Landing a job in the movies is a dream come true for many people, and it’s not for just those who aspire to be in front of the camera. There are many jobs in the film industry for the experts who just can’t get enough of the wonders of technology.
If you are a self-confessed geek, you’ll probably be interested in taking a closer look at five technical roles in the film industry and what role they play in the movies.
This is a job you’ve probably noticed in the film credits because let’s face it, it’s a bit of a strange job title, but do you actually know what they do? Sometimes also known as the chief electrician or chief lighting technician, these names do make a lot more sense but are a lot less fun than the more common title of “gaffer.”
Before the cameras start filming, they are responsible for reviewing the set conditions and deciding on what lighting equipment will be needed. During filming, they have overall responsibility for the placement of lighting and the logistics of moving lighting between scenes in the most efficient manner.
The name “concept artist” is a bit more self-explanatory as they are responsible for turning a written concept for a film, also called the brief, into artwork. By creating visuals for everything from landscapes to props, it helps the rest of the team understand the overall vision for the film. This is a highly specialized role, so there are specific concept art courses, like those provided by Visual Arts Passage, which teaches the skills needed to compete in this industry.
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Sound engineers are responsible for producing the best quality sound using a combination of technical equipment and their experienced ear. From installing the right microphones and recording equipment during filming to manipulating the sound via a mixing desk post-production, there’s a lot of equipment for them to get their head around.
“Animator” is probably the most easily identifiable job description on the list, but as technology advances, it is possibly one of the more complex. With specialisms ranging from two-dimensional drawn animation to three-dimensional computer-generated animation, there is a range of software they may need operate.
An animator may be required to create their own characters from scratch or have a specific brief of what the director is looking for.
A good film editor is both creatively and technically minded. Working closely with the director, they are responsible for cutting the raw footage and piecing it together. Their job is complete once they have put together the “rough cut” of the final film before the director comes into the process to tweak this edit and finalize the finished motion picture.
A film editor will also oversee the addition of music and sound to the final cut. Their specialist skills include expert knowledge of editing software, a good eye for detail, and good communication skills.
So the next time you sit down to enjoy a movie, spare a thought to all the techie types who had a hand in the making while the actors take all the limelight.