Digital Film Production: Job Duties & Career Info

Explore the profession of digital film production. Learn about the training, skills, salary expectation and employment outlook, to see if this career is the right one for you.

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Career Definition for a Digital Film Producer

Typical duties of those in digital film production include coordinating all of the different elements that go into the actual making of a film using digital media, from lining up financing to screenwriting, editing, lighting, set design and more. Digital film production positions can include feature films, commercials, industrial and documentary work. Because of the digital film production opportunities outside feature filmmaking, the need for digital film producers is not geographically limited to only the traditional film industry hot spots of New York City and Los Angeles, California.

Required Education None, but some formal education is common; certificate, associate's and bachelor's degrees are available
Job Skills Knowledge and experience in working with film, budgeting, leadership and communication
Median Annual Salary (May 2017)* $61,180 for film and video editors; $71,620 for producers and directors
Career Outlook (2016 to 2026)* 17% growth for film and video editors; 12% growth for producers and directors

*Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There isn't really a formal course of study for those who want to enter digital film production; however, starting with a 1-year non-degree professional certificate program is common. There are some associate's and bachelor's degree programs in digital film production. Digital film producers may study elements of filmmaking such as screenwriting, cinematography, directing, design and image and sound editing. Digital film producers may also study aspects of producing itself, like how to develop, coordinate and implement all the necessary business aspects of making a film.

Skills Needed

Digital film producers need solid working knowledge of and extensive experience with the use of digital film cameras and editing software. Other essential digital film production skills include budgeting and outstanding communication skills, especially when it comes to working with cast, crew and film studio staff and executives.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), film and video editors earned an median yearly income of around $61,180 as of May 2017. They could expect job growth of 17%, much faster than the average for all occupations, from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS.

On the other hand, producers who supervise many aspects of the filming process, including digital film production, earned an annual median salary of $71,620 in 2017 and could anticipate 12% employment growth during that same decade, per the BLS. Salaries vary based on whether or not digital film producers are working on motion pictures, advertising, television or other kinds of projects. Jobs in digital film production are extremely competitive. It's tough to get ahead because of how highly specialized the profession is and the temporary nature of much of the work.

Alternate Career Options

Other career options in this field include:

Multimedia Artist and Animator

With a bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics, these artists and animators seek employment creating visual effects and animations for media forms, including television, video games and movies. Average employment growth of 8% was forecast from 2016 to 2026, per the BLS. As of 2017, these professionals earned an annual median wage of $70,530.

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

Usually earning an associate's degree or certificate, these techs set up and operate the technical equipment used for sound recordings, movies, concerts and broadcasts. The BLS predicted average job growth of 8% from 2016 through 2026, and noted an annual median salary of $42,650 in 2017.

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