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:
Rights to books/play are purchased and the necessary screenplay is written.
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
contribute to the storyboard illustrations for films and animations
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
are responsible for writing and editing of the film script.
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:
who is responsible for the storytelling aspect of the film and directing the creative aspect as well as the acting within the production
To aide the director
Who auditions and casts all the necessary acting parts for the film
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
Who manages the art department in the making of the sets, props, etc.
Responsible for the visual conception of the film. They will work closely with the art director
Makes the clothing for the characters
Make Up Designer
Responsible for characters’ make up
Responsible for characters’ hair
Who coordinates the movement of the film such as dance and fight scenes
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
creates new music for the film
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.