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A graduate’s guide to film production jobs

A graduate’s guide to film production jobs

There are lots of different types of film production jobs so if you are a graduate looking to get into this line of work, where do you begin?

Beginning life as a silent movie in the late 1880s, the very first film was initially perceived as a lower form of entertainment and those working in film production jobs as little more than base pleasure-seekers.

However, by the 20th and 21st centuries, the humble film has evolved to become a pivotal and influential communication tool that is widely accessible for the viewing public and, consequently, film production jobs a honourable means of making a living.

Today, films are a hugely popular form of entertainment, enjoyed by many through multiple platforms: at the cinema, home and even on the move through personal mobile devices. The film has worked its way into our everyday lifestyle without us really appreciating the effort it takes to create a film from start to finish by those working in film production jobs.

There are four integral stages to film production:

  1. Development Stage

    Rights to books/play are purchased and the necessary screenplay is written.

  2. Pre-production Stage

    Concerns the preparations for the shoot. This includes selecting locations, cast and of course the film crew. Sets are constructed and important elements are carefully planned out.

    Film production jobs at these stages

    The production company will have a dedicated office who handle the essential film production jobs including:

    Unit Production Manager

    who is responsible for the budget of the film and report on behalf of the office to studio executives or the main financiers of the film

    Storyboard Writers and Artists

    create visual elements to help the director and cast envisage the story or plot

    Illustrators

    contribute to the storyboard illustrations for films and animations

    Concept Artists

    responsibilities include the creation and design of environments, backgrounds, characters and colour schemes from concept to completion based on ideas presented by art directors and development teams

    Scriptwriters

    are responsible for writing and editing of the film script.

  3. Production Stage

    Involves the filming of the main elements for the finished film with the producer hiring a crew, which, depending on the scale of the film can range from a skeleton crew of eight/nine to hundreds for a Hollywood blockbuster.

    Film production jobs at this stage

    A crew will typically consist of multiple film production jobs such as:

    Director

    who is responsible for the storytelling aspect of the film and directing the creative aspect as well as the acting within the production

    Assistant Director

    To aide the director

    Casting Director

    Who auditions and casts all the necessary acting parts for the film

    Location Manager

    Who sources and manages the necessary film locations. If a scene requires an outdoor sequence this will involve filming on location

    Cinematographer a.k.a. the Director of Photography

    Who supervises the photography of the film

    Art Director

    Who manages the art department in the making of the sets, props, etc.

    Production Designer

    Responsible for the visual conception of the film. They will work closely with the art director

    Costume Designer

    Makes the clothing for the characters

    Make Up Designer

    Responsible for characters’ make up

    Hair Designer

    Responsible for characters’ hair

    Choreographer

    Who coordinates the movement of the film such as dance and fight scenes

  4. Post-Production Stage

    The final process of film production concerns the editing stage of a film. This includes production sound (dialogue), accompanying music, sounds effects added as well as any other computer-graphic ‘visual’ effects:

    Film production jobs at this stage

    Composer

    creates new music for the film

    Sound Designer

    who supervises the audiography and the aural conception of the film

    Production Sound Mixer

    responsible for recording and mixing all audio on set, including sound effects, dialogue and presence

The entire process of film-making can take anything up to several years to complete and involving several film production jobs, multiple levels of expertise, all crucial to creating a film, right from the production stage to our homes.

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