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Technical Jobs in the Film Industry

Individuals interested in working in a technical job in the film and movie industry have several options. We'll explore the respective duties, salary and estimated growth of a few selected careers.

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Technical Careers in the Film Industry

Individuals who are interested in working behind the scenes in the film industry may want to consider pursuing one of the many technical careers that are available. While they may not be in the spotlight, these individuals play a very important part in the creation of all different kinds of films. We will learn about five different career possibilities in greater detail below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Lighting Technicians $44,400** 13% (for all audio and video equipment technicians)
Camera Operators $55,080 6%
Film and Video Editors $62,760 16%
Sound Engineering Technicians $42,550 (for all broadcast and sound engineering technicians) 8% (for all broadcast and sound engineering technicians)
Multimedia Artists and Animators $65,300 10%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale

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Information About Technical Careers in the Film Industry

Lighting Technicians

As a lighting technician who works in the film industry, your responsibilities begin before the filming even starts, as you must set up all the necessary lighting equipment and perform various lighting tests before the scenes are shot. In addition to setting up the lighting before shooting, you will make adjustments as needed during filming, which may be especially necessary if the filming occurs in a non-controlled lighting setting, like outside. Lighting technicians must also keep track of all the lighting equipment, change lightbulbs, and make sure it is stored properly. To become a lighting technician, you may have an educational background in an area like theater production or visual technology, or you may be able to learn through on-the-job training.

Camera Operators

Camera operators who work in the film industry are called cinematographers. They are in charge of operating different types of cameras either by carrying them, setting them up in a stationary position, or sometimes setting them up on cranes or cables to capture different angles. They may also be in charge of managing other camera operators and set assistants and determining what types of technical equipment to use to get the ideal shots. To become a cinematographer, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in a field related to film, like communications or broadcasting.

Film and Video Editors

As a film and video editor, you will work with the footage that has been captured on a film set by camera operators and cinematographers. Your job is mainly to organize all the footage in a logical way, decide which scenes and footage to use in the final product, and then edit them using specialized editing software. You will work closely with the director of the film in making these decisions, as well as determining what style and technique of editing to use. To become a film and video editor, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in a field like communications or film and TV broadcasting.

Sound Engineering Technicians

As a sound engineering technician in the film and movie industry, your job will consist of working with the audio files that are captured during filming and mixing them until they achieve the desired sound. You may also be responsible for setting up the microphones on the film set and running audio tests to make sure they are working properly and that the sound is being captured. To become a sound engineering technician, you will generally need at least a certificate or associate's degree in sound engineering.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators who work in the film industry are responsible for creating different types of animation, graphics, and special effects for the film using special computer programs and software. Some of these artists may primarily work in live-action films and create CGI effects for the film, while others may work in animated films which involves sketching out the characters and all the elements in the film either by hand or on the computer. This job requires both creativity and technical skill, as knowledge of computers and animating technology is necessary. A bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics will help you prepare for a career in this field.

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