What is a Production Accountant?
Production Accountants are responsible for managing the finances and maintaining financial records during a film or TV production, including preparing schedules and budgets for shooting, and managing the day to day accounting and financial reporting.
What is the job?
A Production Accountant looks after all of the finances for a production. Their duties include calculating outgoings, costing productions, liaising with financiers, and managing cash flow. It is also their responsibility to ensure that all financial legal requirements are met. They will finalise all financial records relating to the production and may have to arrange an independent audit. On top of this, they are responsible for helping Producers and Production Managers to prepare budgets, and will also set up and manage accounting systems, and supervise Assistant Accountants and Accounts Trainees.
Sometimes, at larger production houses and studios, Production Accountants will work in collaboration with Senior Accountants, known as Financial Controllers, who are often permanently employed by the company, or in collaboration with Studio Finance Executives.
What is a DV Director?
A DV Director is a role that sits between the Associate or Assistant Producer and the Producer/Director. The DV Director often works on location alone, or with a Runner, filming the elements of a show that the main Producer couldn’t get.
What is the Job?
The role of the DV Director is to get ideas off paper and on to the screen. The job involves working closely with Designers, as well as Researchers, in order to divide jobs into informative chunks worthy of filming. On the shoot, it is the DV Director’s job to ensure everything is running smoothly, and make sure that everything is running to time.
A DV Director is often a self shooter as well. A self shooter is an individual working in editorial (Researcher, Producer, Director, etc.), who also shoots content and occasionally edits.
What is an Animation Producer?
An Animation Producer is an individual who takes on the role of Producer for an animated film or TV series. The Animation Producer is responsible for ensuring the final end product is produced on time, and within the budget allocated.
What is the Job?
The job of Animation Producer involves acting as the pathway for communication between the executives who run a studio, and the creative individuals who are actually making the animated product. Therefore, it is the Animation Producer’s job to budget and control the costs of making the production, in order to keep the executives happy but also to ensure that the creative individuals are able to make a final product that meets their expectations.
The Animation Producer is usually the highest ranking individual who is actually available day-to-day on a production, and therefore anything that goes wrong is seen as their responsibility. They will have to discuss any problems that arise, or any budgetary issues that the company has, with the executives. It is up to the Animation Producer to ensure that the final product is not delivered late, and is not over budget – and if it looks as if it will be, it is their job to fix things.
What is a Development Producer?
A Development Producer is at the front of the development team (or on their own in a small independent company), and is responsible for bringing stories to life, in order to generate revenue for the company by securing commissions with broadcasters.
What is the Job?
The Development Producer has to have the creative ability to come up with new ideas, or to help develop other people’s ideas. However, they also need to have business knowledge and drive as they are responsible for pitching to commissioners who are often hard to please. The Development Producer has to know the idea inside out and must be prepared to answer any questions and queries at the pitch.
If the Development Producer fails to sell the idea in the pitch meeting, they will have to think on their feet and they must present alternative suggestions. Put simply: if the pitch isn’t a success, the company risks not securing any commissions, and therefore not making any money!
What is a Texture Artist?
A Texture Artist is responsible for creating photorealistic textures for mapping onto 3D objects used in video games, films, television, music videos, or commercials.
What is the Job?
Texture Artists use a variety of software systems to create textures for environments, characters, objects, and props within animated films, television shows and video games. These textures will often be created from scratch, in which case the artist invents their own own textures using their imagination and creativity. Other times, the textures can be found in real life, such as wrinkles, fur, scales and sweat.
Texture Artists make 3D models look believable and life-like. They will often add imperfections, for example rust to oil cans, scuffs to trainers and reflections to windows to give the object an extra dimension. They are concerned with making surfaces realistic, in order to help the player or viewer forget that they are experiencing a computer-generated environment.
What is an Edit Producer?
The Edit Producer helps to co-ordinate the edit through working with the editor(s), and relaying information from other producers working on the production. They can also be involved in writing the script.
What is the Job?
As an Edit Producer, you will not work on location. The role starts at a later date, as they supervise the edit process. Sometimes, the Edit Producer is brought in to work from the edit suites, if the show is being shot and cut at the same time.
As the Edit Producer is not normally on location, they act as a fresh pair of eyes when it comes to editing. This is helpful with ensuring the scene is portrayed in the way it was meant to be. As an Edit Producer, you must constantly ask the question “how does this scene move the overall story I am telling, forward?’. If it doesn’t move the story forward, it is your responsible to recognise this, and remove or re-cut it.
What is a Motion Graphics Designer?
A Motion Graphics Designer is responsible for creating complex graphics, animation, and live video content for the web, television, and film.
What is the Job?
Motion Graphics Designers are a fundamental part of the creative process. They are responsible for creating a variety of graphics, such as trailers, advertisements, movie clips and title sequences. They use visual effects and other cinematic techniques to bring life to paper sketches and ideas. Motion graphics design is really a subset of graphic design, taken to the next level, as designers must adopt graphic design principles in video and film production and then apply animation techniques on top.
A Motion Graphics Designer uses their skills to create moving words, logos, text and numbers on screen during a TV show or film. Day to day tasks can including designing graphics and animations using computer software, creating basic designs and drawings with pen and paper, converting static objects into animated objects through modelling and optical scanning and creating animated sequences.
In our latest Word of Mouth we talk to Writer/Director, David Skynner, about his career to date, including BAFTA wins, interviewing Gary Numan, and starting out on Aliens.
What was your first job in TV?
My first job in TV was also my first as a director, on The Bill for Thames TV, but by then I had already been working in the industry for ten years, partly in features and also making corporate films.
My first proper production job was after I left The London Film School, when on graduating, the school found me a two-week attachment to the AD dept. on James Cameron’s Aliens. I got on so well with them I ended up staying three months and moved on to the creature shop for another two months, when Stan Winston saw a painting I’d done for a film school production. It was a very exciting film to work on, very very long hours though as I’d be in at 6am to open the dressing rooms and as the film slipped behind schedule and the days got longer, I often wouldn’t leave until 11pm.
What is a Cinematographer?
A Cinematographer is responsible for all of the visual elements of a film. They oversee and direct photography and camerawork across a whole film or TV production.
What is the Job?
A Cinematographer is the person actually in charge of shooting the film. They have the ability to make creative decisions, under the guidance of the film director, regarding the picture’s lighting, camera motion, shot colour, depth of field and scene composition. Even in pre-production, the Cinematographer has to make crucial decisions such as whether the film will be colour or black and white, whether it will be shot in digital or on film, and the style of shooting.
The Cinematographer works very closely with the film director, who will oversee and approve the decisions. A Cinematographer’s job is to impress the story of the screenwriter, and the vision of the film director, onto the actual film.
On larger films, the Cinematographer is solely responsible for shot composition and planning, whilst on smaller films, the Cinematographer will also take on the role of Director of Photography, and so will look after the lighting and make decisions regarding the camera, lenses, and other equipment.
What is a Storyboard Artist?
A storyboard artist creates visuals for each major scene in a film or TV show. Visuals will include character poses, facial expressions, and backgrounds.
What Is The Job?
The roles of a storyboard artist can differ from job to job. In some cases, the storyboard artist gets a script and has to create a storyboard based on that script, whereas in other cases, the storyboard artist also acts as the writer of the episode. In many cases, storyboard artists are responsible for ‘pitching’ their ideas to the director of a film. It’s one of the few art jobs in animation that can influence the final product.
The storyboard artist has to visualise everything, specifically from the camera’s point of view – from gestures to emotion, and based on preference, a storyboard artist can visualise the scenes by hand, or visualise them using software such as Photoshop or Storyboard Pro.
The illustrations that the storyboard artist creates have two functions: to help directors clarify what they want to achieve, and to illustrate to other members of the team exactly what is required (e.g. props, makeup, computer generated images).