The film industry
Roles in the
First Assistant director
Location Manager Production Sound
First Assistant Camera
Visual effects supervisor
Roles in the film industry (part 2)
Hair and makeup Department:
• Creative departments:
Director: This is a creative job, as the director is in charge of overseeing the creative aspects of a
film. Their role is tell a story and direct the performance of the actors. They have some technical
jobs to do like positioning of the cameras. However, overall their role is more creative. The job is
a production role mainly. Because, although the director is involved in all stages, their main job is
to produce the movie and make it. They do have many responsibilities; for example not only do
they have to direct the actors and manage the technical bits of filming. They also have to be
involved in pre-production and select the right cast and locations. In addition to this, they work
closely with the editor in post-production to get to the final version of the film.
• Production departments:
Executive producer: This job is mainly managerial as they are responsible for making sure that the film is
completed on time and within budget. In addition to this, they have to supervise the producer’s work because
of the studio and the distributors/financers. They aren’t involved in the technical bits of the process, but they
do have a key role in making sure that the project goes to production. This could be a financial role or a
creative role. The executive producer has a number of responsibilities in different stages of the process. In
development they get the rights to a story and develop the screenplay. They then give it to the producer and
then they are not directly involved in the actual production. In packaging and financing, they have authority
over the packaging of the film. They also raise money for the film and help to get distribution agreements. In
production, they supervise the production and act as if they are mentoring the producer.
• Camera department
Camera Operator: This is mainly a technical job. The camera operator is responsible for how
the camera moves. They have to work out how the technical aspects of the film is going to
come together. They have to work with the director and the director of photography. They
have to make sure that the camera and equipment is prepared for the scene. Also, they have
to work with the cast.
• Script department:
Script supervisor: They work as part of the camera department, and they have to make sure that when the
film is edited there aren’t any continuity mistakes. They have to watch every shot closely and take
detailed notes about it to give to the director and editor. Also, they break down the script depending on
the requirements of the production.
• Location Department:
Location Manager: This job is a managerial job as this person is responsible for managing all aspects of
shooting in every location and they have to make sure that the location is handed back to the owner in a
good condition. The location manager has to work with the director in pre-production so that they can
work out possible locations. They have to work with the rest of the crew and cast by making sure they
know how to get the location shoots. This job in the pre-production stage and the production stage.
• Sound department:
Boom Operator: This is also a technical job. The boom operator has to put the microphone in
the best place so that it doesn’t show on the camera and without affecting the actors
performance. They are responsible for all of the sound equipment. They use the boom
microphone and have to position microphones so that the sound is really good quality.
• Visual effects department:
Compositor: This person is a visual effects artist. They merge images from different media
sources like video, film, 2D animations and text.
• Post production-sound/ music:
Sound editor: This person is responsible for arranging, editing and putting together sound
effects in the soundtrack.
• Hair and make-up Department:
Make-up and hair artists have to be excellent in both make-up and hair techniques. This is
because make-up and hair are very important in the overall look and design of the
production. They create a specific look for each character and depending on the time and
place it is set in. They have to be experienced and use professional hair and make up
The editor is responsible of putting together the film shots into a finished product
that is suitable for the target audience. They need to make sure it makes sense, is
good quality and will keep the audience’s attention.
• Wardrobe Department:
Costume Designer: The costume designer is in charge of all the clothes and costumes that
are worn by the cast throughout the film. They design and make all the costumes according
to the scene that is being shot.
• Art Department:
The set decorator has to decorate the set. This includes all the furniture and any other object
that will be in the film.
Health and safety
Assistant Art Director
Hair and make-up
Make-Up and Hair
Stand up comedian
Post Production Specialist
Second assistant Catering crew
Post production manager
• Casting Director:
Casting actors is very important because the actor must be suitable for the
character. This way, the audience’s attention will hold throughout the show. This
means that the casting director needs to have detailed knowledge about how to
cast the right actor to the character so they must be very familiar with the script.
They usually do this through auditions and then choose an actor who will suit the
role and then they will make a contract for the actor. The director is usually
present in the auditions; especially when unprofessional actors audition as their
acting talent is not known. The casting director needs to do a lot of research to
make sure that they are picking the right actor. The director and producer usually
depend on the casting director to pick out the right cast for the show. They usually
finish their work when the actors are chosen so they are not needed all the time.
• Boom Operator:
• They are in charge of putting the microphone in the right
place is to get the best sound. While doing this, they can’t
distract the camera operators or the actors from doing their
job because of the microphone. Also, they have to put the
microphone in the right place on set. They are also
responsible for the sound equipment. They have to make sure
they work and fix any problems they have. They work
freelance and they finish when the film production is done.
Researchers work in different section of television production. This can include
news, sport, children shows, comedies, dramas. They develop the programme idea
using their knowledge of industry requirements and then they show their results
to the decision makers. They need to make sure that it doesn’t break any
regulations or legislation. Usually they either come up for a programme ideas that
they will pitch to a producer or they will have a brief to work on an idea. They
need to get the relevant data and locations. In addition, they need to get
clearances for any copyright material. They need to present their information to
the contributors of the show.
The editor is responsible of putting together the shots into a finished product that
is suitable for the target audience. They need to make sure it makes sense, is
good quality and will keep the audience’s attention. They work closely with the
director, and they usually work on a freelance basis. They may add special effects
and graphics during the edit. They will usually have a deadline and so will have a
lot of pressure and when they edit they usually work for long hours.
Transport managers are in charge of organizing all the large vehicles. This includes
mini make-up and costume units and mini toilet units. Their job needs good
transport and film industry experience and exceptional planning and management
skills. They are also responsible for making sure that the transport has the permits
they need if they need to travel across international borders. They need to have
good timekeeping skills and they have to be able to work with a lot of pressure.
Financial Analyst: The financial analyst has to help provide accurate and relevant
financial reporting, planning and analysis. They have to develop and prepare
presentations of short and long range financial plans and operating budgets. They
are really important in programme changes and new show launches, because their
analysis will then lead to the development of the show idea so that they can get
the maximum amount of interest and audience tuning in.
Hair and make-up: Make-up and hair artists have to be excellent in both make-up
and hair techniques. This is because make-up and hair are very important in the
overall look and design of the production. They create a specific look for each
character and depending on the time and place it is set in. They have to be
experienced and use professional hair and make up products. They have to be able
to create create a look that meets the requirements and needs of the production.
They usually work on a freelance basis and are employed throughout the
preproduction and production stages.
Caterer: Caterers come from specialised companies. They have catering trucks that
have food, and also equipment to help prepare the food like ovens, fridges, gas
and water. Catering companies are different in size. The smallest truck may consist
of a couple of individuals who prepare the menu, make the food, make tea and
coffee. They also clean and drive the truck. Big companies may consist of 20 trucks
and have hundreds of staff. They are hired by production managers. This job is
really important as the crew work for long hours so they need to eat. Caterers
present their sample menus and their quotes to the production manager so that
they could be hired.
Becky Thomson: Sound Recordist
Becky is a film and TV sound Recordist. Sometimes, she is also a boom operator.
She says that being a sound Recordist means that she is responsible for all the
sound that is recorded on set. She doesn’t do anything at the studio. She was first
at university doing biology and then found out about the radio station. She loved
music so she spent time working in radio and making programmes. She went into
freelance and also did an apprenticeship in sound. Some TV dramas she worked
on includes ‘the bill’ and ‘judge john deed’. She spent some time dubbing with Bill
Rowe; who won an Oscar for sound for ‘chariots of fire’. I learned from her that if
someone wants to work in the industry they need to give it everything they’ve got.
Otherwise, they someone else would take the role they wanted.
Ian Payne: TV Presenter
Ian Payne is the main news presenter for North East Tonight. He sometimes
presents other bulletins like the late news slot for ITN. Before this, he was the
senior sports presenter. Usually, he would be in the office at 11am. Until 3pm, he
is following up past stories and planning ahead. From 3.30pm he is getting ready
for the 6 o’clock programme. After the programme, there is a debrief. He works 40
hours usually in a week. He enjoys the fact that he has a position of responsibility
in the company. He also enjoys being respected for having the knowledge and the
authority. He got to his job by doing a work placement with TSL. He continued
getting experience while doing his degree. He then worked in an independent film
company. After that, he applied to be a sports assistant on a TV channel and from
there he went to presenting. I learned from him that TV isn’t about glitz and
glamour. It’s just a way to communicate a message but it’s also a great job.
Jonathon Lewis: Researcher
Jonathon needs to find information about people and locations to meet the brief.
He did three weeks work experience in TV research and this led to a three month
contract as a researcher on a daily natural history magazine programme. He enjoys
that he can share people’s experience and work with leading experts. He also
enjoys going to locations that people dream of going to. I learned from him that
when sending out a CV for work experience, you should follow up your CV with an
email or a phone call.