In the TV & film industry there are a variety of job roles and contract types available. The job roles fall into specific categories. Each job role has different roles and responsibilities.
The working patterns of all job roles are different. Some may require individuals to work shifts whereas others may pay employees according to a time or piece rate.
Management Creative Editorial Technical Administrative Research
Marketing & Publicity Manager Location Manager Production Manager
A marketing and publicity manager is responsible for managing the creation and planning of films marketing campaigns. The manager should enhance the visibility and raise the public’s awareness by convincing an audience to watch a film as soon as it releases.
A marketing and publicity manager should have higher-level qualifications in marketing, PR, business or business related subjects. It is vital for a marketing and publicity manager to have on the job training which can be obtained whilst working at advertising or media planning agencies.
Individuals carrying out this role should have good organisational and planning skills as well as the ability to be creative.
Marketing and Publicity managers tend to be signed to a permanent contract with the director or producer of a film.
The role of a location manager is to discover ideal locations for a film shoot and then report these locations to the producer, director and production designer. A location manager is responsible for discussing issues with the location owner. The manager will have to discuss factors such as cost of hiring the location, terms of hire, accessibility for the crew and vehicles, parking, noise reduction and permissions that may be required whilst shooting.
In order to find the right locations for the film shoot, the location manager must work with the director to understand the creative vision that the director has for the film.
Responsibility of informing cast and crew members on how to get to the location is also given to the location manager. He/she must display clear labels so that members of the cast and crew are able to access the location without any hassle. Once the shooting has been completed, the location manager must ensure that the location is handed back to the owner in a satisfactory condition.
Location managers should have a strong imagination in order to visualise and identify suitable locations for the film shoot. Organisational and negotiation skills are essential when trying to find the right location at the right time for a reasonable cost.
No formal qualifications are required for individuals to become a location manager. However, individuals interested in this role should have relevant experience in the film industry E.g. as an assistant and a full driving license would be necessary.
Film Director Costume Designer Music Composer
Music composers are responsible for creating music which is original for a film. They discuss ideas with the director and decide on where music will be needed in the film. Once this is decided, the music composer will create a demo score, searching for music that will suit the film genre and storyline and will also decide on the themes and purpose of the music.
Music composers must be able to improvise and create themes for film music under pressure as they are required to work to tight deadlines. It is vital that the music composer is able to listen to the needs of the director and then transfer these needs into musical terms. Composers should be able to use technology such as ProTools and computer skills and the ability to work with new technology are essential.
Some form of musical training should also have been taken by music composers, however, the passion and drive of the individual is more important than the qualifications.
A film director is responsible for creatively translating the written script of a film into visual images and sounds on the screen. The main duties of a film director include: casting, script editing, shot composition, shot selection and editing.
Once important decisions such as the cast and the locations have been selected , the director will direct rehearsals. The will they direct the real shooting of the film until all shots have been filmed. During the post-production, the director will work with the editor to complete processes so that the film reaches the final cut stage.
It is important for a director to have an artistic vision as well as creative skills to develop an attractive and inventive film. As the director is the leader when producing a film, he/she should be able to lead the team in a motivating manner and make important decisions as well as delegating responsibility.
Formal qualifications are not needed in order to become a director. Potential directors will need practical experience to help them understand the arts and crafts of directing. Many directors work themselves up from receiving work experience as a runner on a film set or in a production office.
Editor Titles Designer
Title designers design the opening titles and captions that appear at the starting and ending of a film as well as throughout it. Title designers spend a lot of time researching and creating fonts which reflect the genre of the film. When titles need to be designed they will meet up with the director and editor to talk about the themes and ideas portrayed in the film that will influence the titles which are designed.
Title designers tend to be freelance or they may work independently in their own graphics studios or some may be employed by companies. It is important for title designers to be able to use computers and various graphics software packages and have relevant knowledge of animation techniques, film cameras and digital editing. Communication and presentation skills should be effective and title designers should have the ability to be able to work as part of a team and independently whilst working to strict deadlines.
The main role of an editor is to ensure that a film flows from the beginning to the end. The editor will have to edit each shot carefully so that when all shots are edited they fit into a series of scenes that the audience will enjoy watching.
Editors are employed on a freelance basis by producers. They are required to work long hours under great pressure. Editors work closely with the director before shooting begins in order to decide how screenplay can be maximised. Once all scenes have been shot, the editor will take the best takes to create all the scenes. One all scenes have been edited, a directors cut will be created. This will be shown to the producer who will share his opinions on the cut. Once changes have been made to the directors cut, the final cut will be produced.
No specific qualification are required in order to become an editor. However, somebody wanting to pursue this career would need wide experience of the post production process in addition to technical knowledge. Editors should be imaginative and they should have excellent communication skills. Most editors tend to start from the bottom as assistants and then work there selves up. To become an editor.
Vision Mixer Camera Operator Practical Lighting Technician
A vision mixer edits programmes live using various transition methods such as cuts, wipes, mixes etc. A vision mixer bonds images together from different visual sources. The work of a vision mixer is exciting but demanding, therefore the individual carrying out this role must be patient.
Vision mixers usually work according to a running order which is created by the producer before broadcasting. The vision mixer will then work with the director to discuss which transitions will be needed and what special effects/graphics should be applied.
It is vital for a vision mixer to be able to multi-task as they will be required to cut between different shots during live broadcasts whilst taking into account the instructions being given by the producer.
Vision mixers can be employed by broadcasters or may also work on a freelance basis. As vision mixers may work on a freelance basis they are required to be able to use a variety of different mixing desks and equipment as the resources available at each production studio are likely to be different.
No formal qualifications or training are required in order to carry out the job role of a vision mixer, however, a degree in a media related subject should help provide useful background knowledge for the individual.
Production Accountant Sales Agent
A production account is responsible for managing finances and maintaining financial records of the inflows and outflows of money during film production. Production accountants work with the producer and production office to produce schedules and budgets for film productions.
Production accountants main tasks and responsibilities include calculating finances, costing productions and controlling the cash flow to make sure that all payments are made and taken on time.
Production accountants are required to have relevant skills and knowledge in accountancy. These skills can be achieved by completing a degree in accounting. In addition to having the business knowledge, production accountants must have knowledge of filmmaking processes. Candidates wanting to pursue this job role should be able to work with various accounting software packages to assist them with their job role.
Production accountants tend to work on a free lance basis as they are only required whilst the film is being produced.
A film sales agent is the person responsible for representing the filmmaker who is looking to distribute deals for the film which has been produced. The sales agent will work with the film makers in order to develop a strategy for marketing the film which has been produced.
Once agents generate sales they will be responsible for delivering all the elements of the film. This will include the release print, the inter-negative, the inter-positive, the script and legal documents. After the film has been distributed and profits have been made the sales agent will pay the film maker their percentage.
In order to carry out the job role of a sales agent successfully, it is important for potential candidates to have strong business and managerial skills so that they are able to negotiate with clients well. A masters level degree in Business Administration would be extremely useful for candidates wanting to pursue this career as would other courses in film production and film finance.
Researcher Specialist Researcher
The job role of specialist researchers is very specialised. They are mainly required on big budget films where they spend most of their time meeting and talking to academics and experts in order to gain detailed insight into a particular subject.
Once the specialist researcher has gained an insight into the particular subject, he/she will work with the production designer, art director (s) and supervising art directors in order to provide them with material that inspires their to create the look of the film.
No formal qualifications are needed in order to become a specialist researcher , however work experience within an art department would be useful. Specialist researchers tend to be graduates of areas such as architecture, art, theatre, inter or 3d design courses.
Researchers work across various genres of television production including news, sport, current affairs, documentaries, soaps etc. The develop programme ideas and then present their findings to the key decision maker of the production team. Often researchers may be briefed by the producer or other decision makers about ideas that have come to their mind. The researcher would then be told to carry out further research into the idea – looking at locations, contributors, archive material etc.
Researchers look to find contributors to appear in programmes according to the genre and format of the show. They arrange for the contributors appearance within the time and budget limit which have been set by the producer and director. Researchers often contribute to the development of scripts, or often check the final written materials for accuracy or to suggest any amendment that could be made.
No specific qualifications are required in order to be a researcher however, having a degree in a media related subject may provide some useful background information. Experience in and knowledge of pre-production and production processes are requirements for this job role.
Shift Work Fixed Term Time Rate Freelance Office Hours Piece Rate Continued
Shift work contracts tend to be adopted by organisations that keep their business running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These organisations employ individuals to work specific shifts- these can be during the day or during the night.
A fixed term contract involves an organisation employing an employee for a specific period of time. The contract will state a fixed and definite period that the contract will run for.
Office hours tend to start from 9 am and finish at 5pm. Employees are required to work for these hours daily.
A freelance contract is where a business employs a self employed individual who works as a ‘freelancer’. They work for businesses on a temporary basis as they are employed by a business for specific project/task. Freelancers are able to benefit from working on a variety of different projects, enabling them to broaden their portfolio of work.
Time rate contracts exist when employees are paid according to the amount of time they spend at their place of work.
A piece rate contract involves paying employees according to their production levels. The more an employee produces, the more they will be paid. However, in organisations where piece rate is adopted, the quality of products or the service provided tends to be affected.
A continued employment contract doesn’t have a specific termination date. Due to this, the employee’s duration of employment is indefinite, he/she does not have to leave until they themselves give a notice or until they are asked to leave by the employer for a reasonable reason.