Careers in Film and Television

Sought after jobs in the industry

Not all film and television career levels will be entered immediately upon graduation from film school. Most people start out on set as assistants before being given the chance to move up. Still, it's important to receive training in these jobs if you aspire to reach them. Assistants do anything from getting coffee to arranging food and accommodations to hiring extras.

  • Producers - The producer is involved in all aspects from development to post-production. They seek out potential money-making ideas and find the financing required to turn an idea into a television show or film. They set a budget and make sure it's followed.
  • Directors - Directors are involved in all three production stages. They develop a theme and work with everyone involved in the production to make sure their vision is adhered to. They are in charge of technical aspects, hold auditions and rehearsals and approve everything from scenery and shooting locations to music and choreography.

Pre-production

This stage involves planning, budgeting, casting, choosing locations, set design and construction and costume selection.

  • Screenwriters - These professionals transform anything from novels to just ideas into a screenplay or TV pilot script. They prepare a synopsis script (or treatment) and a final shooting script. Screenwriters must incorporate technical instructions into their scripts. They have to work under tight deadlines, perform many rewrites and collaborate with producers and directors.

Production - The making of the film or TV show. There may be several hundred workers involved by this time.

  • Actors - These entertainers interpret their given role and communicate their character to the audience through the camera. Most actors only have walk-on or supporting roles and rely on their agents to find the roles. Very few will become stars.
  • Cinematographers, camera operators - These professionals work together to capture scenes in a number of ways. Cinematographers plan and coordinate filming to reflect the film's mood. Camera operators capture the shots with the right movements and angles.
  • Directors of photography, gaffers - Gaffers set up lighting for a shot, which has been planned out by the director of photography.
  • Sound engineering technicians - All sound during filming is the responsibility of these professionals. Film recordists, boom operators and other workers do a range of jobs including capturing dialogue with extended microphones.
  • Multimedia artists and animators

Post-production

After filming, the movie scenes are put together and finishing touches are added.

  • Film and video editors - They study footage, choose the best shots and assemble it all together, usually by splicing. They must understand the film and the director's goal.
  • Assistant editors/dubbing editors - Sound effects and a film's soundtrack are the job of these workers.
  • Sound affects editors/audio recording engineers - Background music, and various sound effects are added to the film during the final phase of post-production.