How To Become a Gaffer

How To Become A Gaffer

What is a Gaffer?
A Gaffer is the head of the lighting and power department on a film set. They work mainly in pre-production and production and are responsible for helping to achieve the desired cinematic image.

What is the job?
The Gaffer will collaborate with the Director and Cinematographer to decide on the aesthetic for the visuals of the film, and make a plan of how they are logistically going to achieve them. This involves the Gaffer scouting the locations and where the lights can live in each set up, as well as making sure cables can be run and finding a safe place for the generator. On top of this, the Gaffer will work with the Cinematographer to create lighting plots, which act as a reference point to help establish a plan.

Other duties that the Gaffer is responsible for include negotiating with Producers, as well as Production Managers, on the electrical budget and required lighting equipment. The Gaffer must constantly work with their crew to make them as efficient as possible, to make sure production is happening quickly and efficiently. If the lighting department is slow, shots will be cut and the production may go into overtime (this is because changing lighting setups usually takes the most time in a transition on set).

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How to Become a Lighting Technical Director

How To Become a Lighting Technical Director

What is a Lighting Technical Director?
A Lighting Technical Director (TD) is an essential member of the CGI team who adds surface qualities to objects, through adding depth to sets and characters with shadows, as well as light to provide illumination that helps accentuate the mood and emotion of a scene.

What is the Job?
As a Lighting Technical Director, you will be responsible for ensuring effects look as good as possible with the available resources. It is also your duty to write tools to facilitate lighting and shading rendering techniques, to ensure that shots can maintain the highest standard and continuity as required.

Lighting Technical Directors often work from references, such as paintings, drawings, photographs and film, as well as actual objects and locations. On top of this, they will work with a variety of different departments, such as art, digital paint and lighting, and will work in a variety of different stages of production (but will spend most of the job in rendering).

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How To Become a Grip

How To Become a Grip

What is a Grip?
A Grip is part of the production team that is responsible for developing and building sets for the production. It is usually an entry-level position and often requires a flexible schedule with irregular working hours.

What is the Job?
As a Grip, you will work primarily on complex equipment that supports the cameras and lighting. It can be a physically-demanding job, as it involves construction and set up, as well as the tearing down of sets once production has finished. It can involve setting up, maintaining and then dismantling backings, which are the large, painted backgrounds. On top of this, you may also have to order and sort out the renting of equipment, and carry out various administrative duties.

There are various types of Grips – the Key Grip, the Best Boy Grip, and the Dolly Grip. Often, individuals will begin as Grips, and then as they gain experience, they will specialise and through promotion may become the Key Grip.

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How To Become a Production Accountant

How To Become A Production Accountant

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.

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How To Become a DV Director

How To Become a DV Director

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.

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How To Become an Animation Producer

How To Become an Animation Producer

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.

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How To Become a Development Producer

How To Become a Development Producer

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!

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How To Become a Texture Artist

How To Become a Texture Artist

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.

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How To Become an Edit Producer

How To Become an Edit Producer

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.

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How To Become a Motion Graphics Designer

How to become a Motion Graphics Designer

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.

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