. Typical career routes: The majority of 2nd AC's serve an apprenticeship as a camera trainee before progressing through the ranks of the camera department. Because the job involves an in depth knowledge of, and feel for the camera, actual experience of handling camera equipment and stock is vital. Working in a camera rental facilities house such as ARRI or Panavision can also provide a good route to an apprenticeship. Essential knowledge and skills: 2nd ACs must have an exhaustive knowledge of all camera equipment, film stocks and processing techniques. They also need a thorough understanding of how to manage and maintain all camera department paperwork and administration. Key Skills include: excellent organizational skills agility and speed effective communication skills precise attention to detail ability to collaborate and to work as part of a team diplomacy and sensitivity when working with artists and crew physical stamina and strength knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures Camera Operator A 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. The work is based in either a studio, where the Camera Operator usually follows a camera script (which gives the order of shots practiced at rehearsal and is cued by the director during recording) or on location, where there is likely to be more opportunity for creativity through suggesting shots to the director. A Camera Operator usually works under the direction of a director or director of photography and is sometimes supported by a camera assistant (or a focus puller/clapper loader, although with the advent of digital and electronic cameras these functions are in decline). The role is an interesting mix of the creative and technical. Typical work activities include feeding film into automatic film processor that develops, fixes,


washes, and dries film; measuring original layouts and determines proportions needed to make reduced or enlarged photographic prints for paste up; exposing high contrast film for predetermined exposure time; immersing film in series of chemical baths to develop images and hangs film on rack to dry; performing exposure tests to determine line, halftone, and color reproduction exposure lengths for various photographic factors; mounting material to be photographed on copyboard of camera; measuring density of continuous tone images to be photographed to set exposure time for halftone images; selecting and installing screens and filters in camera to produce desired effects; adjusting camera settings, lights, and lens; being prepared to innovate and experiment with ideas; taking instructions from the Director or the Director of Photography; working quickly, especially as timing is such an important factor; taking sole responsibility in situations where there is only one Camera Operator involved in the filming; keeping up to date with filming methods and equipment; repairing equipment; demonstrating a good awareness of health and safety issues. Part of the role involves interacting and maintaining good working relationships with other members of the camera crew, including sound recorders,lighting technicians, and actors. Casting Director Assistant Good casting is crucial to making characters credible on screen, and is fundamentally important to a film's success. Casting Assistants perform general running duties around the casting office, and assist with specific casting related jobs. They are employed as freelancers on a film by film basis by casting directors. Casting agencies vary in size but are usually quite small, comprising of the casting director and casting associate. As work on casting a film usually lasts no longer than ten weeks, Casting Assistants must be continuously on the lookout for their next job, and should be prepared to work hard in this role for many years before they are offered the opportunity to become casting associates. What is the job? The duties of Casting Assistants vary according to the scale and budget of each film, and also according to the willingness of the casting director to delegate responsibility. Casting Assistants are usually hired during development casting; their first responsibility is to read the script and to help the casting associate and casting director to draw up lists of possible actors for the main roles. Casting Assistants subsequently call the actors' agents to check availability, and relay this information to the casting director so that the lists are kept up to date with all relevant information. Casting Assistants provide general running duties in the office, including answering phones, sending faxes and emails, liaising with couriers, making teas and coffees, etc., as well as assisting during casting sessions when actors perform screen tests on camera. Casting associates usually operate the camera during these tests, and Casting Assistants ensure that the sessions run smoothly, by making tea and coffee for the actors and providing general support. After each casting session, casting associates make selections, and edit together the best takes. These must be labelled correctly and sent to the director, producer and/or financiers by the Casting Assistant. Casting Assistants finish work on a film when most of the cast have been contracted. Typical career routes: Although there is no typical career route for this role, most Casting Assistants are graduates with an interest in acting and casting, who have managed to enter the film industry at junior levels as assistants in talent agencies, thereby gaining experience of selecting and working with actors, or as runners for production companies and/or on feature films. Those involved in


casting should constantly keep up to date with new and interesting actors, and must develop the confidence and taste which are vital for any casting director. Acquiring casting credits on feature films is important for casting directors' career progression, but as Casting Assistants are not usually credited it is difficult to develop a good reputation. Many talented, hard working Casting Assistants work for many years for the same casting director, before they are offered more responsibility, e.g., running a casting session on a modestly budgeted film, and before they are promoted to casting associates. Essential knowledge and skills: Casting Assistants must have a wide knowledge of cinema and actors. An interest in the theater and stage actors is also a prerequisite. A basic understanding of how to operate a video camera (framing, focus, etc.) is also an advantage. Casting Assistants must be computer literate. Key Skills include: excellent communication skills ability to recognize talent a good memory excellent organizational skills precise attention to detail ability to take direction knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures Casting Director/Agent Casting Directors organize and facilitate the casting of actors for all the roles in a film. This involves working closely with the director and producer to understand their requirements, and suggesting ideal artists for each role, as well as arranging and conducting interviews and auditions. Once the parts are cast, the Casting Director negotiates fees and contracts for the actors, and acts as a liaison between the director, the actors and their agents. Casting Directors must have an extensive knowledge of actors and their suitability for a particular role. On larger productions, Casting Directors may supervise casting assistants, who will support and assist them in this work. What is the job? In pre-production, Casting Directors must liaise with both the director and the producer, who rely on the Casting Director to assist them to assemble the perfect cast for the film. Consequently, Casting Directors must have in depth and up to date knowledge of new and existing acting talent. They are responsible for matching the ideal actor to each role, based on a number of factors, such as the actor's experience, ability, reputation, availability and box office appeal. Casting Directors also work closely with production accountants to prepare the casting budget. Casting Directors organize and conduct interviews and auditions for each part, and are also in charge of offering each actor an appropriate fee to appear in the film, as well as drawing up and negotiating the terms and conditions of contracts with agents, once casting is complete. Casting Directors need a vast knowledge of a huge range of actors, and an extensive understanding of their abilities, as well as a thorough appreciation of changing talent trends within the film industry. This requires a strong instinct for acting talent, and great dedication and commitment. A deep passion for the craft of acting is essential. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are vital in order to liaise with a range of people, including other


production staff, talent agents, and the actors themselves. Negotiation and organizational skills are also invaluable for agreeing actors' fees, and arranging the terms and conditions of their contracts. In order to cast the ideal actor for a key role in a film, directors and producers have to be highly selective, and may be extremely demanding, so it is vital that Casting Directors are patient, hard working and diplomatic at all times. Essential knowledge and skills: Casting Directors must have a wide knowledge of cinema and actors. An interest in the theater and stage actors is also a prerequisite. A basic understanding of how to operate a video camera (framing, focus, etc.) is also an advantage. Casting Directors must be computer literate. Key Skills include: excellent communication skills ability to recognize talent a good memory excellent organizational skills precise attention to detail ability to take and give direction knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures Caterer Film crews work long hours and need to eat well. On sets or locations, the standard daily meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus coffee or snacks if the crew are required to work late into the evening. Catering is provided by specialized companies who drive catering trucks packed with food and a range of equipment including ovens, extraction fans, fridges, gas and water, to each unit base. On big films, these trucks can be 35 feet in length and weigh up to 8 tons. Catering companies vary in size; the biggest have as many as 20 trucks, employ hundreds of staff and have their own garage for maintaining their vehicles. The smallest comprise of one or two individuals who prepare the menus, buy, cook and serve the food, make teas and coffees, and clean and drive the truck to and from the location. Catering companies are hired by production managers who put the work out to tender according to the catering budget agreed with the producer. Catering companies prepare quotes and supply sample menus, and if their tender is accepted, provide catering for the production. On big films, the Catering Crew typically involves unit leaders, location chefs, salad persons and dish washers. As in all jobs in the catering profession, the work is hard and hours can be long. What is the job? Two days before the start of principal photography, unit leaders organize the packing of the catering truck with equipment and food. On each shooting day, they set off early in the morning, to arrive on set in time to prepare cooked breakfasts for the cast and crew. If they need to drive a long distance to the location, or if it is difficult to find, they rendezvous with the location manager who escorts them to the unit base. Location chefs cook the meals according to their previously approved menus, ensuring that any special dietary requirements are catered for. The salad person is responsible for the


preparation and presentation of all cold platters, fruit, salads, and sandwiches. The dish washer helps with service, preparing vegetables and salads, dish washing and cleaning duties. They also manage the large tea urns and coffee pots which are required throughout the day. Catering Crews work every day of the shoot, finishing when the film wraps (is completed). Celebrity Booker The Celebrity Booker contracts the appropriate performers to star in a production. The Celebrity Booker follows viewer trends to ensure that the most popular celebrities are featured, and he or she also works with talent agencies to discover new talent. Composer A Composer will need to write music to suit the mood and action in a TV, film drama or documentary. They will need to compose, perform, arrange, and then work with producers to rearrange, and rearrange as they change and finalize the film. You will usually have to submit an initial pitch which is mostly unpaid. During the course of the program you will need to do lots of Demos, some of which may not be followed up. If you do not have an agent you will need to negotiate your fee with the production manager. There are no guides to how much you should be paid, generally it is down to the budget of each program. You will almost always have to sign a publishing contract with the production company or broadcaster. It helps to be familiar with a vast amount of repertoire and to be on top of what's happened and is happening in the charts and movies. A classical training can help as it increases your versatility. If you don't know the music when suggestions are made by the director you will need to know how to find it quickly. Time deadlines are always short. You may also need to understand the editing of music. You will often produce the theme, and also breakdowns with differing instrumentation, underscores or beds and stings. There may also be one off pieces, for example to go with archive footage. You must have the equipment and ability to make something that sounds high quality. You will also need to be able to sync to picture. You need to get your music heard. The credits at the end of programs are a useful source of contacts. Check who produced and directed them and send a demo to them care of the production company. You can also try sending demo to editors and edit suites. Compositor Compositors work in most areas of animation and post production. They are responsible for constructing the final image by combining layers of previously created material. Although it is primarily a 2D role within the 3D world of CGI and VFX (Visual Effects), Compositors need a thorough understanding of the CG process combined with relevant artistic skills. In post production companies, some TDs (Technical Directors) may do their own compositing. What is the job? Compositors work at the end of the production process. They receive material from various sources which could include rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation, live action, static background plates, etc.


Their job is to creatively combine all the elements into the final image, ensuring that the established style of the project is respected and continuity is maintained. To achieve this they enhance the lighting, match blacks and other color levels, add grain where required, add motion blur (if appropriate), create convincing shadows and make sure levels combine together seamlessly, keying, rotoscoping and creating mattes where necessary. They work closely with lighters and need to have technical knowledge of how 3D lighting works in order to understand the 'multi passes' that the lighters create. They also liaise closely with render wranglers to progress work through the department. As this is the end of the production line, there can be occasions when it is necessary to work very long hours to catch up on a schedule. Compositors need to keep up to date with technological developments within their field. Construction Coordinator Construction Managers (or Coordinators) supervise the construction of sets and stages for film productions. They coordinate the entire process of set building, from initial planning, through to the final coat of paint on the finished sets. Reporting to, and hired by, the production designer, Construction Managers lead a team of craftsmen, including carpenters, painters, riggers and plasterers, and ensure that all sets are completed to deadline and within budget, and that they meet production requirements. Construction Managers need excellent organizational and management skills, close attention to detail, an ability to see the "bigger picture" and to work under pressure, as well as an understanding of all facets of the construction process, usually acquired during many years' experience of working in the film industry. Responsibilities: Construction Managers are responsible for interpreting and realizing production designers' plans. They consult with production designers in order to establish the film's construction requirements. Working from production designers' plans, they establish the number of sets required, and their size, design, color and texture. Staying within relevant budgets, Construction Managers hire the carpenters, painters, riggers and plasterers required to complete the work, and negotiate their wages. They brief the heads of the carpentry, painting, rigging and plastering departments, passing on the relevant drawings and plans, and agreeing on construction methods, procedures and deadlines. Construction Managers are responsible for supervising all aspects of construction work, ensuring that it proceeds smoothly, and to strict timetables. Construction Managers order in, and negotiate the best prices for the materials and tools required for set builds. They are also responsible for arranging the transport of materials and tools to the correct location, at the right time. A key responsibility for Construction Managers is to ensure that strict health and safety guidelines are met and enforced, in particular those that ensure the safety of crew working at heights, and with machinery; and those that dictate the requirements for the safety and stability of all the sets constructed. In addition to overseeing the construction of sets, Construction Managers coordinate the 'strike' (the dismantling of sets), and ensure that all materials are disposed of, or stored, safely and appropriately. Skills: Construction Managers must have project management experience, and excellent leadership


skills. The work is challenging and often hugely complex, and involves coordinating large numbers of staff and materials. Construction Managers should be able to motivate their staff, and inspire good work. They must also be aware of individual workers' particular craft skills and strengths. As much of the work involves contributing to planning meetings, which may involve senior crew members, such as production designers, or directors, they need good verbal and written communication skills. Excellent numerical skills, and the ability to work within budgets are also vital. Construction Managers must also be creative and resourceful, as they often need to find solutions to construction problems while working under great pressure. Costume Designer Costume Designers start working on films at the beginning of pre-production. They are in charge of designing, creating, acquiring and hiring all costumes for actors and extras. This must be achieved within strict budgets, and to tight schedules. Costume Designers' work is integral to defining the overall 'look' of films, and their role requires a great deal of expertise. Their creative work ranges from designing original costumes, to overseeing the purchase and adaptation of ready made outfits. As heads of the costume department, Costume Designers are responsible for staffing, and for managing a team of skilled personnel. Costume Designers also supervise practical issues, such as departmental budgets and schedules, the organization of running wardrobes, and costume continuity. Responsibilities: During pre-production Costume Designers break down scripts scene by scene, in order to work out how many characters are involved, and what costumes are required. They then begin the more complex task of developing costume plots for each character. These plots ensure that colors and styles do not mimic each other in the same scene, and highlight the characters' emotional journeys by varying the intensity and depth of colors. Costume Designers must carry out research in to the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the productions' time period, using a number of resources including libraries, museums and the Internet. They may also discuss costume and character ideas with performers. They deliver initial ideas to directors about the overall costume vision, character plots and original costume designs, using sketches and fabric samples. They also discuss color palettes with the director of photography and the production designer. Throughout the production process Costume Designers ensure that accurate financial records are kept, and that weekly expenditure reports are produced. They prepare overall production schedules, as well as directing the day to day breakdowns of responsibilities. Costume Designers select and hire appropriate suppliers and costume makers, negotiating terms with them, and communicating design requirements. They make sure that fittings for actors and extras are arranged. They supervise fabric research and purchase, and ensure that garments are completed to deadlines. Depending on the numbers of costumes to be created, and the scale of budgets, Costume Designers may decide to create a dedicated costume workshop. They should be on set whenever a new costume is worn for the first time, to make sure that performers are comfortable, to explain special features, and to oversee any alterations. Once filming is completed, Costume Designers are responsible for the return of hired outfits, and the sale or disposal of any remaining costumes. Skills: Costume Designers must be highly organized, with good presentation skills and the confidence


to manage and motivate their teams effectively. They should be able to work under pressure, to meet external and departmental deadlines, and must have stamina and be adaptable to changes. They need to be able to listen to the ideas and concerns of others, while at the same time trusting their own opinions and instincts. They work closely with actors in a physical sense, and must therefore be tactful and able to put people at their ease. Costume Designers need good descriptive abilities, and they must be able to break down scripts in terms of costume plots, and have knowledge of story structure and character arcs. They must understand the research process, and know how to source information. They need creative flair, a strong sense of color and design and the ability to draw. They should be confident in their knowledge of period costume, jewellery, corsetry, hosiery, millinery, footwear, costume accessories, etc. They must be experts on fabric qualities, clothing cuts, fits and techniques, pattern making and sewing. Creatively, they should know how to dress to particular faces or physiques to create characters. Overall Costume Designers need a wide ranging cultural knowledge base, not only in terms of fashion, but also art and literature, film, and textiles. Costume Designers should be familiar with the requirements of all relevant health and safety legislation and procedures. Costumes / Wardrobe The Costume Department is responsible for the design, fitting, hire, purchase, manufacture, continuity and care of all costume items on feature films. The term 'Costume' refers to the clothes that the actors wear, and these differ enormously from production to production, ranging from contemporary urban fashion to period ball gowns, and even wetsuits. The Costume Department is also responsible for jewellery, footwear, corsetry, hosiery, millinery and sometimes wig work. Costume is integral in defining the overall 'look' of the film. It provides the audience with information about the period, culture and society the actors inhabit and, on a more subtle level, the underlying themes of the film itself. Work in the Costume Department is divided between two 'wardrobes': the 'making wardrobe', which incorporates the design, acquisition and creation of costume during pre-production; and the 'running wardrobe', which takes care of the organization, maintenance and continuity of costumes during the film shoot. The costume designer is the head of the department, and works closely with the production designer and director to ensure that costumes blend into the overall production design. The costume designer oversees a team that usually includes a costume design assistant, costume supervisor, costume assistants and costume dailies. On larger productions, the costume designer may employ a team of skilled technicians in a costume workshop, which could include cutters, makers, finishers, dyers and milliners. There may also be a wardrobe supervisor to oversee the running wardrobe. Job responsibilities for personnel in the Costume Department vary enormously from production to production, depending on the requirements of the costume designer. As a result, the boundaries between job roles are blurred, particularly in the case of costume design assistants, costume supervisors and wardrobe supervisors. During the shoot costume personnel ensure that costumes are available when required, assist performers with dressing, oversee costume continuity, and maintain and service costumes when not in use. After the shoot costume personnel ensure that costumes are safely stored, packed and returned to the relevant sources, or sold. Craft Service The person (or people) available to assist the other crafts which include camera, sound, electricians, grips, props, art director, set decorator, hair and makeup, during the actual


shooting of a motion picture, with tasks including providing snacks and cleaning the set. Creature Designer These artists create masks, body parts, and sometimes entire creatures. Development Executive Producers have the final responsibility for all aspects of a film's production. They are frequently the first person to become involved in a project. The Development Producers' role is to turn ideas into profitable entertainment, and to persuade others to share in their vision. Development Producers are often responsible for coming up with the underlying premise of a production, or for selecting the screenplay. They are often responsible for securing the necessary rights, selecting the screenwriter and story editing team, raising the development financing, and supervising the development process. Dialect Coach A person who helps train an actor in diction and/or the use of inflections, so that his or her speech fits the character and situation. Digital Imaging Technician Digital Imaging Technicians (a.k.a. HD Technicians) A person who provides on set quality control, image manipulation and color correction, production continuity, troubleshooting and consultation to assist in fullfilling the requirements and vision of the cinematographer in film style digital production. Director 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 visualize 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 requires great creative vision, dedication and commitment. Directors are ultimately responsible for a film's artistic and commercial success or failure. Responsibilities: 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. 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. Skills: 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. Directors must constantly make decisions, but must also be able to delegate, and to collaborate with others. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are vital to get the best from the filmmaking team. Directors must inspire and motivate the team to produce the film they have envisioned. They need an extensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process, from both technical and creative points of view. A capacity for long hours of intensive work, attention to detail, and the ability to remain calm and think clearly under great pressure, are key skills for this role. Directors also need great self belief and the determination to succeed. Director of Photography The Director of Photography is usually referred to as the DP and is responsible for selecting all camera equipment for the production and liaising with the technical director. The Director of Photography decides what lights and related camera equipment are needed and procures these. The Director of Photography is ultimately in charge of the photographic quality of the show and heads up a crew. They are responsible to the director. Director's Assistant The Director's Assistant is an administrator who works closely with the director throughout the production process. They are involved at the pre-production stage through to post production marketing and distribution. They must be well organized, flexible, and have a good overview of the production process. The director will determine their responsibilities throughout the production on a day to day basis. Their tasks may include writing coverage on scripts, drafting letters, making phone calls, running an office, interviewing personnel, coordinating the fundraising process, assisting with duties on and off set, liaising between the producer and the post production team, and helping to prepare publicity materials. They may also be asked to help with copyright, arranging meetings and events, and managing money. Director, Commercials A Commercial Director is a film director who specializes in creating audio visual advertising. These are called commercials and are then used as promotional tools for a client's product(s). Director, Feature Film 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 visualize 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 requires great creative vision, dedication and commitment. Directors are ultimately responsible for a film's artistic and commercial success or failure. Responsibilities:


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. 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. Skills: 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. Directors must constantly make decisions, but must also be able to delegate, and to collaborate with others. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are vital to get the best from the filmmaking team. Directors must inspire and motivate the team to produce the film they have envisioned. They need an extensive understanding of the entire filmmaking process, from both technical and creative points of view. A capacity for long hours of intensive work, attention to detail, and the ability to remain calm and think clearly under great pressure, are key skills for this role. Directors also need great self belief and the determination to succeed. Director, Music Video A Music Video Director is a film director that specializes in creating short films driven by a given music track. These are called music videos and are then used as promotional tools for popular music singles. The earliest music videos were directed by television and film directors; by the 1990s music video directing had become a specialised field. Dolly Grip A Grip that moves a dolly (the wheeled platform which carries the camera and the camera operator) and must create smooth movements that do not distract from the onscreen action. Dubbing Mixer Re-Recording Mixers, formerly known as Dubbing Mixers, work with all the sound elements (dialogue, automated dialogue replacement, foley, sound effects, atmospheres, and music), and mix them together to create the final soundtrack. They are primarily responsible for ensuring that film sound is correct both technically and stylistically. Setting the relative volume levels and positioning these sounds is an art form in its own right, requiring the skill and aesthetic judgment provided by experienced Re-Recording Mixers. Because of changes in technology, many jobs in sound post production are less easily defined, e.g., on some small to medium budget films, Re-Recording Mixers may also work as sound designers. Although they are usually employed by audio post production houses, Re-Recording Mixers may also work on a freelance basis. They work extremely long hours under considerable pressure, and usually work on both film and television drama productions.


What is the job? Re-Recording Mixers' first task on films is usually mixing the soundtrack for audience previews. Typically, this involves an intense period of time (up to three days) spent in the dubbing studio, where they work at large mixing consoles, mixing and smoothing out (cross fading) the sound, often adding a temporary music soundtrack prepared by the music editor. Re-Recording Mixers must work quickly, to extremely high standards. After audience previews, the producer(s) and financiers usually require films to be recut and further mixes to be undertaken by Re-Recording Mixers. When picture lock has been achieved (the director and/or executive producer have given final approval of the picture edit), ReRecording Mixers premix the sound, reducing the number of tracks, so that the final mix can be accomplished with fewer technical complications. In the final mix, the soundtrack is further refined in consultation with the director, and mixed to a 5.1 Surround Sound industry standard. This process can take between 2 and 12 weeks depending on each film's scale and budget. Re-Recording Mixers finish work on films on the last day of the final mix. Editor Film Editors assemble footage of feature films, television shows, documentaries, and industrials into a seamless end product. They manipulate plot, score, sound, and graphics to refine the overall story into a continuous and enjoyable whole. On some films, the film Editor is chosen before cast members and script doctors; people in Hollywood recognize that the skills of a good film Editor can save a middling film. In the same way directors use certain actors they appreciate over and over again, they also use film Editors they know and are comfortable with. Martin Scorcese, Spike Lee, and Robert Wise are a few of the directors who work with the same Editors over and over again. Such relationships lend stability to a film Editors life; otherwise, they must be prepared to submit video resume after video resume, in the struggle to get work. Editors can express themselves through their unique styles; Spike Lees Editor, for example, is well known for his editing style. The hours are long, and the few Editors who had the time to write comments to us tended to abbreviate their thoughts. Dawn/Dusk. Rush jobs. After test audiences, do it again. Lots of frustration. Lots of control, though, wrote one. Just as directors do, film Editors spend a long time perfecting and honing their craft. Like most industries, the film industry has embraced new technology. Assistant Editors must now have strong computer skills to work in the industry. While some Editors stay removed from the project during the filming process so as not to steer the director away from his or her concept of the film, many of them do visit the director on set while production is underway. Nevertheless, the majority of a film Editors work is done alone. Despite that solitude, interpersonal skills are just as important as endurance is in an Editors career. Film Editors work closely with sound editors and musical directors as the film nears completion. Long hours and significant isolation while actually editing can make even the most positive minded film Editor question their career choice. But an interesting, well edited film can restore faith in the profession. Most aspiring film Editors work as interns, production assistants, or animation editing assistants while in graduate school. Once out of school, Editors usually work in the production field or for an established film Editor for little money. People who want to pay their dues and become independent, self supporting film Editors take note: 410 years of on the job training before making enough connections, building up a significant body of work, and being able to start your own editing service is more than


common. For the most part, its the only way to succeed in this profession. Editor (Offline) An Offline Editor is a person who performs the offline work, completing preliminary editing done in a lower cost editing facility, to prepare a list of edits for the final, or online editor. Editor (Online) An Online Editor is a person who performs the online work, who completes the final editing and preparation for distribution of film, with edits often from a list of changes created by the offline editor. Editor, Assistant Film and television Assistant Editors aid the editor and director in collecting and organizing all the elements needed to edit the film. When editing is finished, they oversee the various lists and instructions necessary to put the film into its final form. Editors of large budget feature films will usually have a team of Assistants working for them. The First Assistant Editor is in charge of this team, and may do a small bit of picture editing as well, if necessary. The other Assistants will have set tasks, usually helping each other when necessary to complete the many time sensitive tasks at hand. In addition, an Apprentice Editor may be on hand to help the Assistants. An Apprentice is usually someone who is learning the ropes of assisting. Television shows typically have one Assistant per Editor. This Assistant is responsible for every task required to bring the show to final form. Lower budget features and documentaries will also commonly have only one Assistant. The organizational aspects of a film or television Assistant Editing job could best be compared to database management. When a film is shot, every piece of picture or sound is coded with numbers and time codes. It is the Assistant's job to keep track of these numbers in a database, which, in non-linear editing, is linked to the computer program. The editor and director cut the film using digital copies of the original film and sound, commonly referred to as an "offline" edit. When the cut is finished, it is the Assistant's job to bring the film or television show "online." They create lists and instructions that tell the picture and sound finishers how to put the edit back together with the high quality original elements. Assistant Editing can be seen as a career path to eventually becoming an editor. Many Assistants, however, do not choose to pursue advancement to editor, and are very happy at the Assistant level, working long and rewarding careers on many films and television shows. Electrician The person or grip in charge of, and familiar with the electrical equipment on the set. Executive Assistant The Executive Assistant (sometimes called Administrative Assistant or Associate) has a myriad of administrative duties. Traditionally, these duties were mostly related to correspondence, such as the typing out of letters. The advent of word processing has significantly reduced the time that such duties require, with the result that many new tasks have come under the oversee of the Executive Assistant. These might include managing budgets and doing bookkeeping, maintaining websites, and making travel arrangements. Executive Assistant might manage all the administrative details of running a high level conference or arrange the catering for a typical lunch meeting. Often executives will ask their Assistant to write original documents for review and also to collaborate with others. They may also do personnel paperwork which used to be thought of as a human relations function; this might also include


understanding the complex rules regarding Visa and Immigration. Executive Producer The role of the Executive Producer is to oversee the work of the producer on behalf of the studio, the financiers or the distributors. They will ensure the film is completed on time, within budget, and to agreed artistic and technical standards. An Executive Producer may be a producer who has raised a significant proportion of a film's finance, or who has secured the underlying rights to the project. In major productions, the Executive Producer may be a representative or CEO of the film studio. In smaller companies or independent projects they may be the creator or writer.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. There may be several Executive Producers on a film who may take the lead role in a number of areas, such as development, financing or production. Executive Producers must be excellent negotiators. They need a keen business sense, and an intimate knowledge of all aspects of film production, financing, marketing and distribution. Executive Producer (TV) Executive Producers are responsible for the overall quality control of productions. They are part of the team who are responsible for selecting marketable projects. They lead the production of a range of television programs, including dramas, serial dramas, documentaries and drama documentaries. On some productions the Executive Producer role may be combined with other roles, so that as well as raising the finance they may also be responsible for managing the budget during production. On serial dramas, and some entertainment programs, experienced and well known writers may also be credited as Executive Producers. On current affairs and news programming, the Executive Producer role is often combined with that of the program editor. Executive Producers must be able to identify commercial, marketable projects. Executive Producers have overall responsibility for the successful financing and marketing of these projects. They play a key role in ensuring that projects eventually become broadcast programs. During production Executive Producers may be involved in some aspects of scripting, casting, and crewing. Executive Producers often work on a number of projects simultaneously. They are experienced industry practitioners, who have usually worked previously for a number of years in any one of a variety of roles, such as producer, writer, director or script editor. Most have some hands on experience of producing. Field Producer The Field Producer is a coordinator for a story while the crew is in the field. This person generally oversees the production of a story, working with a reporter and photographer to set up interviews, gather video and collect information. The Field Producer is also the liaison between the crew and the newsroom. In many cases, the Field Producer will conduct the research, log the video, and write the story for the reporter. Sometimes the Field Producer will conduct interviews for the reporter Fixer A Fixer provides logistical support, facilitates permit, custom, location, talent, crews,


equipment, accommodation and transportation for filmmakers who wish to conduct filming abroad. Foley Artist Foley is the reproduction of everyday sounds for use in filmmaking. These reproduced sounds can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass. The best Foley art is so well integrated into a film that it goes unnoticed by the audience. It helps to create a sense of reality within a scene. Without these crucial background noises, movies feel unnaturally quiet and uncomfortable. Foley artists look to recreate the realistic ambient sounds that the film portrays. The props and sets of a film do not react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts. Foley sounds are used to enhance the auditory experience of the movie. Foley can also be used to cover up unwanted sounds captured on the set of a movie during filming that might take away from the scene at h Food Stylist Food Stylists (sometimes called Food Dressers) make food look attractive in photographs and videos for advertisements and menus. Gaffer A Gaffer in the motion picture industry is the head of the electrical department, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan for a production. In British English the term Gaffer is long established as meaning an old man, or the foreman of a squad of workmen. The term was also used to describe men who adjusted lighting in English theater and men who tended street lamps, after the "gaff" they used, a pole with a hook on its end. Sometimes the Gaffer is credited as chief lighting technician (CLT). In television the term Lighting Director is often used, but sometimes the Technical Director (T.D.) will light the studio set. Experienced Gaffers can coordinate the entire job of lighting, given knowledge of the time of day and conditions to be portrayed, managing resources as broad as electrical generators, lights, cable, and manpower. Gaffers are responsible for knowing the appropriate color of gel (plastic sheeting) to put on the lights or windows to achieve a variety of effects, such as transforming midday into a beautiful sunset. They can recreate the flicker of lights in a subway car, the motion of light inside a turning airplane, or the passage of night into day. Usually, the Gaffer works for and reports to the director of photography (the DP or DOP). The DP is responsible for the overall lighting design, but he or she may give a little or a lot of latitude to the Gaffer on these matters, depending on their working relationship. The Gaffer works with the key grip, who is in charge of some of the equipment related to the lighting. The Gaffer will usually have an assistant called a best boy and, depending on the size of the job, crew members who are called "electricians," although not all of them are trained as electricians in the usual sense of the term. Many Gaffers are expected to own a truck complete with most basic lighting equipment and then rent extra lighting equipment as needed. Graphics/Titles Designer Title Designers design the opening titles, captions and credits for film and TV productions. They may spend a great deal of time researching or creating specific fonts which accurately reflect the film's genre or period. They also contribute to creative decisions such as the choice of color, and whether to include animation or special effects. They may be freelance and pitch for work using their show reels, or they may be employed by digital, special effects and design companies. Title Designers are often required to work long hours with strict deadlines.


They usually start work near the end of the editing process, when they meet with the director and editor to discuss the themes and ideas in the film that will influence the creation of the opening titles, graphic captions within the film, the end cards and end roller. They will then produce a range of ideas according to the brief. They may include the use of specially designed fonts, animated segments or live-action sequences. If they work for a company they will usually draw on the expertise of their colleagues. For example if animated sequences are required they will usually work with digital compositors. They will continue to work up and refine their ideas until they are approved and the digital artwork files can be composited with the film background. The majority of Title Designers come from a graphic design background. Some start out in advertising agencies or design consultancies while others may begin as juniors in digital special effects houses and gain immediate experience of working on films. A strong portfolio of work is a prerequisite to gaining entry into film and television design even at a junior level. Titles Designers must have a good knowledge of graphics and typography plus a good working understanding of computer and graphics software packages. Knowledge of animation techniques, film cameras and digital editing, is also required. Grip Grips' responsibility is to build and maintain all the equipment that supports cameras. This equipment, which includes tripods, dollies, tracks, jibs, cranes, and static rigs, is constructed of delicate yet heavy duty parts requiring a high level of experience to operate and move. Every scene in a feature film is shot using one or more cameras, each mounted on highly complex, extremely expensive, heavy duty equipment. Grips assemble this equipment according to meticulous specifications and push, pull, mount or hang it from a variety of settings. The equipment can be as basic as a tripod standing on a studio floor, to hazardous operations such as mounting a camera on a 100 ft crane, or hanging it from a helicopter swooping above a mountain range. Good Grips perform a crucial role in ensuring that the artifice of film is maintained, and that camera moves are as seamless as possible. Grips are usually requested by the DoP or the camera operator. Although the work is physically demanding and the hours are long, the work can be very rewarding. Many Grips work on both commercials and features. What is the job? Grips work closely with the director, director of photography (DoP) and the camera operator to ensure that all positioning or movement of cameras is achievable. Grips are usually responsible for pushing the dolly (the wheeled platform which carries the camera and the camera operator) and must create smooth movements that do not distract from the onscreen action. On large projects with multiple cameras, the key Grip is responsible for the main camera (camera A), with other Grips providing additional camera support. Grips begin work in the later stages of pre-production, when they join all other heads of department to carry out a technical recess. If particular challenges are identified, Grips work with specialized companies to devise tailor made pieces of equipment to facilitate difficult camera maneuvers which are sometimes performed on location in extreme terrain and/or severe weather. During shooting days, Grips and their team (which may include other Grips, a remote head technician, a crane operator, tracking car drivers, and all construction standbys) arrive on set early, unload all the equipment, and ensure that everything is prepared for the day's filming. After the Director has rehearsed the actors, all the shots are choreographed, using stand-ins (the line-up), and Grips subsequently set up any required equipment. Whenever a crane is used, a minimum of two Grips are always employed, collaborating closely with the crane operator about mounting and moving the camera. Grips should be ready as soon as


the camera starts to roll, and they must anticipate all the camera moves, while also keeping in mind the preparations required for the next camera setup. At the end of each day's shooting, Grips oversee the packing up of all camera support equipment. Hair Stylist Hairdressers work on feature films and on some commercials and pop promos. They liaise closely with colleagues in the hair, makeup and costume departments, as well as with directors, actors and extras. They prepare performers' scalp and skin and create hairstyles to suit production requirements. They also work with wigs, hairpieces, and hair extensions and may be required to use chemical solutions, and to administer hair and scalp treatments as necessary. They oversee hair continuity during shoots, and remove products as required. Hairdressers are recruited onto films during pre-production and work throughout production, usually on a freelance basis. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home. What is the job? Hairdressers are briefed by heads of department (either the makeup and hair designer, or the chief hairdresser) who provide them with detailed continuity notes for the characters they create. They work on principal and supporting actors and, depending on the schedule, usually look after several actors throughout the shoot. Personal Hairdressers are specifically requested by one of the principal actors to work exclusively on their hair, and they have autonomy within the department. They liaise closely with the chief dresser, and are responsible for breaking down the script, all hairdressing requirements, and monitoring the continuity of hair for their own actor, throughout each production. They attend any wig and/or hairpiece fittings with their artists. Dailies work on productions on a day to day basis, usually on large crowd scenes. In all cases, Hairdressers prepare performers' hair and scalp in advance, note any allergies or sensitivities and report them to appropriately qualified personnel. They wash, cut, blow dry and style hair, apply hair products and use techniques to create specific designs. They repair, alter and dress wigs and hairpieces. Hairdressers usually accompany their performers onto set, and standby during their scenes, touching up hair and redressing wigs between takes, and ensuring that continuity notes are maintained by taking length measurements and Polaroid photographs. When the scenes have been shot, Hairdressers wash out products from, and condition, performers' hair. They remove wigs, and ensure that they are cleaned and prepared for further use. Hairdressers may be required to assist with any subsequent publicity shots. Intern An internship is a work related learning experience for individuals who wish to develop hands on work experience in the film or TV industry. Most internships are temporary assignments that last approximately three months up to a year. Jimmy Jib Operator Although negotiating a crane, carrying a heavy camera and a camera operator around a feature film set, or steering a remote head 100 ft above a location on a high-tech strada crane is a highly skilled job, the audience is unaware of this as they marvel at the resulting birds eye views and breathtaking cinematography. Operating these potentially hazardous pieces of heavy machinery in difficult locations, often under the pressure of hectic shooting schedules, is the job of the Crane Operator. Crane Operators normally work as freelancers, but are affiliated with one of the camera equipment facilities houses. They are usually requested by the grip, and ultimately report to the director of photography. Most Crane Operators combine work on commercials with television and feature films, and some foreign travel may


be involved, involving long periods spent away from base. What is the job? Crane Operators are responsible for setting up and operating all cranes on film productions. This can involve working with a variety of equipment, ranging from a small jib arm, used to make slight camera movements up and down, to a massive 90 foot long crane for shooting huge crowd or action sequences. Because the equipment is heavy and potentially dangerous, Crane Operators carry a great deal of responsibility for health and safety; this is one of the few jobs on productions that involve real life risks for all cast and crew. Depending on the size of the crane and of the production, Crane Operators may work alone or with another Crane Operator, but there are always a minimum of two grips per crane. Crane Operators check over all the equipment on the day before the crane is required. On shooting days they drive the vehicle carrying the crane to the studio or location. Working closely with the grip, they assemble the crane, and standby for any shots that require the camera to be elevated. This could involve a riding crane, which carries the camera operator and 1st assistant camera, or a pan-and-tilt head, which allows the camera to be operated by remote control and which can be elevated much higher. At the end of each working day, Crane Operators must make the crane safe for the next day, or if the crane is no longer required, de-rig it. Key Grip The chief of a group of Grips, often doubling for a construction coordinator and a backup for the camera crew, that also moves a dolly. Key Grips work closely with the gaffer. Lighting Supervisor Lighting Director/Supervisor is the most senior role in television lighting departments. Using the script or brief from the production team they design the specific look required for each shot. They use their advanced technical skills to realize the design and, with the help of the rest of the lighting department, to set up and operate specialized lights and accessories. As lighting is an essential part of a programs' overall design and style, this is a key creative and technical role. Lighting Directors work closely with the lighting console operator, senior electrician (gaffer) and several electricians (sparks). On single camera shoots, the Lighting Camera person often takes responsibility for the lighting, although a gaffer, working alone or with a spark, may be brought in to assist on large projects or special setups. Lighting Directors usually work on a freelance basis; work offers are unpredictable, and planning ahead can be difficult. Early starts and long hours are often involved, and the work is intensive and can be physically exhausting. Although it may take many years to progress to this role, once established, it can be financially rewarding. What is the job? Lighting Directors make extensive preparations before recording days, including script reading and taking part in discussions about the style required. Planning meetings are usually held, involving the director and heads of department including the production designer, costume designer, makeup designer, sound supervisor and camera supervisor. They discuss in detail the logistics of the production, and resolve any conflicts. Lighting is influenced by a wide range of factors, including the script, the director's requirements, set design, location, camera shots, costumes, sound, and the available equipment. Following the planning meeting, Lighting Directors may prepare a lighting plan (or plot) which provides information about the position, type and color of all the lights to be used. They work closely with the gaffer, who organizes any required extra equipment and power supplies. Lighting Directors oversee the set up and


operation of the lights, by instructing a team of sparks on the studio floor, and the lighting console operator who controls studio lighting effects, using equipment in the gallery (technical area). During recordings or live transmissions, any final adjustments are made as and when required. Lighting Technical Director A Lighting Director designs the lighting for multi camera television productions. He or she instructs the electricians' crew in their work in addition to guiding the team of operators who usually sit with the LD in the lighting gallery. All this while working closely with the director and the rest of the production team to deliver the pictures they are hoping to see. Line Producer The Line Producer is one of the first people to be employed on a film's production by the producer and executive producers. A Line Producer is a key member of the production team for a motion picture. Typically, a Line Producer manages the budget of a motion picture. Alternatively, or in addition, they may manage the day to day physical aspects of the film production, serving a role similar to the unit production manager. Line Producers usually do not act as part of the creative team for a picture. Because Line Producers work on location, they don't work on more than one film at a time (unlike other producer roles). A Line Producer may also hire key members of the crew, negotiate deals with vendors, and is considered the head of production. 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 to day 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 coproducer. Responsibilities: 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. 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 preproduction 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 artists 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 coordinator. 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. At the end of the shoot, the Line Producer oversees the 'wrap', or winding down, of the production. Skills: Line Producers must possess an in-depth knowledge of scheduling and budgeting, and of all the physical and technical processes of filmmaking. They need excellent industry contacts, and must command the respect of the production crew. Exceptional communication skills are required, as well as the diplomacy to balance the creative expectations of the director, artists and creative personnel with the financial resources available. They always need to plan for the worst, while simultaneously being able to inspire others to excel in their work. Unlike producers, Line Producers are not responsible under health and safety legislation for setting up health and safety procedures; however, they are required to carry out risk assessments according to regulatory requirements. They must therefore know how to identify the hazards in the production environment, to assess the level of risk, to recommend action, and to carry out a review of their assessment. Qualifications/Experience: 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 and safety courses. Loader The person who operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot, also responsible for loading film stock into film magazines. The action of slapping the clapper was invented as a way of synchronizing the visual and audio components of a shot. Recent innovations in audiovisual synchronization have made this unnecessary, but it still occurs extensively. Location Manager

The Location Manager is the person who will be liaising directly with the film production company or advertising agency and may be working closely with the films director, taking decisions not only about the right location, but also the logistics of making that location work. The Location Manager will be closely involved with the rest of the production team dealing with many such logistical problems and their solutionsperhaps none of which may have been known to the Location Scout when first they started scouting. During preproduction the locations department (specifically, most likely the Location Manager himself in situations requiring the most responsibility) will have already established contact with and begun negotiation with any number of internal and external parties as may have bearing on productions ability to film at the location, otherwise known as "clearing the location", i.e. investigating and confirming availability and agreed upon fees to be paid to a location property owner or agent, obtaining a certificate of insurance, obtaining any needed


film permits (may involve fees as per local requirements), distributing "resident letters" or "filming notifications" written advice to neighbors in the area, advising same of intent to film in the immediate area (often necessary per local requirements as well as morally advisable if productions presence will impact local normal day to day activities in any appreciable way) in general "locking down" or making sure that all details and existing or potential issues are addressed. While it is the locations departments job to anticipate and minimize any potential problems associated with a location, it is also the locations departments duty to advise other production department heads of any unresolvable problems or inherent issues that need consideration so contingencies can be planned or a decision can be made as to whether an alternate location might actually be better suited. In such case plans might be made and budget allocated for further research and location scouting.

Location Scout The Location Scouts and other location department staff work under the location manager. Their function is to provide as many potentially useful/viable ideas and/or options as possible for review by production; often the assistant director, production manager and subsequently, the director or even the executive producer in the case of narrative filmmaking. They are responsible for heading out to various areas that could serve as possible production locations. The Location Scout may be convinced that he or she has found the perfect spot, but its not always the perfect spot that is the most practical: when theres an entire unit to be moved into position, decisions are made about the distances involved, the availability within the schedule on that day of the stars, key personnel, special equipment, etc., etc. Each time a Scout is asked to find something, its invariably something new and quite different to the previous assignment. Commonplace locations, lets say kitchens or public parks, are very well covered by location libraries, so if the needs are simple, why not keep the solution simple? However the world of filming (and photography) is the world of imagination, so for each new script, each new concept, theres a new question needing an answer. For example, the kitchen might need a view through the window to a swimming pool, or the script might demand that the public park has a south facing slope overlooking a lake. No matter how good library photographs may be, there will always be occasions when a location needs to be re photographed to demonstrate its suitability. Makeup Artist Makeup Artists work on feature films and on some commercials and pop promos, working to the chief makeup artist. Makeup and hair are key elements in the overall design of films or television productions, creating a look for the characters in relation to social class and time periods and any other elements required to create the desired illusion. Makeup Artists should be experienced in using a wide variety of professional makeup products. They must be able to work to makeup designs to meet production requirements. They also work with facial hair and may be required to affix any required small prosthetics. They oversee makeup continuity on their performer(s) during the shoot and remove products as required. Makeup Artists are recruited onto films during preproduction and work throughout production, usually on a freelance basis. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home.

What is the job? Makeup Artists are briefed by chief makeup artists, who provide them with detailed notes, character and scene breakdowns and if necessary reference pictures about the characters they must create. Occasionally they may only receive a rough brief and must produce their own script breakdown and research and create their own design notes. They work on principal and supporting Actors and depending on the schedule, usually look after several Actors


throughout the shoot. They are responsible for maintaining the continuity of their Artists "look". They must also carry out full risk assessments and develop procedures to control risks. On smaller productions Makeup Artists must be able to negotiate terms with appropriate suppliers and prosthetic makers, provide them with design specifications and ensure that they deliver to specific deadlines. They discuss color palettes with Production and Costume Designers. They make appointments for and if necessary, go with actors to facial hair fittings, prosthetic castings, optician and dental appointments. They ensure that actors are comfortable with their look, note any allergies or sensitivities and report them to appropriately qualified personnel. Personal Makeup Artists are specifically requested by one of the principal Actors to work exclusively on their makeup and they have autonomy within the department. Although they receive a rough brief from the makeup designer, they prepare their own script breakdown and research and create and are ultimately responsible for, their own designs. However, they must work within the overall design of each production. Dailies work on productions on a day to day basis, usually on large crowd scenes. In all cases, Makeup Artists check whether actors have any skin conditions in advance and make sure that any allergies or sensitivities are taken into consideration and report them to the relevant head of department. They apply makeup, affix prosthetics, apply products and use specialized techniques to create specific designs. They work with facial hair and false pieces, such as beards and moustaches. They may also apply special effects makeup, e.g., grazes, cuts and bruises and bald caps. Makeup Artists usually accompany their performers onto set and stand by during their scenes, touching up makeup between takes and ensuring that continuity notes are maintained using digital or Polaroid photographs. When the scenes have been shot, Makeup Artists remove performers makeup. They remove facial hair and small prosthetics, ensuring that they are cleaned and prepared for further use. Makeup Artists may be required to assist with any subsequent publicity shots. Marine Specialist Most Underwater Directors of Photography (DoPs) are employed in films at the early stages of preproduction, to discuss any water stunts. They usually work closely with visual effects supervisors and stunt coordinators. Underwater stunts and effects are often extremely complicated and potentially dangerous, so all sequences are carefully planned and storyboarded and used as blueprints during filming. Most directors appreciate that this is a highly specialized area and give Underwater DoPs and their crews the autonomy to work alone and to use their experience of filming in water. Underwater DoPs sometimes direct the 2nd Unit. They collaborate with specialized 1st assistant directors (ADs) or production managers who are responsible for operating the vital communication system above and below water to make sure that underwater filming runs as smoothly as possible. Unlike a standard camera crew, 1st and 2nd assistant camera (ACs) work at a distance from the camera (above the water), pulling focus and checking the camera by remote control. Diving Crews play a vital role in ensuring that all safety procedures are carefully monitored. Diving Supervisors usually stay above water and are responsible for preparing risk assessments for all underwater sequences. Each actor is allocated their own Safety Diver, who remains close by throughout filming. Underwater Gaffers move and set up all underwater lighting. Marine and Diving Crews are mainly responsible for the safety of the cast and crew while filming in water. The head of department is the Underwater Director of Photography or


Underwater Camera Operator. As with a standard DoP their job is to interpret the directors vision for the underwater scenes or sequences in the screenplay. Marine and Diving Crews are responsible for creating suspense and drama in such scenes, for bringing the underwater world alive and for maintaining strict health and safety guidelines in the water. Most Underwater DoPs have invested in their own underwater cameras and some even have their own advanced communication systems and specialized equipment. They are employed on commercials, television drama and feature films and usually work with the same camera crew and safety divers. The work is physically demanding and potentially dangerous and involves long periods spent away from home. There is no typical career route to becoming an Underwater DoP. Some DoPs start out in junior positions on film crews, or as 2nd assistant camera (ACs) on short films or promos. Safety Divers must have wide ranging diving experience gained over many years of working underwater. Excellent knowledge of underwater safety procedures is a prerequisite to working at any level on a Marine and Diving Crew and all underwater specialists must hold a recognized diving certificate. Underwater DoPs and their Camera Crew must have a full working knowledge of all specialized camera equipment, lenses and underwater lighting and diving equipment. Wide knowledge of underwater stunts and special effects is also required. Master Control Operator Master Control Operators are responsible for monitoring the quality and accuracy of the on-air product, ensuring the transmission meets government regulations, troubleshooting equipment malfunctions, and preparing programing for future playback. Regulations include both technical ones (such as those against over modulation and dead air), as well as content ones (such as indecency and station ID). Matte Painter A person who creates artwork (usually for the background of a shot) which is included in the movie either via a matte shot or optical printing. Mechanical Effects Mechanical Effects (also called Practical or Physical Effects), are usually accomplished during the liveaction shooting. This includes the use of mechanized props, scenery and scale models and pyrotechnics. Making a car appear to drive by itself, or blowing up a building are examples of Mechanical Effects. Mechanical Effects are often incorporated into set design and makeup. For example, a set may be built with breakaway doors or walls, or prosthetic makeup can be used to make an actor look like a monster. Motion Graphics Motion Design is the art of graphic design within the context of motion graphics such as film, video or computer animation. Examples include the typography and graphics you see as the titles for a film, broadcast design like show opens for television or the spinning, three dimensional logo at the end of a TV commercial. Although this art form has been around for decades, it has taken quantum leaps forward in recent years. If you watch much TV or see many films, you will have noticed that the graphics, the typography and the visual effects within these mediums have become much more elaborate and sophisticated. The dramatic elevation of this art form is largely due to technology improvements. Computer programs for the film and video industry have become vastly more powerful and more available. A typical Motion Designer is a person trained in traditional graphic design who has learned to integrate the elements of time, sound and space into his/her existing skillset of design knowledge. Motion Designers can also come from filmmaking or animation backgrounds.


Multi-Camera Director Multicamera productions are most often sitcoms and soap operas, as well as talk shows, sporting events and newscasts. Multicamera means multiple cameras. Most multicamera productions use three cameras that run simultaneously to catch various reactions in the same scene rather than having to run a scene over and over as is typical with most single camera shoots. Additionally, they are invaluable during live events because one camera can be focused on one individual or moment while the other cameras catch the reactions of other participants in that same scene or activity. Multicamera productions are shot on both video and film, depending on the parameters of the production itself as well as the budget. The Director of a multicamera show will either direct the action from the stage floor or from a booth. Music Editor Music Editors help directors to achieve their musical ambitions on films and provide a crucial link between the film and the composer. They structure the soundtrack, ensuring that all the components work together. For film music to work successfully it must be beautifully written, well performed and appropriate to the story and setting. In addition, it must be very carefully placed within the film, in order to complement the action, rather than detract from it. Music Editors responsibilities vary according to each films musical content and budget. They are usually responsible for all the music featured on film soundtracks, including: performed music (e.g., a band or singer who performs within the narrative of the film), all sourced music (e.g., boughtin pop, jazz, classical music) and the score, written by the composer specifically for the film. On musical films Music Editors are responsible for how the music is visually portrayed, working closely with the picture editor to achieve the perfect fusion of image and movement. Experienced Music Editors can save productions a considerable amount of money and also contribute significantly to the overall atmosphere and mood of films by helping to create truly memorable soundtracks. As this is one of the most highly competitive areas in the film industry, it can take years for even the most talented, highly qualified individuals to become Music Editors. What is the job? On a medium budget film, Music Editors usually start work well into the picture editing process, developing the temp (temporary) score, which is made up of music lifted from other film soundtracks or sourced music and helps the editor to achieve the right pace and emotional tempo; it may also provide a broad template for the composer and help the director to identify the desired feel of the soundtrack. Music Editors attend a "spotting session" with the director, picture editor, music supervisor, producer and composer, during which they note all music cues (providing the composer with a written template that is used to produce the score and the music supervisor with vital notes concerning all copyright clearances and budgetary issues). Some composers may also require Music Editors to produce a cue breakdown, which involves rewriting the script from a musical point of view, helping the composer to estimate the tempo and meter of the score. Music Editors also communicate all editing changes to the composer in musical terms, e.g., if a number of frames have been cut, the composer must lose a bar or three beats of the score. Music Editors also design a "click track" for the film which is used during the recording of the


score to help the musicians achieve the correct tempo and perfect picture to music synchronization. Music Editors attend all music recording sessions, to help with any last minute revisions or changes which may require additions or subtractions from the "clicktrack". Music Editors work with a specialized music mixer to create different mixes of all the music tracks, anticipating potential problems such as a loud cymbal crash occurring at the same time as a line of dialogue. Using a computer software program, Music Editors lay down all the music tracks, fitting them exactly to the picture, ready for the final mix or dub which they must also attend in order to find quick, creative solutions to any last minute problems. One of the final tasks for Music Editors on films is preparing the cue sheeta detailed breakdown of all the music featured on soundtracks (including length and function). This is sent to the Performing Rights Society, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and all exhibitors so that royalties can be paid every time the film is screened. Music Supervisor Music Supervisors act as mediators between production teams and composers and their teams, which may include orchestrators, engineers, copyists, musicians contractors, etc. They also suggest ideas and research and obtain rights to source music for films. Music Supervisors oversee spotting sessions (deciding on where the director wants music and why), recruit and contract musicians, book recording studios and attend sessions, ensuring that delivery requirements are fulfilled. If the music is to be published, they ensure that it is registered properly and that cue sheets are dispatched. Music Supervisors are usually employed at the post production stage, but they are occasionally required earlier in the production process, e.g., to source tracks for on camera dancing, or to organize an on camera concert, involving musicians and singers miming to prerecorded tracks. In this case, music must be arranged, prerecorded versions must be produced for playback during mimed performances and clearances and licenses must be acquired. Music Supervisors organize and arrange the budgets for music requirements, liaise with the set designer, the sound team and the playback operator and ensure that the sound team has the prerecord in the correct format. They also check synchronization issues during on camera performances. Responsibilities: Music Supervisors negotiate deal points and contracts, prepare budgets and attend scheduling meetings and spotting sessions. They oversee the compositional process, ensuring that the required music is being written, listened to and reported upon. They organize music orchestration and copying. When larger sessions are required, e.g., involving an orchestra, they liaise with the musicians contractor about rates, line up and invoicing. They also check engineer and studio availability and, when necessary, hire a conductor. When organizing source music, Music Supervisors prepare source music schedules and keep everyone informed and updated, e.g., about deviations from allocated budgets. Music Supervisors check licenses and forward them to the production company, highlighting any possible issues and act as the liaison between the record companies, the publishers and the production company. They produce the music cue sheet for final delivery, ensuring that the duration of the music used conforms to the terms of the negotiated contract. Musical Arranger Someone who adapts a musical composition for voices, instruments, and/or performance styles other than those for which the music was originally written. News Director A News Director controls the news gallery during the news output. He/she selects and calls up


the different camera angles, incoming video, graphics and guests. He/she oversees the output of the program while it is on air and makes sure of its smooth running and the look of the program. News Editor A News Tape Editor is someone who not only edits tapes for newscasts, but may also be required to monitor and record network feeds, maintain archives and coordinate feeds from bureaus and live trucks. This person needs a good grasp of editing techniques and should be able to edit video on tapetotape systems or nonlinear setups. The Editor usually edits according to the style guidelines set by the news director, but often has creative control. The Editor works closely with producers and reporters and must have the ability to edit video according to the script. Excellent editing and timing skills are essential. News Producer A News Producer is the person who takes all the elements that have been gathered throughout the day (packages, vostos, vos, copy stories, graphics) and constructs a newscast. The Producer is generally involved in the morning or afternoon meeting during which the stories are assigned. The news director or executive producer will parcel out stories to the various Producers. The Producer then begins to build a newscast, adding stories and elements that will give "flow" to the program. In some stations the Producers do most of the writing, in others the anchors prefer to write their own copy. Many Producers have to edit video for their own newscast. The Producer must keep in touch with crews in the field to find out how stories are progressing. In addition, Producers have to keep an eye on the wires and network feeds. During the newscast, the Producer will sit in the control room next to the director. The Producer must be able to accurately time the newscast while communicating with the studio crew, anchors and crews in the field. A Producer needs to be a strong and very fast writer and have solid news judgment. Nurses and Medics Paramedics and other paramedical staff, such as chiropractors, osteopaths and physiotherapists, are required in the film industry at certain times. Paramedical practitioners work on an occasional basis and must have relevant qualifications and experience in the medical field and ideally some experience within the film or audio visual industries. Responsibilities: Only one Paramedic may be required on some general filming and more specifically on low risk stunt and action scenes, usually using portable equipment and providing his or her own transport. For higher risk stunts, or where filming takes place at some distance from a hospital, two or more Paramedics may be required with fully equipped support units, including comprehensive trauma and resuscitation equipment. Employment is usually gained via companies specializing in location medical services. The work is varied and interesting, but can involve long hours and, occasionally, night work. Personal Assistant


Depending on the type of business you run, a Personal Assistant can be responsible for a myriad of tasks. As with any position, Personal Assistants usually excel at particular forms of administrative support, so before you begin the hiring process, look carefully at what youll need and expect from your Assistant. In many cases, the Personal Assistant takes on the role of secretary, handling your correspondence, invoicing and billing. Others work in more of an administrative capacity by taking care of filing, bookkeeping, marketing and data entry. You can also find Personal Assistants who will run errands for you while you work, such as picking up dry cleaning, ordering lunch during a meeting, fulfilling your grocery list and picking up associates at the airport. Picture Editor Editors are one of the key heads of department on feature films, responsible for first assistant editors and on bigger productions, second assistants and trainees. The way a story unfolds and grabs the attention of the audience is one of the most important elements in filmmaking. To ensure that the story flows effortlessly from beginning to end, each shot is carefully chosen and edited into a series of scenes, which are in turn assembled to create the finished film. This highly creative, challenging and rewarding job is the work of the Editor, who works closely with the director, crafting the daily rushes into a coherent whole. Editors work long, unsociable hours, often under pressure, in an edit suite or cutting room. They are employed on a freelance basis by the producer (sometimes with the approval of the films financiers), based on their reputation and experience. Editors often work on television drama, as well as on feature films. What is the job? Editors work closely with the director before shooting begins, deciding how to maximize the potential of the screenplay. On the first day of principal photography, Editors begin work in the cutting room (sometimes on location), looking at the previous days rushes which are developed overnight at the film lab and syncedup (synchronized, the alignment of sound and image) by the assistant editor. Editors check the technical standards, as well as the emerging sense of story and the actors performances. Because scenes are shot and edited out of sequence, Editors may work on scenes from the end of the film before those at the beginning and must therefore be able to maintain a good sense of how the story is unfolding. Editors select the best takes and edit them together to create scenes. In some cases, an improvised line or an actors interpretation of their role may create some onscreen magic that can be developed into a new and exciting scene. By the time the film wraps (shooting is completed) Editors have spent hours reworking scenes and cutting them together to create a rough assembly. During the post production period, the Editor and the director work closely together, refining the assembly edit into the directors cut, which must be approved by the producers, until they achieve picture lock or fine cut (when the director and/or executive producer give final approval of the picture edit). Editors usually work in a supervisory role during the subsequent music and track laying and sound mix. Post Production Coordinator A person who works many facets of the post production process, including ensuring the smooth operation of the editorial department, coordinating the production and delivery of final delivery elements, scheduling and coordinating ADR sessions, managing the administration of the department including post production accounting and final delivery paperwork, organizing final post production related documents, and coordinating the final wrap and proper storage of final video and audio masters and offline editorial materials


Post Production Supervisor Post Production Supervisors are responsible for the post production process, during which they maintain clarity of information and good channels of communication between the producer, editor, supervising sound editor, the facilities companies (such as film labs, CGI studios and negative cutters) and the production accountant. Although this is not a creative role, it is pivotal in ensuring that the films post production budget is manageable and achievable and that all deadlines are met. Because large amounts of money are involved and most of a films budget is spent during production, the post production period can often be difficult and challenging. The Post Production Supervisors role can be stressful and requires ingenuity, empathy and the ability to make tough decisions under pressure, while working long hours, to tight deadlines. Some Post Production Supervisors may be involved on a number of films at one time, but usually work on 3 or 4 films a year. They are employed on a freelance basis, by the producer, often also with approval from a completion bond guarantee company. They usually work alone, but on larger productions may employ an assistant. What is the job? The role of the Post Production Supervisor varies according to the type of film and the budget. On big budget films using complex CGI (Computer Generated Images), they start work during preproduction, liaising with the CGI Company and ensuring that the producer is aware of all the creative and budgetary considerations and how they may impact on the post production period. On smaller budget films they also advise about any limits that may need to be applied to the shoot, as well as providing an overall picture of what can be realistically achieved in post production. Most Post Production Supervisors also liaise with the editor and producer (and sometimes the director), about the hiring of post production personnel (sound editors, titles designers, mixers, etc). During the post production process, they work closely with the production accountant, supplying accurate information for the cost reports, which are prepared every 34 weeks and show how actual expenditure compared to the original budget. Post Production Supervisors work with the editor, supervising sound editor and rerecording sound mixer throughout post production, making sure that each different stage of the process is delivered on time and within budget. They usually continue to work on the production until all the elements needed for the completion of the film are delivered. Producer A Producer sets the situation for the production of a television show or movie. A film Producer initiates, coordinates, supervises and controls all aspects of a production, from fundraising and hiring key personnel, to arranging for distributors. The Producer sees the project through to the end, from development to completion. Traditionally, the film Producer is considered the chief of staff while the director is in charge of the line. This "staff and line" organization mirrors that of most large corporations and the military. Under this arrangement, the Producer has overall control of the project and can terminate the director, but the director actually makes the film. Its the Producer who really authors a film. The Producer raises the money that pays for the film to be made and is responsible for anything affecting the budget of the film. The Producer hires the director and the crew, manages the film through production and secures distribution for it when it is finished. In short, most of the time, its the Producer who does the work to make a film happen. Good Producers are constantly on the lookout for material. Scripts, books, plays, news items, anything and everything these days can be turned into a movie. For every film they get made, a good Producer will have up to ten other scripts


"in development". Some go for a wide spread of projects, others prefer to concentrate on one type of film that they can make their own. The advantages of having a slate of projects is obvious. It means you do not have all your fragileskinned eggs in one basket. Remember: the development life of most scripts is several years. A television Producer is usually employed by a television station or network. A network television series usually has an executive producer who does longterm planning for the show. Some television Producers work independently; they may find sponsors and grants to supplement their budgets from the station Production Accountant Production Accountants are responsible for managing finances and maintaining financial records during film or TV production, working closely with the producer and the production office. Their job includes preparing schedules and budgets for film productions and managing the day to day accounting financial reporting against the budgets. Production Accountants usually work on a freelance basis. The experience and qualification required will depend on the size and scale of the film or TV production. Film or TV Production Accountants usually have a qualification in accounting, as well as a number of years experience in the film industry. Film and TV Production Accountants need to gain the approval of the financiers, guarantors and studios involved in the production, so their qualifications and experience are important. Specific tasks during production include calculating finances, costing productions, liaising with financiers and managing cash flow. They must ensure that all legal requirements are met. In preproduction, Production Accountants assist the producers and production managers to prepare budgets. They will set up and manage accounting systems and supervise assistant accountants and accounts trainees. Production Accountants may also deal with bank finance and completion guarantors. They will finalize all financial records relating to the production and may also have to arrange an independent audit. Sometimes Production Accountants will work in collaboration with senior accountants, known as financial controllers, who are often permanently employed by production companies, or in collaboration with studio finance executives. Production Accountants must have a good working knowledge of filmmaking processes as well as bookkeeping and accountancy skills. Production Assistant Production assistants are usually divided into two categories: "office PAs" or "set PAs".. Office PAs usually spend most hours in the respective shows production office handling such tasks as phones, deliveries, script copies, lunch pickups and related tasks in coordination with the production manager and production coordinator. Set PAs work on the physical set of the production, whether on location or on a sound stage. They report to the assistant director (AD) department and key set PA if one is so designated. Duties include echoing (calling out) "rolls" and "cuts", locking up (making sure nothing interferes with a take), wrangling talent and background, facilitating communication between departments, distributing paperwork and radios and related tasks as mandated by the ADs. Set PAs usually work 12 to 16hour days with the possibility at the end of a shoot to work more than 20 hours a single day and are regularly the "first to arrive and the last to leave". Production Coordinator


Production Coordinators support the production managers or production supervisors in organizing the business, finance and employment issues in film and television productions. The work is varied and each project may be different. In general a Production Coordinator will help to make sure that everything runs smoothly during filming and that the project stays within budget and on schedule. Your work may include production tracking the project, office management, coordinating schedules, tracking PR activities, supporting fundraising activities, location scouting, providing casting, crew and facilities information. The role often involves administrative and office management support and sometimes support with marketing and promotion. To become a Production Coordinator you will need very good organizational and project management skills. You could work your way up through the industry to become a Production Coordinator by starting as a runner or an assistant or secretary in the production office Production Designer Production Designers are major heads of department on film crews and are responsible for the entire art department. They play a crucial role in helping directors to achieve the films visual requirements and in providing producers with carefully calculated schedules which offer viable ways of making films within agreed budgets and specified periods of time. Filming locations may range from an orderly Victorian parlor, to a latenight caf, to the interior of an alien spaceship. The look of a set or location is vital in drawing the audience into the story and is an essential element in making a film convincing and evocative. A great deal of work and imagination goes into constructing an appropriate backdrop to any story and into selecting or constructing appropriate locations and/or sets. Directors of photography and Production Designers are largely responsible for informing and realizing the directors vision. Production Designers begin work at the very early stages of pre production and are requested by the director and/or producer. They work on a freelance basis and may have to prepare detailed drawings and specifications in order to pitch for work on a number of productions before they are offered work on one of them. Although the work can be very demanding and the hours long, this is one of the most highly skilled, creatively fulfilling roles within the film industry. What is the Production Designer job? Production Designers may be asked to look at scripts before a director is approached, to provide estimates of the projected art department spend on films. When Production Designers first read a screenplay, they assess the visual qualities that will help to create atmosphere and bring the story to life. After preparing a careful breakdown of the script, they meet with the director to discuss how best to shoot the film, e.g. to decide: whether to use sets and/or locations; what should be built and what should be adapted; whether there is a visual theme that recurs throughout the film; whether there are certain design elements that may give an emotional or psychological depth to the film; whether CGI (computer generated imagery) should be used. Production Designers must calculate the budgets and decide how the money and effort will be spent. These discussions are followed by an intense period of research during which Production Designers and their specialist researchers source ideas from books, photographs, paintings, the Internet, etc. Production Designers deliver their design sketches (detailing mood, atmosphere, lighting, composition, color and texture) to art directors who oversee the production of technical drawings and models, which are used by the construction department to build the sets and to adapt locations. Props buyers and set decorators liaise closely, sourcing props and organizing


the manufacture of specialized items. As the start of shooting approaches, Production Designers manage a large number of individuals, prioritizing the work schedule and carefully monitoring the budget. When shooting starts, they are usually on set early each morning to view each new setup with the director, director of photography and standby art director, responding to any requests or queries. Subsequently, in the art department office Production Designers check on the construction and dressing of other sets and sign off on sets/locations for the following days shoot. Although Production Designers usually finish work on the last day of principal photography, on larger films they may be involved for longer periods. Production Manager Production Managers organize the business, finance and employment issues in film and television productions. As a Production Manager, you would be in charge of how the production budget is spent and making sure that everything runs smoothly during filming. Before production begins, your work would involve: meeting the producer and other senior production staff to examine scripts or program ideas drawing up a shooting schedule and estimating cost hiring crews and contractors and negotiating rates of pay negotiating costs and approving the booking of resources, equipment and suppliers overseeing location bookings and arranging any necessary permissions and risk assessments During filming, duties include: making sure that the production runs to schedule and reporting to the producer on progress managing the production schedule and budget managing the production team dealing with any problems making sure that insurance, health and safety rules and copyright laws are followed To become a Production Manager you will need substantial experience in TV or film, indepth understanding of the production process and a network of contacts in the industry. Experience and track record is more important than formal qualifications, however, you may find it helpful to take a course that includes practical skills, work placements and the chance to make contacts. You will need a good understanding of budget management, so skills and qualifications in accountancy are useful. You could work your way up through the industry to become a Production Manager in various ways. For example you could start as a runner or an assistant or secretary in the production office and progress to production coordinator then assistant production manager. You might also start as a trainee production accountant. Alternatively, you could progress from runner to 3rd assistant director then 2nd and 1st assistant director, or to assistant TV floor manager then floor manager or location manager.

Production Sound Mixer Typical career routes: 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. 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 rerecord actors dialogues after shooting (postsyncing), 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. The hours are long and the work often involves long periods working away from home. Approximately two weeks before the first day of principal photography, Production Sound Mixers meet with the producer and director to discuss their creative intentions, (is the sound naturalistic or stylized, etc.), technical requirements and budgetary issues. They also meet with the costume department and visual effects supervisors to discuss the placement of microphones on or around the actors and visit all locations to check for potential sound problems. When filming begins, sound crews arrive on set half an hour before call time to prepare their equipment. During rehearsals, when the director, director of photography and actors run through all camera moves and lighting, the Production Sound Mixer and boom operator plan where they should place microphones to obtain the best possible sound quality. After each take, Production Sound Mixers (who are situated off set, but close by), check the quality of sound recording and, if necessary, ask for another take. 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., closeups 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 days 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). Essential knowledge and skills: Production Sound Mixers must have a good understanding of electronics and an expert knowledge of acoustics and all sound recording, playback and editing equipment (analog and digital). They must understand the requirements of the other departments on feature films, including: camera, rigging, art department, wardrobe, hair and makeup. They should also be aware of and comply with, on set protocols. Production Sound Mixers must be computer literate. Production Runner Production Runners are the foot soldiers of a film or television production team, performing small but important tasks in the office, around the set and on location. Their duties may involve anything from office administration to crowd control and from public relations to cleaning up locations. Production Runners are usually employed on a freelance basis, are not very well paid and their hours are long and irregular. However, the work is usually extremely varied and


provides a good entry level role into the film industry. Responsibilities: Production Runners are deployed by the producer and by other film/television production staff, such as the production coordinator, to assist wherever they are needed on productions. Their responsibilities vary considerably depending on where Production Runners are assigned. In the production office duties typically include: assisting with answering telephones, filing paperwork and data entry, arranging lunches, dinners and transportation reservations, photocopying, general office administration and distributing production paperwork. On set duties typically include: acting as a courier, helping to keep the set clean and tidy and distributing call sheets, health and safety notices and other paperwork. On location shoots, Production Runners may also be required to help to coordinate the extras and to perform crowd control duties, except where this work is dangerous, or performed by police officers or other official personnel. Skills: Production Runners must be flexible and well organized and be able to think on their feet. They should be able to relay messages quickly and accurately, while paying due regard to the need for silence when on set. They should have strong verbal and written communication skills, be able to take orders and to show tact and deference towards those in positions of authority and greater responsibility. They must be punctual and enthusiastic and understand the importance of taking detailed notes and recording expenditure accurately. They should be level headed and able to work calmly and effectively under pressure. Production Runners must be able to contribute to good working relationships and to create a positive atmosphere on the production. They should have good secretarial skills and be computer literate in standard word processor, spreadsheet and email programs. They should also be aware of health and safety issues and ensure that their actions do not constitute a risk to themselves or to others. Qualifications/Experience: Enthusiasm is considered more important than experience. While there are no specific educational requirements, this is a very popular area of work and Production Runner jobs can be very strongly contested despite the low pay. In these circumstances, a good education is a definite advantage. A large number of colleges and other training providers offer media courses that may provide a suitable background. Some experience in drama or broadcasting, whether it is in amateur dramatics, student radio or filmmaking, is also an advantage. Production Supervisor A person overseeing the entire post production of a project. They report directly to the producer and/or the studio in charge of the feature. Working side by side with the director and editor, the Supervisor has the responsibility of finishing the film on time and on budget while satisfying the wants of the director. Post Production Supervisors have authority over post production coordinators. Typical duties include: Controlling all activities with vendors such as optical houses, sound facilities, inserts, ADR, reshooting, CGI, score, delivery requirements to domestic and international distributors, legal clearances, preview screenings, color timing, video mastering and budgeting the movie through the completion and delivery.


Promotions Producer The Promotion Producer is responsible for creating, taping and editing news pieces and public service and commercial announcements for the television station. Candidates should have linear and non-linear editing experience with the ability to handle a deadline driven environment. Related experience with a background in writing and producing is needed. Prop Maker Prop Makers work in the properties departments of feature films, making any props that are not being bought in, or hired. Prop Makers use a wide variety of materials, techniques and tools, to design and create the required props. These represent a huge range of objects, including stunt props (which are replicas of other props, made of soft or nonhazardous materials) and specialized objects that move or light up. They may also adapt or modify props that have been bought in, or hired. Prop Makers may work alone, or as part of a larger props team in a specially created production workshop. Responsibilities: Prop Makers are given instructions, designs or rough ideas by the production designer, art director or property master, prior to the shoot. From these designs Prop Makers must plan and create the props necessary for production. They may carry out their own research into the style and specifications of the props required. On period films, this may also involve investigating how the objects would have been created during a particular historical period and within a specific culture. Liaising with production buyers, Prop Makers acquire the necessary tools and materials needed to make the props. Prop Makers make the props, working within budget and to strict timescales. They may also adapt hired or bought in props according to the productions requirements. They normally produce a minimum of two of every item, in case of damage. During the shoot Prop Makers may be responsible for operating any special props, or for instructing actors in their operation. Skills: Prop Makers must be flexible and versatile, able to work with imagination and ingenuity. They need creative problem solving skills and must be open to new ideas and to learning new skills and techniques. The ability to work to external deadlines, under their own initiative, is essential, as is an eye for detail and accuracy. Working as part of the larger properties department and at times as part of a prop making team, Prop Makers must have good communication skills and enjoy interacting with others. As they work with hazardous equipment and materials, an indepth understanding of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures is vital to the role. Prop Makers should have a wide knowledge of the basics of prop making: technical drawing, a good knowledge of computer design packages, the ability to work safely with typical industry materials (e.g., fibreglass, latex, foam, polystyrene, wood, cotton and steel) and the ability to work with a variety of different machinery and tools. Prop Makers may also have specialized skills, such as: sign writing, upholstery work, mould work, woodturning, sculpture, casting, furniture making, modelling, electrical engineering and electronics, working with papiermch, etc. Qualifications/Experience: Prop Makers need no standard qualifications or specific training. However, they should have a background and/or qualification in art and design, or model making and experience in the basics of prop making. Many Prop Makers train in stage and set design, or stage management, or complete a theater technicians course in performing arts. They may also


have a more specialized background or training, e.g., in graphic design, furniture making, fine art, etc. Alternatively, Prop Makers may have started in junior roles in the art department and learned their skills on the job. Prop Master Prop Masters (i.e. Property Masters) control all aspects of property departments. They oversee and are responsible for, the procurement or production, inventory, care and maintenance of all props associated with productions, ensuring that they are available on time and within budgetary requirements. They also ensure that selected props suit the films style and overall design and that they accurately reflect the productions time period and culture. Property Masters oversee the staff and the smooth running, of the property department, working to high standards of accuracy and detail. As much of the work involved is administrative, the role is often office based. Property Masters are responsible to production designers and work as part of the art department. They are the first members of the property department to be recruited onto productions, usually approximately five weeks before principal photography begins. Responsibilities: During preproduction Property Masters liaise with production designers and art directors to break down the script and to determine what props are required. At this stage Property Masters may work with production buyers who carry out research into period props, styles of furniture, etc., by referring to archives, internet files, books and photographs, or by discussing the requirements with specialized advisors. Property Masters subsequently draw up complete properties lists and set up and label the properties tables, which are used during production. From the lists, Property Masters select which properties are to be bought in, or hired and which are to be made. Liaising with production buyers, Property Masters allocate budgets to purchase, hire or create props and plan and manage these budgets. They prepare the overall production schedule for their department and work with other members of the team to produce the day to day schedules. For purchased or hired props, Property Masters ensure that accurate lists of sources are drawn up and maintained by production buyers and props storemen*. For props that must be made, Property Masters work closely with carpenters, prop makers, or other artists, to oversee and coordinate the construction and completion of these props. Depending on the craft skills of individual Property Masters, the work may include planning, designing and adapting any special hand or set props required by the production. They attend all rehearsals, in order to note props placement and use and any change in action that affects props. Property Masters may also discuss the selection of appropriate hand props with actors and instruct them on the care, maintenance and possible operation of these and other props. Prior to the shoot, Property Masters work closely with set designers, set dressers, props storemen and dressing props, in order to detail the furniture and set dressing requirements. In the weeks immediately before the shoot and during filming, Property Masters and props storemen coordinate the loading, transport and storage of all props and ensure that dressing props are correctly placed for the use of the dressing props team. During the shoot Property Masters ensure that all hand and hero props are in place for the actors and standby props. They also oversee the continuity of props between takes (via the standby props) and coordinate props storage between shoots or rehearsals. During post production Property Masters oversee the return of all hired props to their sources, in the appropriate condition and organize the sale or safe disposal of any other properties. Skills:


Property Masters usually oversee the work of a number of people and must therefore have excellent leadership, management and motivational skills. As heads of department they should be able to cope with pressure and be willing to work long and unorthodox hours to meet tight deadlines. Excellent practical, organizational, planning and time management abilities are vital, as are written and oral communication and presentation skills. Good computer skills (Mac and PC) are important. Property Masters must have solid financial skills and be able to work within budgets. They need confidence in order to negotiate successfully with suppliers and manufacturers. Craft, repair and research skills are useful and a full driving license is essential. The role may involve significant manual labor and can be physically demanding. They must be aware of the requirements of the health and safety legislation and procedures relevant to their role. Qualifications/Experience: The Property Masters role is not an entrylevel job. They usually have many years experience in the props department and have worked as standby props, dressing props, props storeman and assistant property master, on several feature films, in a range of genres. No specific qualifications are required for entry into the art department, but a background in art or design is preferred. Re-Recording Mixer ReRecording Mixers, formerly known as Dubbing Mixers, work with all the sound elements (dialogue, automated dialogue replacement, foley, sound effects, atmospheres and music) and mix them together to create the final soundtrack for a film or television production. They are primarily responsible for ensuring that film sound is correct both technically and stylistically. Setting the relative volume levels and positioning these sounds is an art form in its own right, requiring the skill and aesthetic judgement provided by experienced ReRecording Mixers. Because of changes in technology, many jobs in sound post production are less easily defined, e.g., on some small to medium budget films, ReRecording Mixers may also work as sound designers. Although they are usually employed by audio post production houses, Re Recording Mixers may also work on a freelance basis. They work extremely long hours under considerable pressure and usually work on both film and television drama productions. ReRecording Mixers first task on films is usually mixing the soundtrack for audience previews. Typically, this involves an intense period of time (up to three days) spent in the dubbing studio, where the they work at large mixing consoles, mixing and smoothing out (cross fading) the sound, often adding a temporary music soundtrack prepared by the music editor. Re Recording Mixers must work quickly, to extremely high standards. After audience previews, the producer(s) and financiers usually require films to be recut and further mixes to be undertaken by ReRecording Mixers. When picture lock has been achieved (the director and/or executive producer have given final approval of the picture edit), ReRecording Mixers premix the sound, reducing the number of tracks, so that the final mix can be accomplished with fewer technical complications. In the final mix, the soundtrack is further refined in consultation with the director and mixed to a 5.1 Surround Sound industry standard. This process can take between 2 to 12 weeks depending on each films scale and budget. ReRecording Mixers finish work on films on the last day of the final mix. No matter how highly qualified they are, the majority of ReRecording Mixers start their careers at junior levels (usually as runners) working for one of the audio post production houses. Experienced ReRecording Mixers look out for those who show talent and a cooperative attitude and bring them into the mixing studio to train as assistant ReRecording Mixers, providing general studio support, recording foleys, etc. After several years, post production houses usually promote the most competent assistants to become ReRecording Mixers.


ReRecording Mixers must have an excellent knowledge of acoustics, sound recording and post production processes (analog and digital) and all the relevant technical knowledge of sound mixing for feature films. Receptionist Receptionists answer phones, operate the door/entry system, log in visitors and clients and meet and greet clients and other visitors to companies. They may also be responsible for ordering and delivering food to clients and other personnel. They are responsible for some aspects of building security and for office administration, in some cases working as a de facto office manager. They monitor and control stationery and office stock supply, undertake general office duties, mail and paperwork distribution and log in and log out tapes (when the role is combined with a library function). In some cases they are also responsible for traffic, dispatch and runners. When the Receptionists role is combined with library/dispatch functions, they must be able to read, understand and generate, to industry standards, the labels and documentation which accompany tapes and media. Reporter Broadcast Journalism is the collection, verification and analysis of information about events which affect people and the publication of that information in a fair, accurate, impartial and balanced way to fulfill the publics right to know in a democratic society. This involves a variety of media including television, radio, the internet and wireless devices. Broadcast Journalists working in television work in a variety of genres including news, current affairs, or documentaries. They may be employed by broadcasting companies, or work on a freelance basis. Broadcast Journalists may be studio or office based, or working in regional, national or international broadcasters offices. They may also work from home, utilizing broadband and other technology to interface with broadcasters and other employers. When working on news items, they must be prepared to travel, sometimes long distances, at any hour of the day or night, to gather the relevant information. They are responsible for generating ideas and for assessing the value and accuracy of ideas and information from other sources, researching background data and presenting items for consideration by editors, commissioners, or other decision makers. They must carry out thorough research into all program ideas, including identifying: suitable interviewees and locations; relevant background and illustrative footage and locations; visual materials, archive picture and sound footage; articles and features. They should know how to access and use all significant information and image sources, including libraries, archives, the internet, academic and other research documents. They must know how and when it is necessary to acquire the pertinent clearances and licenses, including copyright and music clearances and have a thorough understanding of the laws pertaining to libel and contempt. In collaboration with technical resource personnel, they identify crewing and equipment requirements so that they are properly technically equipped to record all the required interviews and other picture and sound materials. They prepare questions and if possible, brief interviews in advance. They conduct interviews on camera and suggest suitable illustrative and background shots and material to enhance the story, to the director, camera operator, sound recordist, or other relevant personnel. Once the material has been recorded onto the required format, or acquired from other sources, Broadcast Journalists select the relevant sections of interviews and other materials. They then either work closely with the editor, or prepare a detailed editing brief. For quick turnaround items they may edit some materials themselves, using suitable computer editing software packages.


Broadcast Journalists must ensure that they meet the timing and duration requirements of each program or segment and work to precise deadlines. They may also be required to present precisely timed live onair links into previously edited packages. When working as news readers they must be able to research, write and present news bulletins, working to precise timings and tight deadlines. Researcher Researchers work across all genres of television production, including news, sport, current affairs, documentaries and factual programs, light entertainment, childrens, situation comedies, soaps or serial dramas and oneoff dramas. They originate or develop program ideas, drawing on their knowledge and understanding of industry requirements and present their findings to decision makers. They are also fact checkers and brief writers for onscreen presenters. They must understand and work within, relevant legislation and regulations. They may be employed by broadcasters, or work on a freelance basis. What is the job? Researchers may be briefed by producers or other decision makers about program ideas and carry out further development. Alternatively, they may produce original program ideas for consideration by producers, broadcasters, production companies, or other decision makers. They identify relevant data, contributors, locations or archive material etc. collate and assess information from various sources and ensure that legal, compliance and copyright requirements are met. During preliminary telephone and/or face to face interviews, they assess contributors potential suitability for inclusion in each program according to its genre and format. They check contributors availability and arrange for their appearance within time and budgetary limits. They may also be required to identify location requirements from scripts or program outlines and assess locations for suitability and cost, taking various factors into account including the need for any permissions and licenses. They identify and select suitable sources for archive footage, still pictures or audio materials, within time and cost limits. They must present all their findings to decision makers clearly, concisely and coherently, both in writing and verbally. Researchers may contribute to the development of scripts or other written content by writing drafts, or briefing others who write so that they can deliver what is required. They may be asked to check final written materials for accuracy and suggest amendments in a helpful and constructive manner. Before production commences, Researchers must identify, negotiate fees for and conclude copyright clearances and legal issues relating to all brought in materials used on shoots, including archive materials, intellectual property or music. They must ensure that all relevant broadcast territories are covered. They monitor usage throughout the production process. Production assistants (PAs) also log usage and timings after transmission. During production, Researchers arrange transport for contributors to and from locations or studios. They greet contributors and brief them before recording commences, support them as necessary and escort them from the studio or location once shooting is completed. Researchers may also be required to prepare production materials for external use, including fact sheets, pamphlets, books and booklets to accompany productions and publicity material such as production billings, press releases, related websites and text pages. Rigging Electric Workers responsible for the setting, hanging and focusing of lighting instruments and constructing scaffolding used in making film sets.


Rigging Grip Workers responsible for the setting, hanging and focussing of lighting instruments and constructing scaffolding used in making film sets. Rights & Clearances The person who gets rights and clearances for music, TV and movie footage, intellectual property rights, managed images, and celebrity images. Script Coordinator A Script Coordinator is the point person between the writers and production and will distribute scripts to production. This person will also take care of clearance issues. Script Supervisor Script Supervisors in film and television work as part of the camera department to make sure that the production has continuous verbal and visual integrity. They must ensure that when different takes and scenes are finally edited the production does not contain distracting continuity errors. Script Supervisors observe every shot closely and take precise and detailed notes to provide directors and editors with an authoritative reference. Script Supervisors work long hours and are involved during preproduction and principal photography. They may be required to spend long periods away from home. During preproduction the Script Supervisor will check the script for any inconsistencies, prepare estimated running times and break down the script according to production requirements. They will develop story synopses and character breakdowns, checking the shooting schedule to ensure that all the required scenes are shot and adequately covered from all required angles and working closely with directors to anticipate and solve any potential problems. On each day of principal photography, Script Supervisors file reports and photographic records for the previous days shoot and prepare all paperwork for post production. They check continuity requirements for each scene to be shot. During filming they closely monitor the script to check that no dialogue is overlooked and cue actors where necessary. They keep detailed continuity notes and photographs or sketches of each actor and camera position for each shot. The detailed records they need to keep include all shot timings and camera movements, whether the scene is shot during the day or at night, any scene changes and their implications, all camera details including lenses and focal distances and any inconsistencies. They liaise closely about continuity with other departments including costume, makeup and hair, props and lighting. Where pick up shots are required, Script Supervisors provide actors with dialogue start points and exact continuity details. They also ensure that other departments are aware of the status of each shot and that clapper boards are marked up accordingly. Where more than one camera is used, they ensure that each cameras output is accurately identified. They confirm directors take preferences and note these for post production. They often assist sound mixers in taking additional notes of any recorded wild tracks or voiceovers. Script Supervisors retype scripts to reflect any major dialogue changes and markup scripts with slate numbers, cut points and other relevant details for post production. They prepare detailed daily continuity reports, editors daily log sheets and daily production reports. They also provide production with records of the requirements for any outstanding shots or inserts. Script Supervisors may begin their careers as assistant production coordinators, or as production assistants in television. They may then progress to Script Supervision on 2nd camera


shoots and 2nd unit work, eventually becoming recognized Script Supervisors. Script Supervisors may also move in to other areas of production, including producing, writing, directing, editing, script editing. Second Unit Director The Director of the second unit. The second unit is a small, subordinate crew responsible for filming shots of less importance, such as inserts, crowds, scenery, etc. Segment Producer A Segment Producer produces one or more individual segments of a multi-segment production, also containing individual segments produced by others. Series Producer A Show Runner/Series Producer is the person who is responsible for the day to day operation of a television series, in other words, the person who "runs" the show. Set Construction Financial responsibilities include budgeting, tracking costs, generating reports, etc. Through drawings, a Construction Coordinator is directed artistically by the production designer and art director to produce their "vision" in three dimensions. Also responsible for the physical integrity of the structures built by the construction department. Set Costumers Costume Assistants may be employed on films at any stage during preproduction. They are responsible for carrying out any tasks allocated to them by costume designers, costume design assistants, costume supervisors and wardrobe supervisors. Their tasks may include: assisting with the design of and carrying out research into costumes; making, ordering and adapting the costumes and accessories required for productions; organizing fittings, dressing performers and overseeing continuity on sets. Responsibilities: Costume Assistants may help to break down the script into costume plots and detail costume requirements and changes in the continuity book. They may also carry out research for the costume designer into the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the productions time period, using a number of resources including libraries, museums and the Internet. Costume Assistants help to organize the costume department, ordering supplies and assisting in setting up any workrooms needed for productions. They take artists measurements and they may also assist with making costumes, including pattern cutting, ageing and distressing costumes, etc. They may be involved in sourcing and buying costumes and accessories and in liaising with costumiers about costume hire. They may be given specific responsibility for crowd fittings, overseen by costume design assistants or costume and wardrobe supervisors. Costume Assistants may be responsible for packing costumes for overseas shipment to other locations or units. During the shoot, they help to organize the costumes by ensuring that the appropriate outfits are correctly placed for actors. They may dress actors and explain their costumes to them, checking that the costumes match continuity requirements. Costume Assistants monitor the costumes for damage, carrying out any last minute alterations and repairs, or sending garments to the workrooms for special treatment. Costume Assistants may


also act as standbys, dressing the costumes to camera by referring to a monitor and ensuring that there are changes of clothes available in case of wet weather on locations. During breaks and between shoot days, they clean and iron costumes, look after accessories such as hats and gloves and keep a record of all jewellery used by actors. Set Decorator Set Decorators provide anything that furnishes a film set, excluding structural elements. They may have to provide a range of items, from lumps of sugar and tea spoons, to newspapers, furniture and drapes, to cars, carriages, or even cats and dogs. There are two types of props: action props, or all props that are described in the shooting script; and dressing props, or items that help to bring characters to life or to give a certain atmosphere and sense of period to a place. Small details often tell the audience the most about characters in feature films: the pictures hanging on the walls of their homes; the contents of their fridge or bathroom cabinet; their books; the treasured objects kept in a box hidden in the desk drawer. All of these details are created by the imagination and creative flair of Set Decorators, who research, prepare and oversee the dressing of every set and adapted location on a feature film. Many Set Decorators work on commercials, where they are known as stylists, as well as on films. They work on a freelance basis with a number of Set Designers who usually specifically request them. The hours are long and the job can involve long periods working away from home. Once Set Decorators have met with the production designer to discuss the agreed aesthetic of the film, they visit numerous prop houses, where they carefully select the bigger props and book them for the shoot. In the art department office, Set Decorators prepare a detailed prop breakdown, marking the script up and listing requirements for action props, animals, vehicles, dressing props and any graphics items (letters, newspapers, posters, books etc). Production buyers and graphic artists also prepare their own lists which are compared to check for any missing items. These lists are combined to make the definitive list from which Set Decorators work. The required items are then located, purchased or hired and where necessary model makers are commissioned, arrangements are made for furniture to be reupholstered, etc. When the final schedule is delivered (detailing the precise shooting order of scenes in the film), definitive lists of all props and set decoration are prepared according to daily requirements. Set Decorators may also work on product placement arrangements, or on acquiring copyright clearances for branded items. Close to the beginning of the shoot, Set Decorators photograph all items, taking careful measurements where necessary and allocate the appropriate props to each set. The day before shooting begins Set Decorators and their teams arrive in the early hours to begin dressing the set. After the Set Designer has checked over the dressed set and made any last minute changes or additions and the director and the director of photography have given their final approvals, Set Decorators begin work on the next scene detailed on the schedule. Because locations and prop hire can be very expensive, striking (dismantling) each set and returning all the props must be completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Set Painting/Scenic Scenic Artists paint backdrops, murals and many other elements on film sets. Working to briefs set by production designers, they are usually highly trained artists, with an art school background, or they may have trained as scenic artists for theater productions. The role requires excellent artistic skills, combined with the ability to work independently, accurately and to deadlines. Responsibilities: Scenic Artists are usually briefed by the production designer and/or the chargehand painter to


produce one or several scenic works for films, such as cloud backdrops, or the backdrop of a city such as New York or London, which is to be viewed out of a set window. They may also be briefed to paint the murals or paintings required on sets and to touchup or finish work undertaken by the painting team. They may be asked to paint complex prop pieces. They are responsible for scheduling their own work, buying in the necessary supplies and translating the production designers vision into reality. Scenic Artists must ensure that their work is carried out to the agreed standards and deadlines. They assist at the load in and strike, of all their work. They must adhere to strict health and safety guidelines, carry out their tasks in a safe work environment and clean up and dispose of any waste in their work area. Skills: Scenic Artists need excellent, comprehensive artistic and scenic skills. They should have a good knowledge of basic scenic painting techniques, layout and paint application skills and color mixing. Scenic Artists abilities should include the traditional fine arts skills of sketching, rendering and painting. They must also be well versed in techniques such as marbling, ragging and wood graining and texturing and should have a good understanding of art history, period styles, motifs and architecture. They must be able to interpret designers smallscale ideas and develop them into fullscale reproductions, perhaps even improving on the design during the process. They must be able to handle scenic painting materials safely. They should be able to work independently, but also as part of a team and to deadlines. Qualifications/Experience: Most Scenic Artists acquire their qualifications at art schools and have a good understanding of art history, architecture and color theory. Many gain experience by painting backdrops for theater productions. Detailed knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures when working with paints is essential Sign Writer The Sign Writer is the person in charge of writing and making signs shown in a production; possibly part of the set designer's team. Sound Assistant 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. Must be computer literate and have a good working knowledge of sound recording, playback, editing and mixing equipment, also experience in the various soundtrack delivery systems. Excellent hearing and a good sense of timing are required, as are attention to detail and good communication skills. Supervising Sound Editors are responsible for all sound post production. They are the directors main point of contact for everything concerning the production soundtracks. They must have a good grounding in dialogue recording, automated dialogue replacement, foley and sound effects or music editing. On big budget film and TV productions they usually start work before


shooting begins and appoint specialized Sound Editors to supervise separate teams for each area of work. For smaller productions they will be more hands on. They are responsible for the sound budget and managing the schedule to ensure it goes to plan. Sound Editors must have an excellent working understanding of acoustics, sound recording processes and electronics and an expert knowledge of all post production sound equipment, processes and procedures, both analog and digital. Sound Designer Sound Designers are responsible for providing any required sounds to accompany screen action. They work closely with the production mixer, sound supervisor, the editor, and the director to create original sound elements. They may work with the director to create the entire soundtrack, or be hired just to create one kind of effect. Most Sound Designers are experienced sound editors who often carry out a managerial role. They may supervise the work of the entire sound post production process as well as having a specialized role in creating the sound concept for the production. Sound effects are added after filming during the editing process to give the film an authentic sense of location or period, or to give it a particular mood. They may be employed by audio post production houses, or work on a freelance basis and provide their own digital audio workstations. They are also likely to own their own recording equipment. Good communication skills are needed, along with imagination and creative flair to produce original sound elements and effects. The ability to accept direction and work well with others is also important. Sound Designers must have a good understanding of acoustics, and an expert knowledge of sound recording and analog and digital editing techniques. Sound Designers are enthusiasts who have usually spent years recording and experimenting with everyday sounds before entering the industry. They often progress from being runners in picture or sound cutting rooms, or in audio post production facility houses, to becoming assistant re-recording mixers or assistant sound editors providing backup to experienced sound editors. They may also have a background in music or may have learned their editing skills working in television production. Many Sound Designers are also supervising sound editors, or re-recording mixers. Sound Editor 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. Must be computer literate and have a good working knowledge of sound recording, playback, editing and mixing equipment, also experience in the various soundtrack delivery systems. Excellent hearing and a good sense of timing are required, as are attention to detail and good communication skills. Supervising Sound Editors are responsible for all sound post production. They are the directors main point of contact for everything concerning the production soundtracks. They must have a good grounding in dialogue recording, automated dialogue replacement, foley and sound


effects or music editing. On big budget film and TV productions they usually start work before shooting begins and appoint specialized Sound Editors to supervise separate teams for each area of work. For smaller productions they will be more hands on. They are responsible for the sound budget and managing the schedule to ensure it goes to plan. Sound Editors must have an excellent working understanding of acoustics, sound recording processes and electronics and an expert knowledge of all post production sound equipment, processes and procedures, both analog and digital. Sound Engineer Sound Engineers operate consoles and other equipment to control, replay, and mix sound from various sources in live concert performances and in the production of records, tapes, and films. Sound crews also install and hookup equipment. The sound crew is supervised by the sound mixer. The sound crew may also have a number of assistants. Workers may also work as utility sound operators, sound cable workers, maintenance design sound engineers, microphone operators. Sound Recordist A member of the sound crew responsible for operating the audio recording equipment on a set. Special Effects Special Effects is an artificial effect used to create an illusion in a movie. It refers to effects produced on the set, as opposed to those created in post production. Most movie illusions are created in post production. These are called visual effects. Special Effects Supervisor is the chief of a production's special effects crew. Special Effects Editor An Editor who specializes in editing special effects. Stage Manager The Stage Manager is the directors right hand man prior to performance. They keep track of rehearsal schedules, scripts, props, and actors during the rehearsal process. Once the run of the show has begun, the Stage Manager is in control of everything that happens backstage or onstage. The Stage Manager "conducts" each performance by calling cues. This means the SM follows the show in the prompt book and tells the light board operator and the sound board operator when to execute a cue. Steadicam Operator Steadicam Operators are usually trained and experienced camera operators who learn most of their practical skills through hands on experience on the job. The technology changes rapidly, so they need to be prepared to keep learning. Basic stills photography, which develops their visual and composition skills, can be a useful starting point. Steadicam Operators need a good working knowledge all camera systems and lenses. They must have up to date knowledge of all available Steadicam and body mount systems along with knowledge of available accessories such as remote focus systems, video senders and receivers and any specialized equipment designed and used by other operators. It is a physically demanding job, so awareness of stretch and positioning techniques such as Pilates, Yoga or Martial Arts is useful to help avoid injury.


Steadicam Operators are responsible for the technical set up of the Steadicam system and for balancing the camera on it. They liaise with director, director of photography (DoP) and actors to set up and perform the required shots. They also work with the 1st assistant camera to ensure that shots are in focus and with the 1st assistant director to make sure that the choreography of the shot runs smoothly. Steadicam Operators are specialists within the camera department and may be hired on a daily basis to perform specific shots within a scene, or employed as camera operators who specialize in Steadicam. Steadicam allows camera operators to follow or create movement without extensive use of grip equipment. The Steadicam system isolates the Operators body movements, enabling the camera to be moved with great fluidity, while remaining stable. Many specialized Steadicam Operators have invested in their own equipment and are normally requested by directors or DoPs. They must be willing to work long hours and be prepared to spend long periods spent away from home. Still Photographer Unit Stills Photographers take the vitally important photographs of film sets or studio shoots that are used to create the press and publicity for feature films. These arresting images, if they are used well, can genuinely contribute to a films box office and international sales success. Unit Stills Photographers usually work on set, recording scenes from the film; alternatively, they may be required to set up photographs in the style of the film in a studio environment. Many big stars have a clause written in to their contracts enabling them to "kill" any images of themselves which they do not approveoften the bigger the star, the greater the "kill factor," which can be as high as 75%. Unit Stills Photographers must therefore be prepared for the rejection of what they may consider to be their best work. Unit Stills Photographers are employed, on a freelance basis, by producers, film PR companies, film sales agents, or distributors and usually combine unit stills work with a variety of other professional stills photography (portraiture, travel, beauty, editorial, film festivals and special events). The hours are long and they often spend considerable periods of time away from base. What is the job? The number of days Stills Photographers work on set depends on the budget and scale of each film. On medium sized films, they are usually employed for at least 15 days; on big budget films with AList casts, they may be required to be on set every day of the shoot. Their first responsibility is to run through the shooting schedule with the film PR and decide on the best days for them to visit the set. Once these days have been approved, Unit Stills Photographers make their own way to the set or studio with their equipment, including 4 or 5 different cameras (both manual and digital) which enable them to shoot concurrently on different kind of film stocks, lenses, tripods, etc. Unit Stills Photographers must be patient and sensitive when working on set, because actors may feel that having another camera pointing at them could adversely affect their performance. In these circumstances, Unit Stills Photographers use the morning blocking rehearsal to attempt to capture some good shots. Usually, however, with the actors permission, Unit Stills Photographers position themselves as close to the film camera as possible and shoot every scene in detail using a piece of equipment called a Blimp, which houses the stills camera and cuts out any noise it might make. Unit Stills Photographers send the exposed film to processing laboratories every 34 days and continuously choose the best shots and mark up contact sheets. If a studio shoot is planned,


they work with the actors to create the desired shots, usually based on a brief from the poster artwork designers. Once their work is completed, all the images are sent to the sales company, distributor, film PR or publicist, who use them for the P&A (Press and Adverting) campaign. Story Editor A Story Editor/Story Producer is a non standardized reality television term for a writer/producer who may be involved (at any level of pre to post production) in producing/editing source footage to create and nuance story. Other duties may include writing host dialogue, VO and dialogue/action pickups. During the post production process, most either work directly with editors or provide detailed paper edits for editors to work from. Storyboard Artist Storyboard Artists translate screenplays, or sequences from screenplays, into a series of illustrations in comic book form. These illustrations have two functions: to help directors clarify exactly what they want to achieve and to illustrate to all other heads of department exactly what is required, e.g., prosthetics for makeup, computer generated Images (CGI) for visual effects, props for the art department, etc. In many ways comic books are the art form that most closely resembles cinemathey both tell stories in a primarily visual form, involving discrete, framed images linked sequentially to convey information. Although comic book images are static, it is often useful to employ the comic book form to develop complex sequences in films that require careful planning and that cannot or should not be left to onset improvisation. Helping the director to conceptualize these sequences is the specialized task of Storyboard Artists. They work on a freelance basis. What is the job? Storyboards are mainly required on films containing large amounts of action and/or CGI, where complex chase, fight or battle scenes need to be visualized and carefully planned. It is now becoming commonplace for many big budget feature films to be storyboarded before shooting begins. Although it may be argued that this stifles the creative process of directing a film, it is a sensible way of avoiding overshooting and spiraling budgets. Depending on individual directors and their requirements, Storyboard Artists usually start work early in the production process. After reading the screenplay, they meet with the director to discuss the mood and atmosphere of any scenes to be storyboarded. During this process Storyboard Artists must analyze the directors requirements and visualize the scene from the cameras point of view, working out the characters positions, who or what else is in the frame and from what angles they are seen and imagining their feelings. After Storyboard Artists have delivered the first few illustrations, directors usually allow them to suggest their own ideas for the following scenes, although some directors are more prescriptive about what they want, using storyboards as a reminder rather than as a template. On big budget films, two or three Storyboard Artists may be employed full time, usually in art department offices at film studios, where they are able to examine any models of the sets and photographs of various locations and refer questions to the production designer. Although most Storyboard Artists still prefer to use pencil and paper rather than draw on a computer screen, as they have more control over the movement and flow of a pencil line, they use computer software packages such as Photoshop to collate and change work easily. Because of advances in computer games and in animation techniques, many storyboard software packages are available, e.g., Storyboard Lite, Frameforge 3D Studio and Storyboard Artists & Storyboard Quick. Studio Videographer


A Studio Videographer is the person who works in the video medium recording moving images and sound onto linear analog or digital tape, non-linear digital disc, or any other digital recording media, such as memory cards. On a set, he or she may be responsible for the lighting as well as the audio and images captured by the video camera/camcorder. Videographers differ from cinematographers because they record using video cameras/camcorders while cinematographers use film cameras to shoot film footage onto motion picture film stock. The development of high definition digital cinematography, however, is quickly blurring this distinction. Stunt Coordinator A Stunt Coordinator is a person who arranges and plans stunts. Stunt Driver A Stunt Driver is a specialist who performs car stunts. Supervising Producer A Supervising Producer supervises one or more producers in the performance of some or all of his/her/their producer functions, on single or multiple productions, either in place of, or subject to the overriding authority of an executive producer. Talent Booker The Talent Booker contracts the appropriate performers to star in a production. The Talent Booker follows viewer trends to ensure that the most popular celebrities are featured, and he or she also works with talent agencies to discover new talent. Technical Director The Technical Director (TD) or technical producer (TP) is usually the most senior technical person within a theatrical company or television studio. This person usually possesses the highest level of competence in a specific technical field and may be recognized as an expert in that industry. The Technical Director provides technical direction on business decisions and in the execution of specific projects. He or she may be assigned to a single project, or may oversee a number of projects with related technologies. This position is often similar to that of chief scientist or chief responsible to make sure that the technicians hired, volunteering or renting the theater know how to properly use the sound, lighting and rigging equipment. It is their job to make sure the technical equipment in the theater is cleaned and safe; although these duties should be delagated to a shop or house manager. Technical Directors of theater companies are often hired to fill the role of Technical Director for productions as well, but these are two separate jobs. A Technical Director for a specific production(s) is responsible for working closely with the scenic designer and director. It is their responsibility to determine how the scenery will be built and out of what materials. A TD will take a scenic designers artistic draftings and create technical draftings of them. These are the draftings given to the scenic carpenters. They should be clear and have all the information a carpenter needs to start work immediately. A TD also keeps close contact with the production manager and keeps them informed of their budgets status at all production meetings. Technical Director can also refer to the inhouse chief designer/master carpenter for a smaller theater company.


Teleprompting A teleprompter is a device used in video, film and TV that prompts actors for lines that may be forgotten or missed. Teleprompters are also used for speeches and for providing information such as a news anchor or reporter. The Teleprompter Operator transcribes scripts or recording into readable banners or special screens that are used to prompt people to remember what they are to say. Some teleprompter information may be provided in advance in the form of audio or videotape that must be transcribed into text format. Teleprompter Operators must have a good working knowledge of the language being used in the film and must also be able to work with various individuals in the film that have different speech patterns. Since the Teleprompter Operator must match the information on the screen with what is occurring in the scene it is very important that they have an ability to work in highly distracting settings and under considerable pressure. A Teleprompter Operator needs to have excellent organizational, time management and communication skills. Since they are part of the production team they will be required to attend planning meetings as well as operate the teleprompter during the event or filming. Most Teleprompter Operators work flexible hours and may have to work long hours, evening and weekends to complete filming on schedule. A college degree in English, communications, film or a related field is often an asset. Excellent computer and keyboard skills are also required. Television Producer As a Television Producer, your main purpose is to deal with the practical and business side of a project, to allow the director and crew to concentrate on the creative aspects. You would manage the production process from start to finish, organizing all the resources needed and often coming up with the initial idea for a project. Your work might include: deciding which projects to produce, or coming up with program ideas yourself reading or editing scripts securing the rights for books or screenplays, or getting writers to produce new screenplays raising finance for projects bidding for television broadcasters to commission your program planning and managing resources and schedules, making sure that the entire production stays on schedule and within budget hiring all the necessary technical resources and support services, recruiting key production staff and crew and being involved with casting performers managing cash flow making sure that the entire production stays on schedule and within budget In smaller productions you may be involved in all of these areas and may even direct as well. In large TV productions, you may be part of a team of Producers with separate responsibilities. You will need substantial experience in the creative and business sides of program making. You will also need an indepth understanding of the production process and a network of contacts in the industry. You could work your way up through the industry to become a Producer in various ways. In television, you would usually start as a runner or production assistant. Producers of factual programs often start as program researchers or journalists. Alternatively, you could progress through production office roles, starting with production secretary and assistant production


coordinator. Television Shows Director In television, Directors work across all genres, including news, sport, documentaries, current affairs, light entertainment, childrens programs, situation comedies, soaps or serial dramas, or oneoff dramas. These programs may be either transmitted live, recorded as live, or prerecorded in any multi camera environment in studios or during outside broadcasts (OBs), or shot on single or multi camera film or tape shoots and edited in post production. Directors are responsible for the look and sound of a production and its technical standards; they interpret the producers and/or writers vision. Every production has its unique internal dynamic and directors are responsible for ensuring that the final program is faithful to the original concept. They are the guardians of the genre and need to be able to push boundaries while remaining in total control of their material. They collaborate closely with all heads of department, including designers, camera, sound, lighting and choreographers. Directors may be employed by broadcasters, or work on a freelance basis. What is the job? Directors work closely with producers and/or writers, embellishing, refining and ultimately realizing original ideas into finished programs. They make careful preparations in order to ensure the success of each shoot. Directors must have a clear creative vision of the project and what materials are required to achieve it. They should not shoot endless footage which may be useful, but prepare a carefully calculated shooting schedule which provides the required footage within budget and to deadlines. Within those parameters they should also be able to contribute creatively to projects. So that they can construct productions with logic and integrity, particularly in drama, Directors should understand the significance of scenes and how they fit into the overall program structure, as well as knowing what is happening within each scene as it is shot. Studio multi camera shoots are essential elements in the production process of high volume drama series and soaps. Detailed preparation is required in order to provide crew members with accurate instructions and directions. Directors carefully read through scripts before their first meeting with producers, script editors, story editors, series editors, script supervisors and/or 1st assistant directors. At these meetings Directors may suggest changes to the structure or order of scenes in order to create greater dramatic tension. The other heads of department may draw attention to potential technical, logistical or creative problems with scripted scenes and suggest solutions or alternative arrangements. Once all these factors have been taken into account and changes approved, scripts are returned to writers and changes negotiated. Final amended scripts are delivered to the Director so that markedup camera scripts and/or running orders can be prepared for cast and crew members. The Directors marked studio script is the blueprint from which all crew members draw their requirements. It is used by the script supervisor to prepare a script breakdown or story order listing additional requirements. Departments as diverse as sound and costume select and use the information that is relevant to them. Once all changes have been approved and implemented, Directors are responsible for the creative and technical aspects of producing finished programs, working to the producers budget. Directors block all aspects of the script (plot the required camera movements, backgrounds and locations, in relation to the actors actions) in order to keep the production under control and to create a safe environment for actors to work creatively without wasting production time. Directors and actors attend script read throughs in order to explain and discuss all


aspects of the script, such as the relevance of particular scenes, including whether they should be performed particularly dramatically, amusingly, tragically, etc. They also discuss whether scenes are significant to the storyline, or if they are there as reminders to the audience of earlier developments. Directors liaise with crew members about all technical requirements, e.g. lighting and camera movements, sound recording requirements (such as what type of microphones should be used), set dressing, vision effects, graphics and transitions. While the crew prepare the sets and set up the equipment, Directors may work with individual actors on specific scenes which require particularly sensitive, dramatic or comedy performances. On single camera shoots, e.g. for scenes shot on location or documentary shoots, preparation is equally important. Directors must work closely with the production manager, designers, lighting directors, 1st assistant director and others, to choose suitable locations and plan the shots required. They must ensure that there is sufficient coverage, including appropriate wide shots, mid shots and close ups, so that the correct emphasis and dramatic atmosphere can be created in the editing process. Edited sections are subsequently incorporated into scenes shot in studio or on OB during recording, or in post production. Drama productions may also be shot completely on single or multi camera film or tape shoots and edited in post production. On documentaries and factual programming some Directors shoot their own material, interview contributors and edit these materials as well. Directors must be able to carry out detailed preparations to ensure that sufficient material is shot or made available from other sources (e.g. archives, stock shots, stills, etc.) for editing and post production. Producers also have input into these processes, enabling them to affect the productions tone and feel. Light entertainment programming is usually produced in multi camera studios or on OBs. Documentaries are usually shot on single camera and edited in post production under the supervision of Directors. On some low budget documentary productions, Directors may work with the support of only a researcher/associate producer and an executive producer and with very small technical crews (camera, sound and editing only). In these cases, Directors must be more self sufficient, often taking on the dual role of producer/director. News or current affairs Directors may not be responsible for individual shot items and may only direct multi camera programs from the gallery, under considerable time pressures to produce smooth running, quick turnaround programs. They may need to change the running order at the last minute in order to accommodate emerging items and must be able to react quickly and effectively in extremely stressful circumstances. During multi camera studio recordings, or live transmissions, Directors work closely with vision mixers and production assistants (PAs) in the gallery (control room) to visually create the program. The gallery is located away from the studio floor and Directors communicate via talkback equipment to technical personnel including floor managers, camera operators, sound supervisors, boom operators, lighting gaffers and other personnel. Directors cue all movements, PAs provide countdowns and shot calling, vision mixers effect all transitions and, in some circumstances, producers may offer last minute suggestions/amendments. Crew members may also provide feedback from the studio floor. Directors must be able to absorb all this information while following agreed camera scripts and simultaneously monitoring program content, performances and technical quality. Television Writer Television Writers are skilled writers who prepare scripts for a wide range of television including commercials, soap operas, comedies, documentaries and dramas.


Some Writers create station announcements, previews of coming shows and advertising copy for local sponsors. These editors may also write material for locally produced shows. They must be able to write persuasively, creatively and quickly because of the pressure of deadlines. The Television Writer is the person responsible for creating all plot lines, dialogue, characters and situations. The Writer provides the initial story as well as rewriting and polishing scripts. Episodic Television Writers can also serve as producers as well and are responsible for both the budget and the overall quality of production. Writing for television is different from writing for film or stage. Television Writers must be able to write to order. For example they will need to write for a specific audience and to fill a specific time slot. It can be almost a technical job. They may be working as part of a team under a head writer who makes many of the creative decisions. Writing what the show calls for under a strict timetable is often more important than artistic expression. Some Writers work full time for television stations but many work freelance on a job by job basis. Although individual television episodes are credited to a single Writer (or writing team), Television Writers often write as a group. Depending on the show, the budget available and the preference of the showrunner, there could be up to twenty Writers working at different levels on a single series from staff writers to producers. Television Writers are usually employed on the basis of what they have written. A good spec script is a sample of your writing that shows other people that you understand television writing and is a good way to demonstrate your skills. It could be a script of an existing television show that you have written or an original television pilot. Transcriptionist A Transcriptionist requires the skill of literacy. Because there is the opportunity for just about any word in a given language to be used during the course of a meeting or session that will require transcription, the Transcriptionist must have the ability to transcribe what is heard accurately. This includes understanding colloquialisms that may be employed by various speakers, being able to use punctuation in such a way that the inflection of the speakers are captured as much as possible and being able to record the dialogue exactly as it occurred. A well rounded education in the art of language is an essential for any good Transcriptionist. Above and beyond basic language skills, the need to deal easily with technical terminology or simple shoptalk is very handy in many transcription jobs. Strong typing skills are a must for any Transcriptionist. In some cases, the job has to be accomplished in a real time setting. In effect, the Transcriptionist is taking dictation, without the ability to employ the oldfashioned shorthand method. Even in cases where the Transcriptionist is working off an audio recording of a meeting or event, a quick delivery of the finished transcript may be very important to the client. Circumstances often dictate that a finished transcript be made available to the customer within a day or less. Fast and accurate typing skills go a long way to meeting those sorts of deadlines. Lastly, a Transcriptionist also may need to employ some research skills to the task. No matter how well versed the Transcriptionist may be in a given field, chances are that he or she will have to look up a few terms or phrases that are used within a meeting or session. This research often helps the Transcriptionist put the remarks into context, which aids in using appropriate punctuation. The research can also serve to verify the spelling of any words that the Transcriptionist may be unsure about. Translator


A Translator is a person who translates written messages from one language to another. Transportation The Transport Department varies in size depending on the scale of the shoot. On big budget features, the department is run by the Transport Coordinator who oversees the entire transportation requirements for the film. He or she employs one or more Transport Managers to manage the use of the support vehicles, as well as the trucks and vans used to transport equipment. Transport Coordinators also appoint Transport Captains to take charge of the travel arrangements of cast and crew. Transport Captains ensure that people are picked up at the right place and delivered to the set on time, by private cars, minibuses or coaches. Smaller budget films may only employ the services of one Transport Captain, who ensures that cast and crew arrive on time. Members of the Transport Department are likely to have extensive experience of working in the transport industry, either as HGV drivers, or as private hire drivers. They must be aware of and abide by, existing transport legislation and ensure that their vehicles are safe and roadworthy. Each of the Transport Department roles requires good timekeeping and communication skills. Unit Manager An executive who is responsible to a senior producer for the administration of a particular movie. Unit Production Managers only work on one film at a time. Only DGA members can be called Unit Production Managers. Unit Publicist Unit Publicists (UPs) provide a vital conduit between producers, cast, crew and the media during film shoots. By generating publicity, they help sales agents to sell films and to create public interest. UPs work closely with producers, distributors and sales agents to plan all press strategy for film shoots, making sure that only the right amount of information is released at specific times, so that the press coverage is not jeopardized when the film is released. UPs are responsible for unit press and publicity budgets which are set by producers. UPs work on a freelance basis and are hired only for the duration of each shoot, although they may also be employed to handle distribution publicity in the run up to the films release date. What is the job? Unit Publicists (UPs) start work on films between 4 to 6 weeks before the first day of principal photography. Their first responsibility is to issue a press release providing information about the film to selected press and to ensure that details about the film shoot, cast and crew are printed in the trade press. Once the shooting schedule has been agreed, UPs work with the producer and often with the actors agents (or managers) to schedule visits to the set, on specific shooting days, by a number of selected journalists, who may represent a mixture of magazines and regional, national and international newspapers and broadcasters. UPs ensure that the actors and director are available to the journalists on these days and that there is plenty happening to provide a good color piece (an article that sets the scene and is full of lively descriptions of the set, etc.) The UP and the journalists, or sometimes the newspaper/magazine editors, discuss when each article will be published in order to maximize the films publicity. During a set visit, UPs liaise with the 2nd assistant director to check actors schedules and to deal with any last minute changes, which often occur on film sets and help to facilitate the journalists work. UPs may also work closely with the EPK (electronic publishing kit) crew.


UPs are also responsible for: the production of films press packs, which involves interviewing cast and crew members (UPs may undertake these interviews themselves or hire a journalist to do so); preparing a comprehensive list of cast and crew; writing a long and a short synopsis of the film; writing production notes (containing information about the work histories of the writer, director, production designer, costume designer, script writer and key cast members). UPs usually oversee the work of the unit stills photographer with whom they work closely, selecting the best days for the photographer to be on set. After the film has wrapped (been completed), UPs must provide captions for all the photographs and ensure that the agreed number of color and black and white prints/negatives are delivered to the production or distributor. Utility Assistant The person who is responsible for various manual tasks, running errands, or performing whatever jobs other members of their crew assign them. Video Editor Video Editors prepare the final version of the product. At the post production stage they take raw footage, choose the best shots and put them in order and add sound, graphics and special effects. Skilled Editors can have a big influence in the quality of the finished piece. As a Video Editor, you would normally use digital technology and computer software to edit sound and pictures. You could work on projects including feature films, TV programs, corporate videos and commercials. Digital technology is increasingly the key medium for Editing. Based in the post production editing suite, the Editor works closely with the director to meet his or her requirements. The majority of film/video Editors are employed on a freelance basis, working on short term contracts for post production studios, television companies and corporate employers. Your job might involve: discussing the project with the director or client, or receiving instructions from them transferring film/video footage to computer examining the footage and deciding which shots to keep and which to cut 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 adding titles, graphics, visual effects and sound putting together the final version On a larger project you may be one of several Editors with different jobs and specialities such as offline editing (making the rough cut), online editing (producing the final version) or sound editing. The key to becoming an Editor is to gain as much experience as you canpaid or unpaidin the post production process and in using editing equipment. Employers will be interested in your technical skills, previous experience and personal qualities such as enthusiasm and initiative. You could get relevant experience from editing student or community film productions, working for an editing equipment hire company or work experience as a runner in an editing facilities house. You may find it helpful to take a course in video or media production, which will help you to gain practical skills in using editing equipment. Many courses include work placements and the chance to build contacts in the industry.


Video Engineer A Video Engineer is an individual in a television studio who is responsible for the video portion of all television. Video Playback Video playback provides a point of reference for and a method of monitoring, everything that is shot by the camera crew and recorded by the production sound mixer. Video assist is used by directors (and other relevant crew members such as script supervisors), who watch the video monitor during each take. If playback facilities are available, Video playback is used to review shots. This is captured by special video tape recorders which are fitted to film cameras next to the eye piece and record exactly what the camera operators see. Ensuring that all the required images are captured and that the equipment is in full working order, are the responsibilities of the Video Assist Operator (VAO). VAOs are usually employed by camera facilities houses or specialist video playback companies and are requested by 1st Assistant Directors, directors or script supervisors. On larger films, VAOs work with assistants. What is the job? Before filming begins, VAOs check the compatibility of their equipment (which includes a playback system, recording unit, trolley, batteries and external monitors) with the film camera(s). On the first day of principal photography, VAOs arrive on set at the same time as the camera crew and test their equipment in preparation for the first set up. VAOs must be able to concentrate for long periods and be extremely alert, in order to monitor all the action and to maintain the equipment throughout the shoot. On big films involving many complicated set ups, the director, director of photography, camera operator and other heads of department frequently use playback facilities. If visual effects are employed, VAOs may edit sequences together on set so that directors can see how they will eventually play on screen. At the end of each filming day, directors usually check shoot video footage immediately. VAOs must ensure that all footage is carefully stored on hard disc and that their equipment is packed and ready for use the next day. VAOs finish work when the film wraps (is completed). Most camera equipment hire companies have video assist departments which employ experienced VAOs. Many start their careers working as runners or drivers for video playback or camera hire companies and progress to become video assist trainees, which involves helping VAOs with video cables on set, changing batteries and providing general support. Video Tape Operator Video Tape (VT) Operators (Sometimes called CAR Operators, Technical Runners or Tape Operators) work in post production facilities houses which provide complete end to end services for offline, online and nonlinear editing, visual effects and DVD production to the independent, corporate and broadcast media sectors. Post production involves creatively weaving together visual and audio materials shot or created during the production process and combining them with other media, graphics, effects, subtitles, archive footage, etc., to create a variety of final products including broadcast programs, DVD titles, corporate productions, etc. VT Operator is a machine room role, requiring a good working knowledge of the technical aspects of each facility, how it is networked, what machinery is in the building, what equipment and formats are compatible with one another and crucially, how to fix things quickly and correctly. Many of the skills required are similar to those of edit assistants and, to a lesser degree, of engineers and in some smaller facilities edit assistants and VT Operators roles


may be combined. However, working in the VT machine room usually requires more technical skills and aptitude than are normally expected of edit assistants. Larger facilities of 50 or more staff employ a number of VT Operators, with varying degrees of experience. In some cases, particularly in smaller companies, the VT department also manages the library system and database. What is the job? VT Operators work in and manage the machine room, operate tape recording equipment and ensure that the contents of tapes meet the correct technical specifications. They prepare VT machines for use by clients and editors and in some cases set up Avid and other editing equipment. They make interformat tape copies, black tapes for future use, blank (wipe) tapes for further use, make nonbroadcast copies (VHS) and label tapes accurately and appropriately. VT Operators move media and machines around the building. They auto conform media and may digitize media for use on Avid and other nonlinear equipment. They are responsible for quality control of output media and for quality assessment reports, conversions, digitization, transfers and duplication of video and audio materials. They must understand the importance of unambiguous labeling of every frame of each project, using roll numbers and time codes that conform to recognized industry practices. VT Operators must be able to read oscilloscopes and audio meters, read TV and video signals and understand how they work. They must be able to identify what is acceptable for which media and broadcaster and their different technical specifications. They should understand compression and be able to utilize VT recorders (VTRs) in normal and abnormal settings. They operate, patch and unpatch equipment and must possess relevant computer skills in order to move media around the facility. They should know how to digitize media and make copies. VT Operators manage equipment and identify faults, utilizing aspect ratio converters (to adjust the shape and size of the screen) and standards converters (to convert between NTSC and PAL standards, for transmission or distribution in different countries). They must also have the necessary communication skills to ascertain clients needs and problems and to identify appropriate solutions. They must be able to communicate technical issues in laymans terms when liaising with clients and other nontechnical colleagues and should fully understand the implications of their decisions and actions, keeping accurate and detailed records. Visual Effects Visual Effects are alterations to a film's images during post production. Visual Effects Supervisor is the chief of a production's visual effects crew. Voiceover Artist The Voiceover Artist is the unseen person who does the speaking necessary to create a voiceover. Wardrobe Stylist A Wardrobe Stylist is the job title of someone who picks out the wardrobe used in photo shoots, television appearances, music videos, concerts etc. Writer Writers are involved in the creation and/or development of all types of creative writing for film and TV. Creative writing covers a number of wide and varied forms including screen and radio (such as comedy/soap opera scripts, drama productions or documentaries). Writers may also help to create the content for video games and cartoons.


Typical work activities and skills required are likely to include some or all of the following: select subject matter based on personal or public interest: Writers must be aware of the cultural zeitgeist utilize application and discipline to write and rewrite continuously and maintain originality develop the technical skills of writing and methods for creative and imaginative thought researching stories and character conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail, utilizing sources such as newspaper accounts, diaries and interviews review, submit for approval and revise written material to meet personal standards and satisfy needs of client, publisher, director, or producer select subject or theme for writing project based on personal interest and writing specialty, or assignment from publisher, client, producer, or director work to tight deadlines, especially for theater, screen and radio develop factors, such as theme, plot, characterization, psychological analysis, historical environment, action and dialogue, to create material use literary skills to develop themes and storylines, while making characters and plots believable write humorous material for publication or performance, such as comedy routines, gags, comedy shows, or scripts for entertainers write fiction or nonfiction prose work, such as short story, novel, biography, article, descriptive or critical analysis, or essay adapt a play or script for moving pictures or television, based on original ideas or adapted from fictional, historical, or narrative sources organize material for project, plan arrangement or outline and write synopsis

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