Film production jobs: a guide for recent graduates
A graduate’s guide to film production jobs
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 jobs:
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 to 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 the 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 involves several film production jobs across multiple levels of expertise, all crucial to creating a film, right from the production stage to our homes.