• Jobs in the media can be divided into two categories creative and non-creative. There are many different categories of job roles in the media which give a unique perspective on the industry.
Management roles• Financial Controller• Construction Manager• Marketing and Publicity Manager• Location and Unit Manager• Production Manager• Transport Manager
Marketing and Publicity Manager• Marketing and Publicity Managers oversee the creation and planning of films marketing campaigns.• Marketing and Publicity Managers main responsibility is to enhance a films visibility, and to raise the publics awareness, by convincing audiences that this is a must-see movie. They must ensure that the overall desire peaks when the film opens. Subsequently, Marketing and Publicity Managers need to increase interest in the film with further promotion, by directing their team, and troubleshooting any problems.• Tactical skills are vital because of the ongoing need to develop and enhance promotional campaigns. Organisational and planning skills are crucial, as are creativity and adaptability. A thorough knowledge of film marketplaces, and the ability to read and capitalise on popular patterns and cultural trends, are crucially important.• Marketing and Publicity Managers usually have higher-level qualifications in Marketing, PR, Business or subjects related to business.
Transport Manager• Transport Managers are in charge of managing all the large vehicles on a film production. These include mobile make-up and costume units, artist caravans, mobile production offices, and mobile toilet units. They work closely with other crew members, such as the Location Manager, Line Producer, or Second Assistant Director, to ensure that the right number of vehicles arrive, on time, and at the correct locations. This role requires good transport and film industry experience, as well as excellent planning and management skills.• If delivery problems arise, Transport Managers need to rectify them as quickly as possible. As film shoots run to very tight schedules, they must be comfortable working under a great deal of pressure. Above all, they need excellent communication skills, in order to ensure that transport plans are carried out effectively and efficiently. They need a thorough knowledge of driving legislation, and of the Health and Safety legislation relating to transport issues.• Transport Managers are likely to have experience of working in the transport industry, and an HGV1 license.
Prosthetics Artist• Prosthetic Artists create specialised items which can be bought or hired for the production. They liaise with the Director, Make–up Designer, Production Designer and Actors in order to design, make, apply and maintain prosthetics in line with the Make–up design. They may change the face and hands, or even the whole body of the Actor. They are usually employed during pre–production and production, and normally work on a freelance basis. When the prosthetic has been made, they use the appropriate colouring and finishing techniques, and deliver it to the production. Normally Prosthetic Artists apply prosthetics to performers themselves. As this can take many hours, they may employ an Assistant, or work with a Make– up Artist. After applying the prosthetics, they usually stand by on set to ensure that the prosthetics are sustained under shooting conditions.• Prosthetics Artists must understand how to translate abstract design ideas into practical applications. They need creative flair, and craft skills, combined with a strong sense of colour and design. They should have a good understanding of anatomy, and a talent for sculpting. They should also be proficient in techniques such as face and body ageing using prosthetics, and creating bald caps, false noses, wounds, scars, skin diseases and tattoos.• Most Prosthetics Artists are self–taught to an intermediate level of proficiency. They may acquire further skills by taking a short course, a BA degree, or vocational qualifications in Prosthetics, Model– making, Make–up or Sculpture.
Draughtsman/ junior Draughtsman• Draughtsmen are responsible for drawing up set designs. Working to the Production Designers references and specifications conveyed via the Art Director, Draughtsmen use their knowledge and skills to translate these ideas into detailed technical drawings, showing plans, elevations and sections. Construction crews on films work to a set of blueprints created especially for them, and these accurate drawings are the responsibility of Draughtsmen. They work on a freelance basis, and usually specialise in either film or television production. As many as four Draughtsmen and several Junior Draughtsmen may be employed on big budget films, all producing drawings and models. On this kind of production, Draughtsmen start work approximately six months before filming is due to begin, and are often involved until the end of filming.• On big budget films, Draughtsmen produce hundreds of drawings, which are scanned and sent by computer to be printed out by the relevant departments. On smaller films, Draughtsmen are likely to be more actively involved in the supervision of all set construction.• Draughtsmen must have expert knowledge of all building materials and construction techniques. As Draughtsmen must have excellent drawing skills, a degree in Fine Art, Graphics, Theatre, Architecture or 3D Design is a prerequisite.
Technical Roles• Gaffer• Grip• Camera Operator• Production Sound Mixer
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. If particular challenges are identified, Grips work with specialist 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. Grips should be ready as soon as the camera starts to roll, and they must anticipate all the camera moves, whilst also keeping in mind the preparations required for the next camera set-up. At the end of each days shooting, Grips oversee the packing up of all camera-support equipment.• Grips must have excellent up-to-date knowledge of all camera-support equipment. Grips should also be in possession of a clean driving license. Some Health and Safety certification is desirable too. Grips will also need an NVQ for Grips at Level 2 and 3.
Production Sound Mixer• Production Sound Mixers are responsible for the difficult job of ensuring that dialogue recorded during filming is suitably clear. 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. Production Sound Mixers work with the Boom Operator to select suitable types of microphone (e.g. close- ups or extreme angled shots may require clip microphones that do not appear in frame), and carefully reposition these microphones for each set-up, to ensure adequate sound coverage. If music is required in a scene, Production Sound Mixers also set up playback equipment and speakers for the actors.• Production Sound Mixers must have a good understanding of electronics and an expert knowledge of acoustics and all sound recording, playback and editing equipment (analogue and digital). As the head of the production sound department, Production Sound Mixers must undertake specialist training in sound recording before starting out at junior levels within the sound department and progressing through the sound roles.
Research Roles• Specialist Researcher• Screenwriters
Specialist Researcher• Specialist Researchers work closely with the Production Designer, the Supervising Art Director, Art Directors) and Set Decorator, but also provide backup in the form of detailed research to the entire Art Department. This may involve anything from finding a visual reference to inspire a specific set, or sourcing details that enable the Draughtsmen* to produce accurate technical drawings, to researching a specific craft or skill that might be needed to make a prop. It is the Production Designers job to ensure that every detail on sets, which can range from the interior of an alien spaceship to the contents of a Victorian drawing room, is as authentic and believable as possible. Specialist Researchers work alongside the Draughtsmen in the drawing studio, and are also responsible for keeping up-to-date, well organised files of all research materials. Specialist Researchers are expert in finding unusual references and information from difficult to access sources.• Specialist Researchers must have good general knowledge, combined with working experience within Art
Financial Roles• Film Production Accounting• Financial Controller• Production Accountant• Assistant Accountant• Accounts Trainee
Financial Controller• Financial Controllers are responsible for controlling accounting, taxation and financial analysis for all the companys areas of operation, which may encompass development, production and distribution. On individual productions, Financial Controllers normally help Producers and Executive Producers to prepare original budgets and to raise finance, taking into consideration any relevant Government Tax Incentive schemes that may be available at that time. Financial Controllers may undertake some or all of the Film Production Accountants activities, depending on the scale of the individual production. These can involve a wide variety of tasks, ranging from controlling cash flow in order to ensure that payments are made on time, to setting up and managing the Accountancy team.• Financial Controllers need an excellent grounding in commercial and film production accounting, as well as in film finance and all relevant Inland Revenue and Government Tax regulations. Financial Controllers are usually qualified Accountants with a BA in Accountancy, combined with a number of years experience, ideally within film production, media or film finance. Freelance Senior Production Accountants who are engaged as Financial Controllers on large films must have an excellent track record in large film productions, in order to be approved by the productions various Financiers.
Assistant Accountant• Assistant Accountants are experienced bookkeepers who assist Production Accountants and Key Assistant Accountants to control finances during feature film production. Assistant Accountants assist in the day-to- day running of the Accounts Office. They help the Key Assistant Accountant and Production Accountant to maintain records of invoices and creditors payments. They keep records of all transactions, and are usually responsible for the preparation of accounts payable, invoices and purchase orders, and petty cash and payroll calculation.• Specific accountancy skills required for the role include the ability to: record financial information and prepare the productions accounts; process payments; assist in administering the productions floats and petty cash; contribute to the monitoring of production costs; run a payroll in line with Inland Revenue and other relevant Government regulations; and prepare insurance claims. Assistant Accountants also have a more general responsibility to contribute to a safe and secure production environment, and they must be able to conduct an assessment of risks in the workplace. Assistant Accountants may possess a BA in Accountancy, or vocational qualifications in accounting (NVQs/SVQs), or otherwise be able to demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary level of competence through work experience, for example as a Cashier, Bookkeeper, or in a junior financial administration capacity.
Administrative Roles• Runner• Broadcast Assistant• Second Assistant Editor
Runner• Runners are responsible for client hospitality, including providing food and drinks. ne of the Runners main tasks is to ensure the cleanliness and tidiness of the facility, including edit suites, reception, kitchen and rest rooms, for the benefit of clients and colleagues. They also take care of dispatch - delivering and collecting packages, tapes, other media, and/or sometimes hardware. They provide cover when required for other junior members of staff, including Reception, Junior Tape Operators. They carry out fault finding, and repair basic office materials - phones, chairs, etc., and move, carry and connect up tape machines. They deposit cash and cheques, and collect cash floats from banks, as well as undertaking some administration duties, e.g., checking invoices and job sheets.• They must have an understanding of the Post Production process, including the requirements and characteristics of different media formats, the difference between on line and off line editing, and the difference between masters and dubs. No specific academic or training qualifications are required for Runners. Media studies degrees are not necessarily considered particularly relevant when selecting Runners, and many companies are more interested in applicants with retail or catering experience.
Second Assistant Editor• Second Assistant Editors are only employed on very big budget films. They assist 1st Assistant Editors and Editors in the Picture Editing department. 2nd AEs also work closely with Trainees, teaching them how to perform basic assisting tasks such as syncing up (synchronizing) rushes (aligning the sound with the image). On films where 2nd AEs are employed, they acquire significant experience, easing their progression to 1st AE. Both 2nd AEs and Trainees are freelance, and are expected to work long hours.• 2nd AEs assist 1st AEs to ensure the smooth running of the cutting room. On big budget films, overseen by 1st AEs, 2nd AEs carry out the majority of the hands-on assisting duties; these vary from film to film, but usually include digitizing rushes, recording play-outs onto tape or DVDs, labeling up tapes/DVDs and sending them to the labs.• 2nd AEs normally start their careers as Trainees. They usually gain entry into the industry as Runners working for Post-production Facilities Houses which may provide them with opportunities to meet Assistant Editors or Editors who are willing to take on Trainees. Individuals are likely to work on low budget films and/or television as Assistants for several years after completing their training, before progressing to become 1st AEs on feature film productions.2nd AEs should be computer literate and have knowledge of digital editing software and equipment. They must also understand how cutting rooms work. Trainees should be computer literate and have a basic knowledge of digital editing.
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