Careers in Film Making
is probably the broadest and most varied creative opportunity in mass media.
Films, a blend of creativity and technicality are an important media, not only
for entertainment and information, but also for communication. Films, the most
international medium, has developed into a universal art form that transcends
cultural differences. Film making include feature films, documentaries,
newsreels, Promotional films, TV commercials, music Videos etc.
The craft of filmmaking is a teamwork which
needs close coordination of various skilled individuals. It involves acting,
directing, producing, script writing, cinematography, sound recording, visual
mixing, editing and so on. A film maker like the captain of a ship has to look
at all these aspects of film making. He has to start at the very bottom and work
his way up. i.e. beginning with raising capital for the film to its
distribution, screening as well as all the stages of its crafting.
The field of film making which is highly
competitive is one that has a lot of scope for employment opportunities
especially, India which releases a large number of films every year. If one has
artistic and technical skills and at the same time ability to express ideas,
this is the right field for you. Even for acting and directing, which are
basically creative fields that require inherent talent, training helps to hone
the skills. In areas like cinematography, sound engineering and editing,
professional training is essential. There are several universities institutions
that offer training in these areas. The pioneering institute in this line is the
Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
Educational Qualification: For technical courses basic
eligibility is 10+2. For other courses it is graduation. There will be aptitude
tests and interviews to assess the candidates talents. Duration of courses
depends on the course one opts for and the institution chosen. There are
Diploma, Post Diploma and even Certificate courses in each area of
specialisation. Specialisation areas include production, direction, editing,
cinematography, film processing, animation, acting, sound engineering, make up,
photography and so on.
Personal Attributes: Artistic flair, ability to work cooperatively, sense
of responsibility, ability to work under pressure, great physical stamina,
strong visual sense, good communication skills and for production and direction;
leadership qualities, ability to bring out talent in others, creative instincts
as well as managerial and administrative abilities are essential.
Job Prospects and Career Options
Candidates can find employment with Film
Studios, Production Companies, Advertising Agencies, Government Department,
which make films or start their own venture as producer, director, editors,
cameramen, soundmen, lighting crews, assistants and so on.
Careers in films can be those related to the
actual production of the film and those related to the film field such as a Film
critic, Film archivist, Film curator, Film distributor etc.
involves too many responsibilities, sheer hardwork and anxiety after the release
whether the hard work put in was worth it. Usually the production team is the
first to arrive on the sets and the last to leave.
Producer: He is the
over-all in charge of a film. Producer is responsible right from raising finance
up to marketing the film. He is the decision making authority in all matters,
plans and manages the technical and artistic resources. It is he who decides the
story, obtain legal permission, hires the director, actors, decides the crew and
the location etc. Production Manager and Production Assistants help the Producer
in his job. The producer's role is sometimes combined with that of directing.
Post graduates in Mass Communication or
diploma holders from the Film and Television Institutes can enter as
professionals. But it is not a must. Personally he should have good
communication skills, patience and stamina. He should also have a through
knowledge and experience in the film industry and entrepreneurial ability to
Production Manager: The
production manager shoulders the delegated responsibility for the overall
organisation of the film. He is responsible for the technical pre-planning of
productions and for coordinating the crew, cast and scenery within a prescribed
Production Assistant: He
acts as the coordinator while the producer or director is doing his artistic
thing. It is the production assistant who actually make everything happen as
planned. He handles all the administrative work, such as booking hotels and
flights for the crew, arranging shooting schedules etc. and he is also
responsible for keeping records of film sequences, scripts, call sheets and
Director: He is responsible
for the management of all the creative aspects that go into the making of a
film. These are the people who make the unreal real--who turn the pages of a
script into reality on the screen. The director is in complete charge of the
studio or location floor and controls the film artistically. He decides the
camera angle and directs the work of the cast and crew, costumes, choreography
and music, conduct rehearsals etc.
Assistant director: They
ensure all the timely arrangement of things that are required for the shoot.
There can be one or more assistant directors, depending upon the film budget.
Editing, Acting & Animation
Editor: The work of an
editor requires great skill, it is he who puts the film in correct sequential
order. He views processed film and video with production personnel to analyse,
evaluate and select scenes and to determine which scenes need to be improved or
re-shot. He synchronizes the sound track and adds special effects wherever
necessary. Degree in film direction and editing or professional experience is
Screenplay writer: Screen
play writer rewrites the original story, on which the film is based, in a format
suitable for the screen. A graduate or postgraduate degree in literature with
proficiency in creative writing can become a screen play writer.
Actor: An actor should have
an ability to emote well and become the character he represents in the film.
They are the ones who come in direct contact with the masses and the most
appreciated. Actors need a great deal of patience and commitment because most
productions require long rehearsal schedules and retakes. Acting is a highly
competitive profession and lot of talent, mettle as well as luck is needed to
make it to the top and create a place for themselves in the field. A screen
presence and a good physical appearance are additional attributes to be
successful in the field. Even though formal training is not a necessity, a
graduate/post graduate degree in acting will help to sharpen skills and give
Animator: Animation films
are created by filming sequences of drawings or computer graphics and processing
them at high speed so that they appear to be moving. Animation graphics are used
in action films to stimulate real events.
Animators use their drawing skills to create moving images and effects for
feature films, TV commercials, and short features. Drawing skills are crucial
for all animators, and technical and computer training are integrated into the
professional training. Personally, they must be artistically inclined,
imaginative, skilful and practical, able to generate new ideas and put those
ideas into sketches. One can work as an animator for Cartoons, feature-length
movies, TV commer cials or motion graphics, multimedia or as a game designer.
Proficiency in graphic software's or a graduate or postgraduate degree in Fine
arts, Applies Arts, Graphic Design, Animation Design, Visual Communication
Design etc is helpful in getting into this field. The basic qualification for
training in this field is 10+2/ equivalent.
Light and Sound
Cinematographer: He is
responsible for composing each scene to be shot, decides lighting and camera
angles as per directors requirement. He leads the camera/lighting team and is
involved in the planning and execution of a shoot from the pre-production stage.
Job requires high technical knowledge and experience in the field. In big units
lighting technician may work out the lighting plan for each shot.
Cameraman: The cameraman
handles the camera and the camera assistants collaborate with him. The Cameraman
operates the camera according to the instructions of the Cinematographer. Good
technical ability and knowledge of cameras and lenses is essential.
Lighting is used to change the mood of a scene or to indicate practical aspects
such as day or night. Lighting technician arranges all the lighting effects.
They determine light needed during each shot.
Soundmen: Responsible for
all sounds or effects that accompany visual images (Sound Mixing). The work
includes recording, dubbing and mixing of music, dialogues and other sound
effects. The Sound Mixer or Sound Engineer puts together the various elements of
the sound track and edits it to give it a final shape. The Sound Recordist works
under the Sound Mixer and ensures proper recording. Degree or diploma in
Audiography or Electronics is required. For admission to these courses a Science
background at plus two level is preferred.
Film Related Careers
Film critic: A critic needs
to be well read, have adequate knowledge and experience in his respective field.
Only persons having good knowledge about the particular subject/art can
authoritatively write about the subject. He has to interview filmmakers and
actors, covers local developments in the film business, and attend film
festivals from time to time. Reading significant histories and biographies,
understanding critical theory of film, and becoming familiar with the history of
film arts are keys to success as a critic.
Film Archivist: Archivists
are involved with the collection, arrangement and provision and preservation of
archives. Archives include official documents, photographs, maps, audio-visual
material and any other information-bearing media that contains valuable
historical information of individuals, companies, government departments and
other organisations. An archivist can be a Film Archivist, Reference Archivist,
Photographic Archivist, Appraisal Archivist, Manuscript Librarian etc. A
graduate or postgraduate degree in one of more of the areas like history, art
history, anthropology, archaeology, Latin, English literature, public
administration, politics, law or economics or a postgraduate degree in Library
and Information Studies; Museum, Gallery and Archives Management and Information
Management is essential to get into this field. Archivists need to have good
communication skills, analytical and research skills, an eye for detail,
problem-solving skills and organisational ability, Knowledge of different
databases and , Archivists need to be patient, accurate, thorough and able to
make good judgements about what information to keep. They should work in a well
organised and methodical manner, be able to keep information private and work
well under pressure.
Earnings of workers in the motion picture production and
distribution industry vary, depending on education and experience, type of work,
union affiliation, and duration of employment. Salaries for directors vary
widely. Producers seldom get a set salary; instead, they get a percentage of a
show's earnings or ticket sales.