Reel Opportunities

Assistant to Producers

What does an Assistant to Producers do?

Assistant to Producers is an administrative role in the filmmaking process, similar to that of an Executive Assistant in business. The Assistant to Producers works closely with the Producer from pre-production through production, post-production, and is even involved in the distribution of the film. The tasks vary with each production and Producer. The Assistant to Producers will have a good overview of the entire production process and be one of the hands of the Producer.

The tasks may vary but there are many tasks an Assistant to Producers is responsible for. Some involve writing coverage on scripts, draft letters, making and managing phone calls, assisting with any on-set duties, and being a liaison between the producers and the post-production team. You have to be a jack of all trades to support the Producers and address the needs of the production.

What’s an Assistant to Producers good at?
  • Organization

    Managing a Producer’s schedule, meetings, tasks, contacts and duties during all stages of production

  • Administration

    Good with computers and software such as MS Office, Movie Magic and other film-related programs

  • Communication

    Able to communicate the needs of the Producer to key creatives and the rest of the crew, and vice versa

Who does an Assistant to Producers work with?

Assistant to Producers work closely with the Producer throughout the entire production. They also work with a multitude of the crew from pre-production to post-production. They will be communicating with the crew on the behalf of the Producer.

How do I become an Assistant to Producers?

Assistant to Producers need to have a fundamental understanding of the needs of a production. They can begin as Production Assistants and then become a personal assistant to one of the crew members. They will perform the same duties for the one individual. You can establish yourself as a good assistant and, with the understanding of the production process, be able to offer your services to Producers.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Post-Production Supervisor

What does a Post-Production Supervisor do?

Post-Production Supervisors help a Producer achieve as much as is possible in the edit process without going over budget. Post-production Supervisors are the main line of communication between the Producers, Director, Editors, Sound Editors, 3rd party facilities, and the Production Accountant. Though it’s not a creative role, the Post-production Supervisor is integral to the delivery of the film or television series.

On films that involve using complex CGI (computer-generated images), they make sure the Producer’s aware of all the creative and financial considerations of post-production before work on the film even begins.

Post-Production Supervisors help hire staff for the edit, like Sound Editors and Titles Designers. They work closely with the Production Accountant, supplying accurate information for the cost reports.

They usually continue to work on the production until all the elements needed for the completion of the film are delivered. This includes the music and effects version, which allows the dialogue track to be replaced with different languages.

What’s a Post-Production Supervisor good at?
  • Understanding post-production

    Know the process in detail, stay up-to-date with the effects that can be achieved through constantly changing technology

  • Budgeting

    Plan, use film budgeting software, keep track of spending

  • Multi-tasking

    Prioritize conflicting demands

  • Problem-solving

    Find solutions to creative and practical dilemmas

  • Communication

    Persuade producers of the creative possibilities and limitations of post, keep a team working happily

Who does a Post-Production Supervisor work with?

The Post-Production Supervisor works very closely with the picture and sound teams, especially the Editor, Assistant Editor or Sound Editor. They also work with the Post-production coordinator and Production Assistants.

How do I become a Post-Production Supervisor?

Most Post-Production Supervisors have worked in the industry for at least four years, either in an editing, sound or management role. It’s essential to have an intimate knowledge of the workings of the highly complex processes of post. Most Post-Production Supervisors come in as Production Assistants.

Educational Requirements: If you want to go to university, courses in art, design, photography, drama and theatre, English, film studies, graphic design, graphic communication, media studies, physics, psychology and computing science are useful.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

3rd Assistant Director (3rd AD)

Also known as: Thirds

What does a 3rd Assistant Director (3rd AD) do?

Thirds are the 1st AD’s right-hand on set. They are responsible for coordinating extras, preparing and cueing them, as well as sometimes directing them in any required background action. They may have to keep members of the public out of shot, or off the set and/or the location, and will liaise with the Location Manager regarding the security and tidying up of studios and locations after filming.

The 3rd AD reports directly to the 2nd AD. The 3rd AD’s key responsibilities include moving actors from point A to point B, organizing extras, and supervising Production Assistants. The individual may also serve as the set messenger, conveying information between cast and crew members – usually by radio.

Because the responsibilities of 2nd and 3rd AD overlap, the specific function on-set may vary from film to film. However, it will most likely include things like keeping the public out of the Director’s shots so that they don’t disrupt the expensive production schedule, locking up a studio, and securing a location when filming is completed. There may even be some directing involved – cueing extras and drivers of on-set vehicles and generally coordinating the background action.

What’s a 3rd Assistant Director (3rd AD) good at?
  • Multi-tasking

    Pay close attention to what is happening in one shot while getting ready for the next one

  • Attention to detail

    Ensure everything is on screen as it should be - cueing extras and even directing

  • Communication

    Able to let a wide range of people know exactly what is required of them and get them to work together, ability to listen to the director

  • Organization

    Plan, multi-task, work calmly under pressure

Who does a 3rd Assistant Director (3rd AD) work with?

The 3rd AD reports directly to the 2nd AD and on set works closely with the 1st AD.

How do I become a 3rd Assistant Director (3rd AD)?

Like many roles in film and TV, there are many routes to becoming a 3rd AD. From getting degrees, diplomas, certificates, internships, apprenticeships, or even freelancing and volunteer work, there is no standard recipe. Training on-set is also a great route, and there are lots of ways to do it, both extended and short-term.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD)

What is a 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD)?
What does a 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD) do?

The 2nd Assistant Director is the right-hand man of the First Assistant Director (1st AD). The main responsibility of the 2nd AD is to ensure that all of the 1st AD’s orders and directions are followed. Under the supervision of the 1st, the 2nd AD’s prepare and draw up the ‘call sheet,’ which is the document that details daily filming logistics and is distributed to all cast and crew; they supervise all cast movements, ensuring that the principal actors are in makeup, wardrobe, or standing by on the set at the appropriate times.

The 2nd AD may also be in charge of finding and looking after background artists (extras) on smaller productions without a Third Assistant Director. The majority of 2nd ADs also assist the 1st AD in liaising between the set or location and the production office, keeping key personnel up to date on the shoot’s timings and progress.

The film’s 2nd Assistant Director reports directly to the 1st Assistant Director. The 2nd AD will typically use a headset and/or walkie-talkie to communicate with the film’s 1st Assistant Director at all times.

What’s a 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD) good at?
  • Planning

    Co-ordinate the schedules of various departments including camera, make-up, hair, costume, design, and visual effects, think ahead and create call-sheets

  • Time-management

    Coordinate logistics, make arrangements, and draw up detailed plans for the 1st AD's review

  • Innovation

    Think of creative solutions under pressure when the unexpected happens

  • Communication

    Able to let a wide range of people know exactly what is required of them and get them to work together, ability to listen to the director

Who does a 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD) work with?

The 2nd Assistant Director works directly with the 1st Assistant Director. They also manage the movements of the actors and work closely with the hair/makeup and wardrobe departments.

How do I become a 2nd Assistant Director (2nd AD)?

Like many roles in film and TV, there are many routes to becoming a 2nd Assistant Director. From getting degrees, diplomas, certificates, internships, apprenticeships, or even freelancing and volunteer work, there is no standard recipe. Training on-set is also a great route, and there are lots of ways to do it, both extended and short-term.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Production Coordinator

What does a Production Coordinator do?

Production Coordinators help ensure a film or television project runs smoothly. Working under the Production Manager or Producer, they help to arrange the day-to-day running of the production office and the team to make sure everyone has the information they need to work effectively.

Production Coordinators can also be the key travel coordinators on small to mid-sized productions. They organize travel plans, book flights and hotel rooms, and they also acquire necessary travel visas for the cast and crew. Production Coordinators are also the main contact at the production office and usually are responsible for communications and document deliveries such as sending out schedules, scripts, script revisions, and call sheets.

Production Coordinators need to communicate well with everyone. They liaise with production and post-production. It’s their job to help to keep everyone informed and on target so the project is finished on time and on budget.

What’s a Production Coordinator good at?
  • Communication

    Work within a team towards a shared goal, be able to communicate clearly with all team members

  • Organization

    Be good at managing projects and working to deadlines, be organized, show attention to detail, be able to multitask and prioritize

  • Software knowledge

    Be able to use database and scheduling software, be good at learning new software, understand common file formats and resolutions

  • Resilience

    Remain calm and confident under pressure, cope well with fast-paced environments and short deadlines, be adaptable, use initiative, have a positive attitude

Who does a Production Coordinator work with?

Production Coordinators work closely with office staff throughout production and post-production. They usually report to the Production Manager.

How do I become a Production Coordinator?

There are a few routes into becoming a Production Coordinator. You need to show you have very strong teamwork and organizational skills as well as a good understanding of the way a film is made. Entry level as a Production Assistant in the office is a great way to work your way up to Production Coordinator.

Here are some more tips:

Educational Requirements: You can take courses in business studies, film studies, media studies, English, math, and economics.

Get an Internship: Internships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn. You might be able to get an internship as an Assistant Production Manager or project manager.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Assistant Production Accountant

Also known as: Junior Production Accountant, 1st Assistant Accountant, Cashier, Key Assistant Accountant

What does an Assistant Production Accountant do?

Assistant Production Accountants (APA) help Production Accountants keep accurate records of how the money on a film or TV production is spent.

They primarily deal with expense claims, comparing what people have claimed with the receipts they have submitted. A major responsibility of the APA is to log timesheets given by crew members for the Payroll Accountant to process. They also track money that’s been given to the crew (floats), and make sure this money is available to the relevant crew members (and returned at the end of a shoot).

They also perform petty cash reconciliations, where the cash on the site is counted and cross-referenced with outgoing spending. They photocopy, input data, and back up data. They might help ensure the production isn’t over-spending by providing comparisons between the budget and the actual spending.

What’s an Assistant Production Accountant good at?
  • Math and Computer Skills

    Enjoys crunching numbers , preparing spreadsheets and logging/computing data

  • Taking instruction

    Listen to the Production Accountant and do what’s asked

  • Discretion

    Able to keep confidential information to yourself

  • Communication

    Be social and work well with the accounts department, be able to chat to people in each department and learn what is going on in the production

  • Working long hours

    Work the same hours as the crew who will be working longer than 9 to 5 to make the most of the shooting day

Who does an Assistant Production Accountant work with?

APAs work with Production Accountants and Payroll Accountants, as well as Production Managers and heads of departments.

How do I become an Assistant Production Accountant?

There isn’t a single route to become an Assistant Production Accountant, you have to be interested and skilled in budget mathematics. You should try to sharpen your skills in this area and look for similar jobs in accounting and project management.

Here are some more tips:

Educational requirements: You might find going into a university program that has a focus in accounting, business or business studies and math useful. It will also look good on a resume when applying for different jobs.

Get an internship: Internships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn. Try reaching out to different organizations and production companies and inquiring about possible internships.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Production Accountant

What is a Production Accountant?
What does a Production Accountant do?

Production Accountants do all the things accountants do, but they do it on film and television productions amidst the buzz and creativity of making a movie. They calculate finances, work out the cost of a production, talk to the completion guarantor (an insurance policy to make sure the film is delivered on time and on budget) and control the cash flow, or spending.

In pre-production, Production Accountants help the Producers and Production Managers prepare budgets and estimated final cost reports. During production, they oversee all payments, manage payroll and provide daily or weekly cost reports. They also produce cost forecasts to evaluate the impact of any production changes.

Production Accountants prepare a statement of account showing all income and expenditure for the Producer or production company and the financiers. They may also have to arrange an independent audit. Depending on how the film is financed, they may also have to deal with bank finance and completion guarantors.

On larger productions, Production Accountants may work with Finance Controllers, who are often permanently employed by studios and broadcasters. Production Accountants are usually freelancers.

What’s a Production Accountant good at?
  • Accountancy

    Keeps records meticulously, knows and understands Canadian revenue regulations and insurance. Using finance software: be able to use Movie Magic Budgeting or other budgeting packages

  • Knowledge of film production

    Have a thorough understanding of how film dramas are made and a love of the industry

  • Communication

    Be able to listen to and be understood by everyone from producers, financiers, finance controllers and cashiers

  • Discretion

    Be trustworthy with personal and production information

Who does a Production Accountant work with?

If the production has a Finance Controller, the Production Accountant works closely with them. If it doesn’t, then the Production Accountant heads up a team that may comprise an Assistant Production Accountant, and an Accounts Trainee. They may also work closely with the Production Manager and Assistant Production Managers.

How do I become a Production Accountant?

Some Production Accountants have a degree in accounting but by no means all. Some get into the accounts department having worked in other roles in the industry. A good route is to start as a Cashier and work your way up to an Assistant Production Accountant role before becoming the Production Accountant.

Get a degree: A degree in accountancy will be immensely beneficial, but it is not essential. Some people get qualified as bookkeepers then work their way up without a degree.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Script Supervisor

Also known as: Continuity Supervisor

What does a Script Supervisor do?

If you’ve ever seen a film and noticed that in one shot, an actor’s glass of juice is empty, and suddenly in the next shot it is full again – you’ve spotted a “continuity error”. This happens because shooting is organized according to the practicalities of location and availability of cast rather than the unfolding of the story. It’s the job of the Script Supervisor to ensure that those errors (and many other continuity issues) don’t happen! They also help organize the footage for the editor (who is not usually on set during filming).

During pre-production, Script Supervisors prepare a continuity breakdown. This is a document that analyzes the script in terms of cast, actions, wardrobe and props in scenes and story days. Then they time the script, which is quite a skill in itself.

Once filming starts, they closely monitor what’s happening to check no dialogue is overlooked and the actions and eye-lines of the actors match. They keep detailed written and photographic records of dialogue, action, costumes and props. All camera and lens details are noted along with the slate and scene number information.

They keep a progress report of each day’s filming which goes to production and the Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor in the case of VFX shots. These records are invaluable. They help Directors and Editors find what’s been shot and what the options are for each scene. They also ensure that when different takes are edited together, the film is consistent and makes sense.

What’s a Script Supervisor good at?
  • Analysis

    Break down, time and itemize scenes in terms of set, costumes, make-up, props and dialogue according to where they are in the story

  • Filmmaking

    Understand the art of storytelling through a lens, know what this means in terms of required shots and crossing the line

  • Observation

    Have an eagle eye and good memory, have the stamina to remain observant during long filming days

  • Attention to detail

    Be meticulous and methodical in taking precise notes quickly and efficiently

  • Communication

    Let the director, actors, crew, hair, make-up and production know about continuity issues

Who does a Script Supervisor work with?

Script Supervisors work closely with the Director and are the primary liaison between them. They also communicate with actors, hair and make-up departments and production.

How do I become a Script Supervisor?

You don’t need a formal qualification to become a Script Supervisor but you do need a very good understanding of film production, particularly of editing and how scenes are constructed out of individual shots.

A common route is to spend a few years working in the industry at a junior level like a Production Assistant or Assistant Production Coordinator in a production company. From there you can build contacts, get to know the industry and step up to assist an experienced script supervisor.

Become a PA: Apply to be a Production Assistant. This can give you valuable on-set work experience that you can then apply to film and TV drama later on.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Art Department Assistant

What does an Art Department Assistant do?

Art Department Assistants help the whole art department, but particularly the Art Director. In a studio, they help dress the set and manage the props, ensuring they are in working order and available when needed.

They also help with styling when the filming is on location, where there might be a very large area needing styling and props. If an Art Department Assistant is experienced, they might be the only person from the art department on location.

Otherwise, much of an assistant’s work is in the preparation before filming. This involves helping with the sourcing and purchasing of materials, as well as the building, painting, and finishing of props. They sometimes design and make props themselves.

Generally, Art Department Assistants are expected to pitch ideas and assist in any way that’s required, from helping transport items and making coffee to filling the gaps of any work that needs doing. On smaller budget studio shows, they might do the work of a Production Assistant alongside their other responsibilities.

What's an Art Department Assistant good at?
  • Art

    Draw conceptually (technical and freehand), work with specialist design software, build props and dress sets

  • Attention to detail

    Have thorough research skills, source correct materials and props, be organized and tidy

  • Knowledge of construction and design

    Research and awareness of the latest developments in production design

  • Knowledge of production

    Understand production techniques, studio environments, studio capabilities, and the challenges of working on location

  • Hard work

    Be able to multitask and meet deadlines

Who does an Art Department Assistant work with?

Art Department Assistants work directly with Art Directors and manage Production Assistants, but they will also work with everyone and anyone in the department, including Production Designers and Buyers.

How do I become an Art Department Assistant?

Build up your skills as an artist. Then try to find work in an entry-level role such as an art department Production Assistant, and work your way up.

Develop a wide range of art skills: Learn how to paint, do 3D modeling and graphic art. The more you can do at this stage, the more chance you have of being useful in the art department later on.

Learn to drive: If possible, get access to a car. This makes you more versatile and means you can help more.

Build a portfolio: This is essential for impressing collaborators and people in the film industry.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Prop Master

Also known as: Property Master, Prop Person

What does a Prop Master do?

A prop is any moveable item that can be seen on a film. It could be a hat, gun, cushion, wine glass, lightsaber, carpet, kitchen unit, tree or aircraft. Prop Masters run the property department which makes, stores and transports the props as well as preps the props for each day’s shoot.

Prop Masters usually start work a few weeks before shooting begins. They work with Production Designer, Set Decorators and Art Director to work out what props are needed. They do research and then draw up properties lists, deciding which are to be hired and which are to be made. They create a ‘set and strike’ schedule to share with location and construction departments.

Where props are to be made, Prop Masters recruit the Carpenters and prop makers and manage the schedule for production. Where they are hired, they work with the Production Buyers to source them.

When shooting is finished, they return all hired props and organize the sale or safe disposal of everything else.

What's a Prop Master good at?
  • Understanding film

    Pick up the Director’s vision, break a script down for props requirements take account of the need for continuity

  • Historical knowledge

    Research different eras, dress a set authentically

  • Craftsmanship

    Work with a wide variety of materials, craft and repair items

  • Moving items

    Handle large, heavy but fragile items

  • Communication

    Work closely with the Production Designer and other departments, share the vision with the props team

  • Organization

    Manage staff, budgets, complex schedules, transport and storage

Who does a Prop Master work with?

Prop Masters report to Production Designer and Set Decorators as part of the art department. They work closely with the Director, Art Director, Production Buyers, Location Manager and Construction Manager. They also might work with the Script Supervisor to maintain set continuity (keeping track of whether a glass is full or empty, where a particular item is placed at the start or end of a take, how objects move, and so on).

How do I become a Prop Master?

This is a senior level role, so college-level technical education in art and design, along with several years of experience in the art department, are required. Apprenticeships or on the job training are also possible. This position requires the ability to work well with your hands and construct materials to form props when needed, as well as organizational skills and an interest in the historical accuracy of items and scenes on a film set.

Here are some more tips:

Learn how to drive a van or a truck: Being a Prop Master can often involve moving heavy props and travelling around different locations. Learning to drive is essential for this, as is learning how to move large, heavy but fragile items safely.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Art Director

What is an Art Director?
What does an Art Director do?

The role of an Art Director varies slightly depending on the kind of production being produced. Art Director is a title that appears in many industries, including film, theatre, advertising/marketing, fashion, and more. The Art Director makes decisions about visual elements.

Art Directors start by examining the script and working with the Director to understand the vision for the film or TV show. They then create their designs and determine the tone, mood and colour palettes.

In a studio show, Art Directors are responsible for turning the creative vision of the Production Designer into reality by drawing plans and visuals and making models. They organize the art department and oversee the construction of the set. They are responsible for the way the set is dressed and the inclusion of any props. They remain on set throughout the production to ensure the set is maintained and dressed appropriately to accommodate the varied content.

On shows where there isn’t a set, but where the content is filmed at various locations, they work with the Producer and Director. They create ‘mini-sets,’ managing the dressing and styling of an area (indoors or outdoors) in which to film. Often, they design these props themselves and oversee their build.

While the Production Designer is the creative mind behind the overall look of a production, the Art Director is the hands that makes that vision come to life. Art Directors are the metaphorical “architects” of the art department. If there is not a Production Designer on a production, Art Directors ensure that what they are doing meets health and safety guidelines as well as the needs of the Producer and Director, and is within budget.

In animation, Art Directors are responsible for the visual style of the animation. They decide how the characters, props, and environments are going to look and provide a basis for the rest of the art department to work from.

This is a job that involves a lot of communicating with people and needs strong management skills. Art Directors are responsible for ensuring all artwork is of high quality and in keeping with the Director’s vision. They are also responsible for making sure everyone in the art department stays on budget and on schedule.

What's an Art Director good at?
  • Creativity

    Visualize what a production requires, the look of a set or location, imagine how it will accommodate the production brief and department requirements. Have the artistic skill and imagination to produce original and high-quality designs

  • Leadership

    Have strong management skills to lead a department, be able to communicate visual ideas, and be able to work as part of a team

  • Art

    Be able to draw conceptually and technically, work with specialist design software, build props and small sets, have knowledge of art history

  • Knowledge of construction

    Source appropriate materials and props, be aware of the latest developments in production design

  • Knowledge of production

    Understand production techniques, studio environments, studio capabilities and the challenges of working on location. In animation, be able to understand what is going to be achievable further down the line on an animation production by the animation and post-production teams

  • Leadership

    Be able to share their vision with a wide number of different people, manage budgets and people, draw up schedules, prioritise and meet deadlines

  • Communication

    Understand what the director wants, be able to explain ideas, give constructive feedback, have good presentation skills

Who does an Art Director work with?

Art Directors project-manage work within an art department. They oversee construction teams, Production Buyers, Art Department Assistants, Carpenters, Greensmans, Painters, Scenic, Set Dec and Production Assistants. Art Directors work closely with Production Designers, particularly on studio shows, and on-location work with Producer and Directors and their teams of Associate Producers, Researchers and Production Designers. They also collaborate with camera, sound and lighting operators to ensure their work complements theirs and doesn’t create technical issues, such as with colour, lighting or the creation of unnecessary sound problems. They also work closely with Production Managers in planning and budgeting.

In animation, Art Directors work closely with the Director and as well as the artists in their teams, including Background Designers and Modellers.

How do I become an Art Director?

Art Directors typically need a bachelor’s degree in an area relating to visual art or design, preferably as they relate to film. Courses in theatre, architecture, digital design, fine art, film history, and interior design are all relevant to study.If you’re going the film school route, courses in production design are especially useful.

On-set experience is also key, as well as organizational and administrative skills. Art Director is a senior position, so you usually need some experience before you can progress to this role. A good route would be through starting in a junior position in the art department, such as a Set Decorator. You’ll also need to develop strong management skills. To be an Art Director in the animation realm, you will also need a good understanding of how an animation project works.

Here are some other tips:

Develop a wide range of art skills: Learn how to paint, do 3D modelling and graphic art. The more you can do at this stage, the more chance you have of being useful in the art department later on.

Learn to drive: If possible, get access to a car. This makes you more versatile and means you can help more.

Build a portfolio: Create work that you can show off to employers. As an Art Director, you will be hired based on your personal style and skill, so you need to have a strong portfolio. This could be made up of your own independent artwork or work you’ve done for collaborative projects. This is essential for impressing collaborators and people in the film industry.

Look outside the industry: Art Directors are needed in many industries outside of film and animation, including advertising, theatre, print magazines and product design. Getting experience working in the art department of a company in one of these fields would be a good way to gain relevant experience which you can translate into film.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

1st Assistant Director

Also known as: 1st AD, First, First AD, Assistant director, AD

What does a 1st Assistant Director do?

The 1st Assistant Director (AD) is the director’s right hand. They are directly responsible for running the set during production, and most of the main crew report to the 1st AD. 1st ADs plan the filming schedule, working with the Director, Production Manager, Director of Photography and other heads of department to ensure an efficient shoot.

In pre-production, 1st ADs break down the script, analysing it for what will be needed in terms of cast, locations, equipment and crew. Along with the Director, the 1st AD prepares the shooting script which identifies all the specific shots that will be taken during the shoot. Then they input the scripts into computer programs such as Movie Magic software, which helps them work out what to film and when, depending on the availability of cast and locations. They write the shooting schedule and work out how long each scene will take to film. Along with the 2nd AD, the 1st AD helps to prepare the daily “call sheet” and makes sure everyone stays on a schedule in accordance.

On many sets, at crew call, the 1st AD will prepare a safety and logistics meeting with the main crew. During filming 1st ADs manage the set, which leaves the Director free to focus on the actors and framing the shots. A 1st AD must have general knowledge of every department on a production and know how to delegate tasks to each department on behalf of the Director. Another task of the 1st AD during filming is to “call roll” which is when the 1st AD cues the heads of departments to ready themselves for filming. In many cases, the 1st AD may even call “action!” for the Director.

What’s a 1st Assistant Director good at?
  • Visualizing the script

    Read the script and know what this means in terms of cameras, locations and cast, understand the Director’s vision

  • Planning and Organization

    Analyze what is needed for a shoot, and co-ordinate the schedules of various departments including camera, make-up, hair, costume, design and visual effects, think ahead

  • Multi-tasking

    Pay close attention to what is happening in one shot while getting ready for the next one

  • Innovation

    Think of creative solutions under pressure when the unexpected happens

  • Communication

    Able to let a wide range of people know exactly what is required of them and get them to work together, ability to listen to the Director

Who does a 1st Assistant Director work with?

1st Assistant Directors work closely with the Production Manager, who supervises the production expenditures and arrangements as a whole. They also work closely with the 2nd Assistant Director, who is the main off-set contact with other departments and prepares the call sheet, as well as the 3rd Assistant Director, who is the 1st Assistant Director’s right-hand on set.

How do I become a 1st Assistant Director?

This is a senior role that requires many years of experience. Most 1st Assistant Directors start out as PA’s and work their way up. Here are some more tips:

Network online: Create a LinkedIn profile. See if there are Facebook pages or other social media groups for people making films or TV in your area. There might even be groups for Production Assistants and other entry-level roles… join them. Find a film office near you and get connected. If you do sign up to paid sites, make sure they specialize in the areas in which you’re interested.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Digital Imaging Technician

Also known as: DIT, Data Management Technician (DMT)

What does a Digital Imaging Technician do?

The Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) is a relatively new crew position in the film and television industry. Previously thought of as nothing more than a “data wrangler” the DIT is now widely considered one of the most integral members of the camera crew, bridging the gap between production and post-production, and working closely with the Director of Photography to achieve the optimal look for the project. The reason for this is that what used to be reels of exposed film is now “data” – digitally recorded images stored on cards or drives.

The DIT is almost an extension of the DoP. Helping with digital image manipulations such as aspect ratio, camera settings, resolution, codecs, frame rates and even LUTs (color grading). One of the primary functions of the DIT is to indeed wrangle data—offloading, copying data and keeping data secure in at least three locations. They work closely with the Video Assist Operator to get the raw footage ready for dailies—reviewed by the Director, and other members of the production team. As raw footage seldom looks right, the DIT manipulates the footage, applying color grading and other techniques to prepare it for viewing.

Lastly, the DIT is also in the middle of the workflow between production and the post-production team, liaising with the Editor or Assistant Editors and transferring data. The workflow focuses on secure and efficient handoff of data, making sure no prize footage is lost or corrupted during the process.

What's a Digital Imaging Technician good at?
  • Digital cameras and computers

    Have expert knowledge of cameras, file formats, storage media, and computer systems to get the smoothest workflow

  • Digital photography

    Understand contrast, focus, lighting, cinematography, and color. Have a good eye for grading raw footage

  • Problem-solving

    Be able to fix kit, tech, and cable connections

  • Communication

    Advise the director of photography on the benefits or limitations of particular set-ups, be the liaison between the set and the post-production team, create the best possible workflow between the two

  • Film production

    Understand how a film set works, the roles within it, and the production process

  • Staying calm under pressure

    Stay alert in a live environment, adjust picture accurately

  • Attention to detail

    Label files, wrangle the data without loss, notice corruptions

Who does a Digital Imaging Technician work with?

DITs work most closely with the camera department. On some shoots, they are needed at the Director of Photography’s side. They also need a good relationship with the 2nd AC, who gives the footage to the DIT when needed. (On larger sets they’re assisted by a Data Wrangler). DITs will often have to make reference notes for different departments like hair and make-up, costume department, and the Script Supervisor.

How do I become a Digital Imaging Technician?

Typically, Digital Imaging Technicians work their way up through the camera department. One good route into this is through becoming a Camera Trainee.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Assistant Editor

What does an Assistant Editor do?

Assistant Editors are the ones that keep the flow of post-production smooth and do the busy work so the Editor can focus on the edit. The role of the Assistant Editor is to communicate with the production departments such as the camera, sound, and Digital Imaging Technician. They must bring in the daily footage, and make sure it is organized and named properly for the Editor to access.

They have to make sure all the footage is organized in a way so the Editor can easily find the shots they are looking for. The names of the files need to be named specifically so the Editor knows what the shot entails. They will also implant metadata to the shots so the Editor can search for it with a tag and find it. Once the picture is “locked” (final edit of the film) the Assistant Editor’s job is still not over, they have to conform and transfer the files correctly for the sound team.

On large budget films, there is sometimes a team of Assistant Editors to work on the flow of the post-production pipeline. On lower-budget films or television, there is typically one Assistant Editor to the Editor.

What's an Assistant Editor good at?
  • Using edit software

    Be adept with tools like Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut, and Lightworks

  • Communication

    Work well with the editor, and production team in getting all the correct files and information

  • Attention to detail

    Be patient, show attention to detail and good organizational skills, often under pressure

  • Organization

    Must have great organization skills to keep the files in order, properly named, placed, and streamlined for the Editor

Who does an Assistant Editor work with?

Assistant Editors work directly under the Editor and will be doing anything the Editor directs them to do. They will also be working closely with the production team as the daily footage comes in. They will work with the 2nd Assistant Camera by gaining the camera logs and data from the shoot. They will also work with the Sound Recordist and gain the sound logs from them. Finally, they will work with a Digital Imaging Technician, in gaining the footage from the hard drives on set.

How do I become an Assistant Editor?

You can start as a Production Assistant (PA) for editing houses or Editors. You will build connections and create a reputation for yourself in the post-production field. You will need to be well-versed in editing software such as Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro. If you have experience in editing already or have been in a school program focused on film and media production, create a reel of your work.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Subtitler

Also known as: Translator

What does a Subtitler do?

Subtitlers make it possible for films to be enjoyed by audiences all over the world and by the deaf and hard of hearing. They translate all the dialogue, music and sound effects of a film into two-line written captions that appear on the screen, either in the language in which the film is made or in a foreign language.

After carefully watching and listening to the whole film, they write captions with accurate time codes that describe music and sound effects as well as the dialogue and voice-overs. The captions have to be punctuated and spelt correctly and should be on the screen long enough to be read easily. Translating subtitlers translate the dialogue and write subtitles in the language for a particular audience.

Once they’ve done that and checked that all spelling is correct and that captions don’t obscure characters’ faces, the files are sent to the post-production house (transferring the final soundtrack onto the film in all the various formats). It can then be distributed to cinemas offering subtitled screenings or to cinemas around the world.

Subtitlers are usually employed by specialist post-production companies but sometimes work on a freelance basis.

What's a Subtitler good at?
  • Grammar

    Spell, punctuate and use grammar accurately

  • Languages

    Translate the dialogue into the required language sensitively (for Translator Subtitlers)

  • Screen spatial awareness

    Understand how captions will appear on a screen and their impact on the viewing

  • Attention to detail

    Work precisely to tight deadlines with text and timing

  • Interest in deaf audiences

    Care about the experiences of the deaf and hard-of-hearing

  • Use of software

    Be adept in using the subtitling software

How do I become a Subtitler?

Many post-production companies that offer subtitling services train the Subtitlers themselves. If you have an interest in becoming a Subtitler, practice your language skills and keep a portfolio of writing examples. You can reach out to post-production houses and inquire

Educational Requirements: You might find courses in film post-production, language skills, and courses on transcription and subtitling software to be helpful.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Locations Assistant

What does a Locations Assistant do?

Locations Assistants help the location manager and unit manager with the day-to-day running of the site. They help with cordoning off areas with location marshals or security guards, and keeping the location clean. 

Locations Assistants also help guide the crew to where to park on location. They also help with paperwork regarding acquiring, and management of all locations. On set, they help set up green rooms, tents and areas for holding the cast and crew.

They make sure the locations vans are stocked with stationery, snacks, flashlights, batteries, traffic cones, signs and all the other things that are needed on a shoot.

When filming has ended, they help pack up and leave the site as it was found. They are often the first on set and last to leave each day.

What's a Locations Assistant good at?
  • Interest in locations

    Have an eye for architecture, knowledge of geography, the ability to research and visualize how a location could be turned into a set

  • Photography

    Take good pictures when researching a location

  • Watching film and TV drama

    Have a passion for movies and a love of the industry

  • Reliability

    Get to set on time and do what is asked, take responsibility

  • Being outside

    Have stamina to work long hours in all weather, enjoy being outdoors

  • Communication

    Able to take direction from the location manager and let other members of the team know what’s happening, talk to extras and everyone from the owners of a stately home to the general public wanting to know what’s filming

Who does a Locations Assistant work with?

A Locations Assistant reports to the Locations Manager and works with everyone in the team. They will also be working with the Locations Scouts in the pre-production phase of the production. They will also work with a number of other cast and crew members on set, while they create green rooms and clean the sets.

How do I become a Locations Assistant?

If you are interested in becoming a Locations Assistant, gain experience in managing or taking care of an operational space. You can apply and reach out to local productions to gain more experience as a trainee in the locations department.

Here are some more tips:

Volunteer: Help at music gigs, live events and festivals. The skills needed to set up a successful experience for hundreds of people, troubleshooting, keeping it safe, dealing with the unexpected, are very similar to those needed to work in locations.

Take a health and safety course: This can be a valuable skill on set, especially when working with equipment and vehicles. Taking a course in health and safety can set you apart from other candidates.

Learn to drive: If possible, get access to a car, and definitely ensure you are licensed to drive, as this is often an essential part of the work of the locations department. It will make you more versatile and means you can help more.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Locations Scout

What does a Locations Scout do?

The Location Scout is a member of the production crew responsible for finding locations to be used for filming.

Sometimes, films and TV shows are shot on a set . However, films often use real locations to shoot in. They might be tasked with finding the perfect suburban home with a blue door, and then ensuring the residents of that home are willing to have a film crew shooting on their lawn. There are many databases of available locations for them to search online, but one fun part of the job also involves scouting locations by traveling to them to check them out in person.

A Location Scout is someone whose job it is specifically to visit potential locations in order to ensure they have everything the Producer and Director needs – this is a great entry level position within the locations / production department.

What's a Locations Scout good at?
  • Sourcing locations

    Have an eye for architecture, knowledge of landscapes, ability to research and visualize how a location could be turned into a set

  • Interest in photography

    Take good photographs of locations to present to the rest of the production team

  • Law

    Know how to comply with public liability, trespass, public highway and health and safety legislation

  • Negotiation

    Get the best price for the location and facilities

  • Organization

    Plan, budget, attend to detail and spot potential problems in advance

  • Communication

    Work sensitively with location owners, members of the public and production colleagues

  • Cartographer Skills

    Have a good sense of direction and ability to read and mark maps

Who does a Locations Scout work with?

Location Manager
Location Managers manage the shooting location. They make sure everyone in the cast and crew knows how to get there. They negotiate parking, noise reduction, power sources, catering requirements and any official permissions that may be needed with the site’s management or owner. They are responsible for ensuring it’s safe.

How do I become a Locations Scout?

Some key skills to becoming a good Location Scout include the ability to read, logistical and administrative skills, take photos, drive a car and interact with people in a professional manner. While there is no direct educational route to becoming a Location Scout, some have a background in geography, and real estate. Gaining experience on-set as a Production Assistant, and working towards the locations department is an excellent way to get into the field.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Location Manager

What is a Location Manager?
What does a Location Manager do?

The location in which a film is set has a huge impact on its look, feel and story. It’s the job of Location Managers to find that place in the physical world and make sure it’s accessible, safe, and not too expensive to hire.

Based on scripts and discussions with the Director, Production Designers, and other department heads, Location Managers start their research. They might be looking for deserts, stately homes, or shady underpasses. They arrange visits to the locations, take photographs, detailed notes, start discussions with the location owners and work out costs. They present their findings to the Director and, once approved, negotiate and confirm contracts with owners.

Once filming has started, Location Managers manage the location. They make sure everyone in the cast and crew knows how to get there. They negotiate parking, noise reduction, power sources, catering requirements, and any official permissions that may be needed with the site’s management or owner. They are responsible for ensuring it’s safe.

After the shoot, they make sure that the location is cleaned and locked up, before returning it to its owners in a satisfactory condition. Any damage must be reported to the production office and any insurance claims dealt with.

What's a Location Manager good at?
  • Sourcing locations

    Have an eye for architecture, knowledge of landscapes, ability to research and visualize how a location could be turned into a set

  • Interest in photography

    Take good photographs of locations to present to the rest of the production team

  • Law

    Know how to comply with public liability, trespass, public highway, and health, and safety legislation

  • Negotiation

    Get the best price for the location and facilities

  • Organization

    Plan, budget, attend to detail, and spot potential problems in advance

  • Communication

    Work sensitively with location owners, members of the public, and production colleagues

  • Not getting lost

    Have a good sense of direction and the ability to read maps

Who does a Location Manager work with?

Assistant Location Manager or Location Scout
Assistant Location Managers must prepare movement orders and assist with scouting or additional locations by researching, photographing, and making appointments to meet with owners and residents. If a location is approved, the Assistant Location Manager organizes technical visits for heads of other departments. During production, they are responsible for writing and distributing letters to local residents informing them about the filming and liaising between the crew and location owners. At the end of each day, they help the unit manager to clear and tidy the location and set.

Location Production Assistant
Location trainees or locations production assistants assist the locations manager and assistant locations manager on set.

How do I become a Location Manager?

Some key skills to becoming a good Location Manager include the ability to read, understand and draft contracts, logistical and administrative skills, take photos, drive a car, and interact with people in a professional manner. While there is no direct educational route to become a Location Manager, some have a background in geography, real estate. Gaining experience on-set as a Locations PA, and working towards the locations department is an excellent way to get into the field.

Here are some tips:

Take a health and safety course: This can be a valuable skill on set, especially when working with equipment and vehicles. Taking a course in health and safety can set you apart from other candidates.

Learn to drive: If possible, get access to a car. This makes you more versatile and means you can help more.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Music Supervisor

What is a Music Supervisor?
What does a Music Supervisor do?

Music Supervisors are a key creative voice in film and television post-production. They will watch the rough cut of the film or television show in what is called a “spotting” session, where they will write notes about where music is needed. They research the right songs and music to complement the scenes’ story and tone. They make suggestions and confer with the Director over the right choices for the project.

Once the music has been selected, Music Supervisors will then research the rights holders and contact them to gain the rights and licenses for the use of the music. They sometimes have to negotiate the price of some songs since they can be very expensive. Once the rights are obtained the Music Supervisor will keep track of the rights and make sure the royalties and credits are distributed properly using “cue cards” in the end credits.

What's a Music Supervisor good at?
  • Knowledge and passion for Music and Music History

    Music Supervisors have to have a vast knowledge of the music landscape as well as the history of music. This helps them have a good idea of what songs should be used for certain scenes

  • Rights and License knowledge

    Music Supervisors need to know the copyright laws and the different rights and licenses needed in Canada to acquire a song

  • Knowledge of film-making

    Be able to understand the production process, particularly the post-production sound process

  • Communication

    Be able to work with multiple people on the production and communicate your music ideas to the Director. You will also need to speak to a number of different song rights holders and negotiate with them

  • Organization

    Work within the sound budget, keep clear notes on the music suggestions for the film and keep records of all the royalties and credits of the songs

Who does a Music Supervisor work with?

Director
The Director is the one whose creative vision everyone is helping to execute. They have an overall look and feel they want for the film. They want to convey the story in a certain way and need the help of a lot of people to accomplish it. Directors are good leaders and visionaries being able to convey their ideas to the entire crew.

Sound Designer
Sound Designers are most commonly involved in the performing and editing of previously composed or recorded audio, such as sound effects and dialogue, but it can also involve creating sounds from scratch through synthesizers or other instruments. They add and create the soundscape for the film since not all of the sound you hear in movies is recorded on set.

Editor
The Editor watches all of the recorded footage, selecting which takes to use and then using digital editing software to assemble that footage into a completed feature film. They must analyze every shot (which sometimes means hundreds of hours of footage), meticulously selecting the takes that will achieve the desired emotional and thematic impact of a film.

How do I become a Music Supervisor?

Music Supervisors should have some experience in the music industry or music-related fields. Then you need to develop contacts in the film and TV drama industry to get experience working on film sets. Look into becoming a part of a post-production sound team on smaller productions and providing your knowledge of music.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

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Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
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Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

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Marketing Assistant

Also known as: Brand Marketing Assistant, Junior Marketing Assistant, Marketing Communications Assistant

What does a Marketing Assistant do?

Marketing Assistants do anything that’s needed to ensure the success of a campaign to market a film or TV project; whether that’s scheduling tweets or ordering in lunch for meetings.

Marketing campaigns for film and TV dramas can include posters, newsletters, content on social media as well as trailers.

Marketing Assistants help with proofreading copy, filing, and inputting contact details into research spreadsheets. They often coordinate market research projects and use the data to help assess the effectiveness of campaigns to help with future ones.

Marketing Assistants might be employed by film sales agencies, marketing agencies, production companies or broadcasters. Big production companies will have their own marketing departments for their film and TV dramas. Smaller ones will use a separate marketing company or agency. For TV dramas, Marketing Assistants are more likely to be employed by the broadcaster or channel, such as CBC.

What's a Marketing Assistant good at?
  • Audience awareness

    Know audiences, research audience statistics, understand how they watch films or TV dramas, be aware of the commercial ‘performance’ of these

  • Watching film and TV drama

    Have a passion for the genre and a love of the industry, have a critical eye and analyze the content

  • Taking initiative

    Observe that’s happening, be proactive, ask questions at the appropriate time

  • Social media

    Enjoy creating a buzz on social media platforms, use scheduling software

  • Communication

    Write compelling copy, engage people from a wide range of backgrounds, seize initiative.

  • Organization

    Anticipate, prioritize and stay on top of tasks, provide support to your team.

Who does a Marketing Assistant work with?

Marketing Assistants work with Marketing Managers and possibly Assistant Production Accountants within an agency or department.

How do I become a Marketing Assistant?

There are no set routes to becoming a Marketing Assistant. However, a degree in marketing, communication or a film subject is useful. Become familiar with how various social media platforms work and operate.

Here are some tips:

Volunteer: Find charities, amateur theater or student film productions. Ask if you can do their social media for them. Create a campaign and keep track of how your campaign has increased visitors to the website, donations or ticket sales. Put that on your CV.

Start your own channel: Set up a review blogging site or content channel. This is the marketing version of having a portfolio. You can send a link with your CV to show your writing and online skills, and, equally importantly, your interest in film and TV drama.

Look outside the industry: Marketing is important in all industries, not just film and TV drama, so there are plenty of agencies and departments elsewhere that have marketing assistant roles. Apply for junior marketing roles in any industry to build up your skills. You can transfer those to the film or TV industry later on.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.