StudentsReview ™ :: Film, Cinema and Music Careers

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Careers in Film

Outside of the stars you see on the big and small screens there are a lot of careers behind the scenes that bring these productions to your living room, local movie theater or neighborhood stage theater.

Screen Writer / Play Writer

Screenwriting, also called script-writing, is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games. It is frequently a freelance profession.

Screenwriters are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to development executives. Screenwriters therefore have great influence over the creative direction and emotional impact of the screenplay and, arguably, of the finished film. They either pitch original ideas to producers in the hope that they will be optioned or sold, or screenwriters are commissioned by a producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screen work or literary work, such as a novel, poem, play, comic book or short story.

Executive Producer

An executive producer (EP) enables the making of a commercial entertainment product. The EP may be concerned with management accounting and/or with associated legal issues (like copyrights or royalties).[1] An EP generally contributes to the film's budget and may or may not work on set.[2]

Film Director

A film director is a person who directs the making of a film. Generally, a film director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision.[1] The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. [2] In some European countries, the director is viewed as the author of the film.

Cinematographer

A cinematographer or director of photography (sometimes shortened to DP or DOP) is the chief over the camera and lighting crews working on a film, television production or other live action piece and is responsible for achieving artistic and technical decisions related to the image. The study and practice of this field is referred to as cinematography. Some filmmakers say that cinematographer is just the chief over the camera and lightning, and the Director of Photography is the chief over the all photography components of film, including: framing, costumes, makeup, lighting, and its the assistant of the post producer for color correction & grading.

The cinematographer selects the film stock, lens, filters, etc., to realize the scene in accordance with the intentions of the director. Relations between the cinematographer and director vary; in some instances the director will allow the cinematographer complete independence; in others, the director allows little to none, even going so far as to specify exact camera placement and lens selection. Such a level of involvement is not common once the director and cinematographer have become comfortable with each other, the director will typically convey to the cinematographer what is wanted from a scene visually, and allow the cinematographer latitude in achieving that effect.

Animator

An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, that give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators' artistic styles and their field.

Production Manager

Unit production manager (UPM) is the Directors Guild of America–approved title for the top below-the-line staff position responsible for the administration of a feature film or TV production. Alternate titles for this role on non-DGA signatory productions are production manager or production supervisor. He or she works closely with the project's line producer. It is not uncommon for the line producer to function as UPM as well.

A senior producer may assign a UPM to work concurrently on more than one production, for film, theatre, or television.[1]

Casting Director

For some major productions, the process of selecting actors for sometimes hundreds of parts may often require specialized staff. While the last word remains with the people in charge, artistic and production, a casting director or "CD" (and sometimes the casting associate) is in charge of most of the daily work involved in this process during pre-production. A casting director is sometimes assisted by a casting associate; productions with large numbers of extras may have their own extras casting director.

The "CD" remains as a liaison between director, actors and their agents/managers and the studio/network to get the characters in the script cast. Some casting directors build an impressive career working on numerous Hollywood productions, such as Marion Dougherty, Mary Jo Slater, Mary Selway, Lynn Stalmaster, April Webster, John Desiderata, Tammara Billik, Marci Liroff, John Lyons, Bill Dance, Avy Kaufman, and Mindy Marin.

At least in the early stages and for extras, casting may be decentralized geographically, often in conjunction with actual shooting planned in different locations. Another reason may be tapping into each home market in the case of an international co-production. However for the top parts, the choice of one or more celebrities, whose presence is of enormous commercial importance, may rather follow strictly personal channels, e.g. direct contact with the director.

The resulting list of actors filling the parts is called a cast list.

Stunt Coordinator

A stunt coordinator, usually an experienced stunt performer, is hired by a TV, film or theatre director or production company for stunt casting that is to arrange the casting (stunt players and stunt doubles) and performance of stunts for a film, television programme or a live audience.

Where the film requires a stunt, and involves the use of stunt performers, the Stunt Coordinator will arrange the casting and performance of the stunt, working closely with the Director.

In many cases, the stunt coordinator budgets, designs and choreographs the stunt sequence to suit the script and the director's vision.

Costume Designer

A costume designer is a person who designs costumes for a film or stage production. The role of the costume designer is to create the characters and balance the scenes with texture and color, etc.[1] The costume designer works alongside the director, scenic, lighting designer, sound designer, and other creative personnel. The costume designer may also collaborate with hair stylist, wig master, or makeup artist. In European theatre, the role is different, as the theatre designer usually designs both costume and scenic elements.

Lighting Technician

Electrical Lighting Technicians (ELT) or simply Lighting Tech., are involved with rigging stage and location sets and controlling artificial, electric lights for art and entertainment venues (theater or live music venues) or in video, television, or film production. In a theater production, lighting technicians work under the lighting designer and master electrician. In video, television, and film productions, lighting technicians work under the direction of the Gaffer or Chief Lighting Technician whom takes their direction from the cinematographer. In live music, lighting technicians work under the Lighting Director. All heads of department report to the production manager.

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