How To Kick-Start Your Career In Post Production

How To Kick-Start Your Career In Post Production

It takes a lot of time and work to shoot a feature film. But even when all the filming is done, the movie is only half-way through its path to be a finished product. The other half usually happens inside a post production house, where different departments work in synergy to put video and sound together into a blockbuster.

If you think post-production is the right path for you, here are the first steps to make your way into this world.

Figure out which department you want to work in
Most post-production companies structure their organisations (hence, human resources) along three main departments: Production, Editing and Sound. The first step, which you’ve probably already taken, is deciding which one of these is the right fit for you, depending on what you want your daily job to be like. Here’s an idea:

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What To Expect After You Finish Film School

What To Expect After You Finish Film School

As spring term approaches, you are probably getting ready to kick-start your career. Here’s some advice that might help you make your way out there in the “real world”.

As people more experienced than you have already told you, getting your first job can be very hard, and starting to progress further in the industry can be even harder. Film and television are networking-based industries and as, presumably, you don’t have many connections yet, prepare for a slow and often tedious start.

Most industry professionals will advise you to find some work experience as quickly as possible, in order to start creating your network and putting some credits on your CV. Many say that it should not matter if your first experience is an entry level role at minimum wage. However, having your mind set on what you aspire to and what specific path you want to follow should help you select only the opportunities that are right for you.

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Student View: What Happens After You Graduate?

Sharon Boyd looks at the first steps to take when graduating from a Media degree:

What Happens After You Graduate?

So you’ve spent three years studying the likes of Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno and W. J. T. Mitchell alongside writing scripts, shooting on a Sony HDW750P or a Canon 7D, colour correcting in Final Cut Pro or Avid, and learning to analyse and think critically about the media world. Now what? For some of you it might be a case of having a night on the piss and sitting on your arse for the remainder of the summer, maybe applying to the odd job. For others, perhaps you would rather not waste your £27,000 costing 2:1 degree by living off dole money and continuing the typical student life of sleeping all-day and instead actually start making yourself as employable as possible by getting a foot in the door and beginning your career in the media industry.

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Student View: Make The Most Of Your University Network

Sharon Boyd looks at how to use your university connections to improve your employability whilst you study:

Make The Most Of Your University Network

The general impression of undergraduates isn’t always a favourable one. Frequently when thinking of student life we conjure up images of intoxicated individuals stealing traffic cones, and spending the majority of the sunlight hours sleeping off hangovers, and those regretful decisions of choosing to have garlic mayo on their kebab the night before. But alongside the parties, many of these students still manage to be academically successful by having a good balance between their social life and studies, which is key for any student wanting to do well but have fun at the same time.

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Personalities & Working In The Media

Sharon Boyd asks whether you have to be an extrovert in order to have a successful career in the media sector:

Personalities & Working In The Media

The media industry is one in which working with people is inevitable, so if you’re not really a people person then you should consider this aspect of having an occupation in this particular industry. There are many different personality types, some people are extrovert, others are introvert, and still others are a blend of the two. When choosing a career path you should think about how your personality could impact you in the work that you want to do.

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How To Become a Production Coordinator

How To Become a Production Coordinator

Working as a Production Coordinator is one of the most responsible positions within a production crew. Being depended on for the day-to-day working of the production, the position is often one of the most enduring but working as a co-ordinator is a great opportunity to develop your craft as a Producer and enhance your chances of progressing further in the department.

What is the Job?
Production Coordinators are depended on to ensure that the production office is run within the parameters outlined by the Production Manager. As an office-based position, the Production Coordinator is responsible for the office when the Production Manager is committed on set.

The Production Coordinator’s role varies through each phase of production depending on the Production Manager. During pre-production, they are responsible for the purchasing of equipment and office supplies, the distribution of shooting schedules, work permits, cast lists and script revisions as well as travel and accommodation for cast and crew, and insurance for vehicles and equipment involved in the shoot.

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How To Become a 3rd Assistant Director

How To Become a 3rd Assistant Director

The role of 3rd Assistant Director is one of the best ways to start your directing career. As a 3rd AD, you can be involved in a wide range of tasks but the main responsibility is to ensure that the first and second Assistant Directors are supported in every capacity. The most common duty of the 3rd AD is to co-ordinate the movements and direction of extras and maintain a clear channel of communication between cast and crew.

What is the Job?
3rd Assistant Directors are depended on to ensure that extras arrive and depart correctly during shooting. Their work often primarily concerns preparing, cueing and directing any background action and ensuring that the extras, who are often on set for long periods of time and only used for small periods, are well looked after. The 3rd AD is also a key communicator with the Production Assistants to ensure that the AD team is supported throughout the shoot. On occasion, the 1st AD may also have to leave the set (even if it’s just for a bathroom break) leaving the responsibility to the 3rd AD, so being well informed of the duties and responsibilities of the AD team is always advisable so that deputising for anyone in the department can be taken in your stride. In addition to completing daily progress reports after each shoot day, the 3rd AD will often liaise with the Location Manager so that any extra responsibilities, such as ensuring the premises are left secure after shooting, are carried out as well.

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How To Become a Camera Trainee

How To Become a Camera Trainee

Gaining work within a camera department can often be difficult considering that only experienced and established technicians are entrusted with the craft. However, junior roles with the camera department such as a Camera Trainee can provide an opportunity to gain experience whilst you’re learning the ropes. One of the positives about working as a Camera Trainee is that competent and able trainees are always in demand and considering it’s a key part of developing your skills, making a solitary mistake shouldn’t cost you your job in the early stages of working within the department.

What is the Job?
Camera trainees can work across the full spectrum of the camera department but their main duty is to assist the 2nd Assistant Camera. As an entry level position, typically the range of responsibilities varies from Runner duties such as making tea and coffee to handling lenses and completing camera reports. However, after progressing in the role and developing the skills required, Camera Trainees can assist in loading and downloading film magazines and on larger scale features working as part of the second unit camera.

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How To Become a Sound Assistant

How To Become a Sound Assistant

Although the hours are often long and fairly intensive, working within the sound department is a good opportunity for to gain a foothold in an entry level position within the industry. Working under the supervision of a good production sound mixer can be the perfect platform to gain practical experience whilst developing your craft as a sound recordist.

What is the Job?
The primary responsibility of a sound assistant is supporting the production sound mixer and boom operator to ensure that the sound department is running as smoothly as possible. As part of the production sound crew, sound assistants are often one of the earlier calls on set to help with set ups and to ensure that all equipment is in working order and fully charged. During the shoot, sound assistants are also responsible for repositioning microphones, assisting the boom operator, removing any unwanted sources of noise, ensuring audio receivers are operational for dialogue continuity and ensuring that all sound discs are stored and labeled correctly at the end of each day. However, as an entry level position trainees are also responsible for the typical duties of a department runner such as making tea and coffee, setting up and de-rigging and ensuring that the workspaces are clean and tidy for the sound department. On larger scale productions, there is occasionally the opportunity for trainees to operate a second boom to record off screen dialogue.

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How To Become a Runner

For a lot of working film and television professionals, the first foray into the industry was in the entry level position of ‘runner’. Whilst it may not be the most glamorous of positions, being a runner is an important opportunity to gain an idea of the inner workings of a production, make contacts and ultimately get a foot on the ladder. It’s all too easy to dismiss the position of runner as menial or degrading yet it is the runners of today that will inevitably be making the television programmes and feature films of tomorrow.

The benefits
Working as runner is a great opportunity to gain valuable knowledge of different working environments within a production. As a runner, it’s more than likely that you’ll be working on projects for short periods at a time. It’s not the production that you work on that is key, but the people you are able to network with whilst there. Building a network with other runners and entry level professionals is something that you are able to do reasonably quickly as a runner and can become hugely beneficial if and when those people find themselves higher up the ladder in the future.

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