Reel Opportunities

Marketing Manager

Also known as: Brand Manager, Director of Marketing, Marketing Executive

What does a Marketing Manager do?

Marketing Managers help to identify the audience for a film or TV drama and create a campaign to bring it to their attention and pique their interest. With film, this could be through billboards, posters, and a digital strategy. With TV drama, it could be through newsletters, trailers, as well as social media. When an animation is about to launch or go to broadcast, it’s promoted through a marketing campaign that can be targeted at either a trade (professionals or bodies of the relevant industry) or consumer audience. The campaign might involve print, TV, cinema, events and digital advertising.

Marketing Managers oversee all of this and make sure it happens; collaborating with creative partners to develop and deliver promotional artwork materials. In film, Marketing Managers may also see that the product of the movie is presented well to potential buyers (distribution companies); if marketing managers are working in exhibition, then they market and present the movie to audiences.

Marketing campaigns vary depending on the needs of the production. Big-budget films with movie stars usually have more money spent on marketing and publicity than small productions. Marketing Managers consider how to prepare a marketing budget, bearing in mind income forecasts, acquisition costs and contract terms. If a film is being screened internationally, the campaign needs to be adapted to different cultures and countries.

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

    Know audiences, research audience statistics, understand how they watch films or TV dramas

  • Knowledge of the industry

    Have an awareness of cultural trends in film and TV drama and how they are reflected in terms of box office figures and viewers

  • Marketing

    Think creatively and analytically, create engaging content, understand who a production is for and how to reach them

  • Communication

    Write compelling copy, engage people from a wide range of backgrounds, share the vision with a team, be the conduit of information for other teams. (such as PR, operations, acquisitions and sales)

  • Planning

    Schedule the work that needs to be done for the campaign and work with a budget, forecast audience numbers or determine actual theatrical revenue for a given project

Who does a Marketing Manager work with?

Publicist

Publicists help create the distributors’ release plan and create a buzz about the film in the media.
They are responsible for getting media coverage of the film through having good relationships with journalists and critics. They create press packs, which usually include the film’s synopsis, production notes, cast and crew credits and biographies, stills and the electronic press kit (EPK). Film Publicists also schedule press screenings for bigger budget movies. Unit Publicists invite journalists to the set during shooting.

They handle all major aspects of press relations and keep the Distributor and Producer informed of PR developments.

Marketing Assistant

Marketing Assistants do any task designated to them by management, such as scheduling tweets and ordering in lunch for meetings for example.

How do I become a Marketing Manager?

There’s no direct path to becoming a Marketing Manager. Starting as a Marketing Assistant is an entry-level position that will help you learn about marketing campaigns, market research and budgeting. Alternatively you could become a Publicist or Sale Agent.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Publicist

Also known as: Press Representative, Public Relations Officer, Publicity Coordinator, Publicity Consultant, Unit Publicist

What does a Publicist do?

Publicists create the ‘buzz’ that surrounds the release of a film. They get the critics talking.

They are responsible for getting media coverage of the film through having good relationships with journalists and critics. They create press packs, which usually include the film’s synopsis, production notes, cast and crew credits, and biographies, stills that create the electronic press kit (EPK). Film Publicists also schedule press screenings for bigger-budget movies. Publicists invite journalists to the set during the shooting.

They handle all major aspects of press relations and keep the Distributor and Producer informed of PR developments. They look over all publicity materials with consideration of any legal, ethical, and cultural issues. If there’s any controversy at any stage, it’s the Publicist who deals with damage control – and they need to be available at any time of the day and night to do so.

What's a Publicist good at?
  • Understanding the media

    Have good contacts in the film and media industries, know the needs of journalists in print, TV, radio and online

  • Writing

    Write the promotional story of the film, create press packs, devise release plans

  • Knowledge of the film market

    Identify the core audience for a film, know how to reach them and excite them, be aware of box office figures, viewing figures, and the film trends

  • Flexibility

    Thrive in changing situations, enjoy spontaneity

  • Persuasion

    Network with the influencers in the film industry, such as the press, critics, and programmers, and pitch and convince them of the strength of the film

Who does a Publicist work with?

Publicists work with theatres, studio executives, members of the film’s cast and crew, film critics, film press and film festival representatives, and other people promoting the film, such as the Marketing Manager.

How do I become a Publicist?

Publicists will have worked in the film or TV industry for many years before they get to this position. There’s no set career path, but common routes to this role include public relations, journalism, marketing, and film production. A good way to start would be as an assistant in the marketing department of a distribution, production, or film sales company or TV channel. See the job profile Marketing Assistant for details of how to do this.

Here are some tips:

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 resume to show your writing and online skills, and, equally importantly, your interest in film and TV drama.

Look outside the industry: Consider any PR roles in any industry as this experience will be helpful in getting into the film industry later. Also, consider roles in marketing. Marketing agencies may have more roles available than TV channels or production companies. You will develop technical expertise that you can transfer to film or TV drama.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Distribution Executive

Also known as: Distribution Manager, Distribution Director

What does a Distribution Executive do?

Distribution Executives get films and tv shows in front of an audience in any and all ways that are appropriate, including movie theaters, broadcast and cable channels, and streaming platforms.

In film, Distribution Executives go to film markets where they look at films and acquire them from production companies or Sales Agents. They negotiate for the rights to release them. These deals cover a set period of time (“window”), and a specific territory or territories, and include agreements about promotion, classification of the film and any edits allowed. Distribution Executives then pitch the film to exhibitors (usually theaters). They deliver the film materials to them and they plan the release, including how to market the film, targeting the film’s core audience to bring in the most profit. How well a film does when it first opens in the theater has a big impact on the rest of its release cycle.

In TV, Distributors play a slightly different role. Big budget dramas are usually financed by a combination of TV channels and distribution companies. The distribution company will advance money for the production of the drama against the right to sell broadcast rights in the programme for a set time period in specific countries. They might also be responsible for any merchandising or publishing spinoffs. Distribution Executives are often essential to the financing of the show in development (prior to production) and can also play an important part in helping form the content of new dramas.

Learning or knowing different languages and a desire to travel are advantages when considering a career in distribution.

What's a Distribution Executive good at?
  • Watching films

    Have a passion for and wide knowledge of the industry, critically analyze scripts and production packages, know film festivals and how they work

  • Market knowledge

    Identify and understand the core audience for a film, know how to excite them, research box office and viewing figures, be aware of cultural trends including past statistics, predict what will be successful

  • Industry knowledge

    Have an in-depth understanding of the film and TV drama industry, including the production process, how to turn talent into commercial success, convert master materials from filmmakers into exhibition formats

  • Negotiation

    Be good at selling, execute deals on an international and global level, understand contractual agreements

  • Finance

    Manage a budget and handle accounts, be very well organized

  • Networking

    Communicate well with a wide range of people in the film industry

Who does a Distribution Executive work with?

Distribution Executives acquire films from Producers, studios or Sales Agents and then work with exhibitors to get the film out to audiences.

How do I become a Distribution Executive?

Distribution Executives often begin their careers in business or marketing so a good route into this role is as a Marketing Assistant. You might also get there through training in film production. Whether your background lies mostly in the production or business side of the industry, you need to demonstrate a strong understanding of both.

Here are some more tips:

Get a degree: A degree in business, marketing, or finance would equip you well for this role. Or you might want to study film production as a route.

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 resume to show your writing and online skills, and, equally importantly, your interest in film and TV drama.

Look outside the industry: Consider any advertising or marketing roles in any industry, as experience in these will be helpful in getting into film later. Marketing agencies may have more roles available than film companies and often the technical marketing approaches and techniques you will learn will be the same as the ones used in film marketing. Experience as a journalist or a press officer will be useful for the publicity side of the job.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Sales Agent

Also known as: Film Sales Executive

What does a Sales Agent do?

Sales Agents, or sales companies, act on behalf of the Producer to sell the rights to an independent film or TV drama to Distributors, who then release films on different platforms (cinema, TV, DVD, Blu-ray, streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon). An independent film is one that has not been produced by a Hollywood studio or ‘major’. Their productions are distributed by their subsidiaries worldwide instead. Sales Agents negotiate with the Distributors, based on the sales estimates and detailed assessment of the production’s commercial value.

Sales Agents are also responsible for promotion. They promote the films they represent at festivals and film markets, invite Distributors to screenings and hold premiere parties. They assemble and organize the delivery of any physical film materials and are usually involved in developing the marketing plan.

The point at which Sales Agents get involved in a production varies. Unknown Directors, who usually need an Agent, might have to finish their film before they can find someone to take it on. In other cases, a Sales Agent might sell a film to a Distributor as a concept, a draft script, or at the filming or post-production stage. Funding for a film is often dependent on the deals the Sales Agent has managed to broker at the start.

Sales Agents are continuously acquiring new content to sell from filmmakers and they build relationships with Distributors all over the world, so the job usually involves travel.

What's a Sales Agent good at?
  • Commercial awareness

    Have an awareness of cultural trends, understand and predict the market both globally and within individual countries, have an eye for talent that fits this (with the ability to read scripts quickly and thoroughly)

  • Knowledge of the film-making process

    Understand all aspects involved in making a film, from script to finance to post-production

  • Marketing

    Be enthusiastic with strong sales skills to secure competitive deals, be able to outline the story of a film in a succinct and engaging way face-to-face, have an understanding of digital marketing and social media

  • Networking

    Establish good relationships and communicate constantly with distribution outlets and festival programmers as well as with filmmakers, use language skills to travel and embrace other cultures, have a wide knowledge of film festivals and markets

  • Negotiation

    Be flexible, able to negotiate conditions, draw up contracts, understand licensing, copyright

  • Finance

    Deal with figures, have the financial knowledge to make sales predictions, negotiate funding and handle a budget

Who does a Sales Agent work with?

Sales agents communicate with Distributors on behalf of Producers so they work closely with both of these groups. They also collaborate with other people in sales and distribution like Marketing Managers and Publicists.

How do I become a Sales Agent?

Sales Agent roles are senior positions. To become a Sales Agent you need to have a high level of knowledge and experience of the industry. Occasionally companies will take on film Sales Assistants. Another good route into sales roles is as a Marketing Assistant.

Here are some more tips:

Get a degree: A degree in film studies, law, business studies or media and communication is a good way into this field. You would also benefit from studying film production, film history or film finance.

Educational requirements: Courses in business studies, economics, English, film studies or politics are useful.

Get an internship: Internships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn. It might also be worth looking for a job as an apprentice in an industry that uses similar skills, such as literary agent in publishing. This could help you develop your craft and create a body of work for a portfolio that you can use to find your way into the Canadian film industry at a later point.

Take a short course: Learn more about the process of getting a film funded to improve your knowledge of business and finance relations within the film industry.

Look outside the industry: Consider law, finance, business, or marketing roles in any industry as work experience in film sales is highly competitive. A background in sales, business, or finance will show you have the necessary analytical skills for this role.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Producer

What does a Producer do?

Producers are generally the people “in charge” of a film or TV production. They’re responsible for developing a project from the beginning, raising and managing the money, assembling the team and supervising all aspects of pre-production, production and post-production. They are often the first to get involved, spotting the creative opportunity and commercial viability of a production. They continue as the driving force right through to distribution. Producers are the overall decision makers. They will come up with story ideas and hire Screenwriters or choose and secure rights to a script. This is known as ‘optioning’ a script.

They decide on the scale and budget of the film and source financing from investors, studios and distributors. They hire all the “above-the-line” team members such as Line Producer and Director. They then work with creative ideas from the Director, often making creative decisions, and then approve production costs. Producers spot and solve potential problems throughout the production process.

They approve locations and hire a team of staff for the production, delegating certain responsibilities to a Line Producer or the Production Manager. It’s their job to create a good working environment and they constantly communicate with everyone to make everything run smoothly. They have ultimate legal responsibilities for the health and safety of the crew on set and delivery of a completed film at the end of the production process.

Producers need to be good communicators to ensure everyone is working towards the same end and are responsible for creating a good working environment and smooth production.

Are there different levels to being a producer?

Yes! There are different levels of involvement from different producer positions, depending on the needs of the production. These different roles have different aspects of involvement and responsibility but all require you to have the same skill-set of being a producer. The lead producer receives a simple “Producer” credit. While there are other credits (such as Executive Producer) that might sound more senior, the Producer is the one in charge.

Associate Producer
An Associate Producer (often called an Assistant Producer, or simply the AP) is a junior Producer who works closely with the Lead Producer in putting together a television show or film project. The goal of an AP is to eventually become a lead Producer and so they must be trained in every aspect of production. Associate Producers report directly to the lead Producer.

Executive Producer
Executive Producers give high-level contributions so the project can be created. These could include providing funding, developing the project for a studio, making key introductions, providing resources, or mentoring. EPs usually don’t participate in the creative process or day-to-day production management, aside from advice they may offer. Some EPs are the first point of contact in the production workflow—optioning a script or greenlighting a film – but they then pass the responsibility on to the Producer(s). They are the silent partner, or a leader in the film and television industry and require being a producer first.

What's a Producer good at?
  • Film and TV production

    Have extensive knowledge of all the creative processes of making a film or TV programme including screenwriting, directing, and editing

  • Storytelling

    Know how to tell a story, make and approve creative decisions to help do this well

  • Commercial awareness

    Understand what makes a successful film, be able to market it to distributors and to the public

  • Leadership

    Motivate and communicate well with everyone throughout the project, take responsibility for decisions and outcomes, create a good working atmosphere and adhere to legal workplace regulations, be a figure head

  • Adaptability

    Work well in challenging and changeable environments, problem solve on the go, make quick effective decisions and be able to prioritise

  • Organization

    Be on top of the whole project, prepare schedules and a production budget using financial skills to secure funding and negotiate salaries

  • Knowledge of the industry

    Have extensive knowledge of and a passion for TV drama, appreciate trends in viewing, predict what will be popular

  • Creativity

    Generate new and exciting ideas, recognize new and exciting script ideas in others, have an entrepreneurial spirit

  • Negotiation

    Have a good business head, be good at selling, persuading, and striking a financial deal

Who does a Producer work with?

Everyone. Producers lead and communicate with the whole production team as well as distribution and marketing teams. They sometimes answer to Executive Producers in television production who serve as the overseeing face of the film studio, financiers, or who are the overall leads on a series.

How do I become a Producer?

While producing is something that can be learned in school, usually one gains experience elsewhere in the production department, such as working up from a Production Assistant, to a Production Coordinator, Production Manager or Line Producer. They do not necessarily attend a film school. You’ll need a combination of business skills and creative vision for this job and an understanding of both sides of the industry.

Build a portfolio: Create a showreel that you can show off to collaborators and financiers.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Animal Wrangler

What does an Animal Wrangler do?

Animal Wranglers manage any animal that appears on camera and gets them to perform whatever action is required by the script or the director. Off set, they care for and train the animals.

Trainers provide appropriate physical and mental exercises to keep animals healthy and happy during the hours they are not working on set. Additional duties for movie animal trainers may include providing food and water, administering medications and supplements, maintaining cages and enclosures, exercising animals, keeping accurate health and behaviour records, and transporting the animals to and from the set/location.

They must train the animals to perform certain tasks while filming and handle them in between scenes. If the animal is dangerous, they must ensure that proper safety is in place to best deal with the animal.

Learn More

What's an Animal Wrangler good at?
  • Animal Knowledge

    Have knowledge of animals and the behavior of animals, especially the animals they are specifically working with

  • Passion for Animals

    Have a love for animals and working with animals

  • Attentiveness

    Being able to look after the animals for long periods of time and stay on top of their needs

  • Animal Training

    Know how to train animals and direct the animals to do certain tasks needed during filming

  • Flexibility

    Thrive in changing situations, and enjoy spontaneity

  • Organization

    Being able to organize the arriving, storing, feeding, and care for the animals on set.

Who does an Animal Wrangler work with?

Animal Wranglers will work with the Director to discover what will be required of the animals. They will work with the Director to get the intended action of the animal required in the scene. They will work with the Producer and Production Coordinator to work out the logistics of the animals’ on set and the storing of the animals. They will also work closely with other crew members on set and other animal trainers while the animals are performing

How do I become an Animal Wrangler?

There is no single route to becoming an Animal Wrangler, but love and respect for animals are required. You have to know how to train and properly handle various animals for the safety of yourself and crew members but also the safety of the animal.

Educational requirements: Although a college degree is not mandatory to enter the field, common college majors for aspiring animal trainers include animal science, animal behavior, biology, zoology, marine biology, and psychology. Most movie animal trainers have a degree in an animal-related field or significant practical experience gained by interning with experienced trainers, gaining valuable hands-on experience along the way.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Fight Choreographer

What does a Fight Choreographer do?

Fight Choreographers design and direct combat sequences for film and TV. Much like dance choreographers, they instruct actors on how to move in various ways, in order to make fight scenes appear realistic and/or historically accurate, while also ensuring the safety of the cast and crew. While knowledge of various fighting styles is necessary for this career, Fight Choreographers must also understand theatrical staging and the principles of choreography. Before choreographing fights, individuals must first be trained in how to fight in particular styles, such as hand-to-hand combat, fencing, and martial arts.

What's a Fight Choreographer good at?
  • Physical Fitness

    They are physically fit and are knowledgeable in physical fitness, are aware of the intricate movements of the human body, and have some skills in martial arts or gymnastic

  • Flexibility

    Thrive in changing situations, enjoy spontaneity

  • Choreography

    Able to plan out large fight and stunt sequences

  • Physical Attributes

    Good Eyesight, quick reflexes, and flexibility, good sense of timing

  • Organizing

    Need to have the skill to organize the stunt crew, paperwork, and plans for each scene

Who does a Fight Choreographer work with?

Fight Choreographers will work with the director and the actors to gain an idea of what a fight scene should entail. They will also work with stunt performers when the actors are unable to perform the fight sequences or part of the fight sequences. They will teach the Stunt Performers and actors the moves of the fight. They will also work with the Stunt Coordinator to go over the specific stunts performed in the fight.

How do I become a Fight Choreographer?

Fight Choreographers should be physically active and be trained in some form of martial arts, gymnastics, or combat discipline. Many Fight Choreographers start out as Stunt Performers before they can take on the role of Fight Choreographers. Fight Choreographers may also find it useful to choreograph a dance or large-scale theater productions, to gain knowledge of planning and working with a large number of people.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Cast Coordinator

Also known as: Cast Personal Assistant

What does a Cast Coordinator do?

A Cast Coordinator is the primary liaison between the key talent and the production crew on a film or tv set. Their role is a little more in-depth than a Production Assistant as they are responsible for taking care of all the needs of the talent including but not limited to: scheduling, running errands, liaising between costumes, hair and makeup departments, booking appointments, preparing riders (talent preference lists), and even taking care of pets or children.

When production needs the talent they first go through the Cast Coordinator who is responsible for overseeing the schedule of the talent. Cast Coordinators must be aware of where the talent needs to be at all times – whether they need to be at a fitting, prosthetics or on set. In most cases, the Cast Coordinator is responsible for all the lead and sub-lead talent on a production. This can mean coordinating schedules and needs for dozens of talents all at one time! Therefore, a Cast Coordinator must be very organized, good at problem solving as well as personable.

What's a Cast Coordinator good at?
  • Organization

    Must keep tasks and schedules of several talent organized at all times

  • Problem solving

    Must think quickly and make decisions in the best interest of the talent and the production

  • People-skills

    Must interact with many different personalities between talent and crew

Who does a Cast Coordinator work with?

A Cast Coordinator works closely with the lead actors on a film or TV set. They often interact with the talent’s management and Publicists. Cast Coordinators also work closely with the Production Assistants, and the 1st and 2nd Assistant Directors. In many cases a Cast Coordinator will also liaise between the various departments such as Catering, Transportation, Costume, and Hair & Makeup.

How do I become a Cast Coordinator?

A great way to become a Cast Coordinator is to start with an entry-level position such as Production Assistant. Another route would be to start in a talent management firm or casting agency as an Assistant.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Stunt Coordinator

What is a Stunt Coordinator?
What does a Stunt Coordinator do?

A Stunt Coordinator is in charge of coordinating and arranging the stunts for a film or TV show and hiring the Stunt Performers to do them. In many cases, the Stunt Coordinator budgets, designs, and choreographs the stunt sequences to suit the script and the Director’s vision. They are usually an experienced Stunt Performer.

Many stunts performed by Stunt Performers are very dangerous and the Stunt Coordinator is in charge of making sure safety measures are in place. They will collaborate with the cast and crew to create the best possible way to execute the stunts that are required in the film.

What's a Stunt Coordinator good at?
  • Physical Fitness

    Physically fit, is aware of the intricate movements of the human body, some skills in martial arts or gymnastics

  • Choreography

    Able to plan out large fight and stunt sequences

  • Organizing

    Need to have the skill to organize the stunt crew, paperwork, and plans for each scene

  • Flexibility

    Thrive in changing situations, and enjoy spontaneity

  • Physical Attributes

    Good Eyesight, quick reflexes, flexibility (Body), and a good sense of timing

Who does a Stunt Coordinator work with?

Stunt Coordinators work with the Director and the Producer to get the feel of the film and to identify the planned stunts. They work with the Stunt Performers to rehearse the choreography of the stunts beforehand while having safety measures in place. Stunt Coordinators will also work closely with the onset crew such as Grips, to make sure everything is in place for the stunts.

How do I become a Stunt Coordinator?

Many Stunt Coordinators start out as Stunt Performers before they can take on the role of Stunt Coordinator. Stunt Coordinators should be physically active and be trained in some form of martial arts, gymnastics, or combat discipline. Stunt Coordinators may also find it useful to choreograph a dance or large-scale theatre productions, to gain knowledge of planning and working with people.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Casting Assistant

What does a Casting Assistant do?

Casting Assistants offer general help with finding actors to star in a film or TV drama. They are generally employed as freelancers by Casting Directors, although they can also be hired on a permanent contract within busier casting offices.

Casting Directors are taken on by Producers and Directors to cast actors who fit the character brief, look right for a role, act well, are available, whose fees cost a suitable amount for the production’s budget and who will attract the right audience. Casting Assistants help with this, though their role can vary depending on the scale and budget of the production.

They read the script and help the Casting Director draw up a list of possible actors for the main role. The Casting Assistant will call agents to check actors’ availability. They help out with screen tests, operating the camera and offering general support in casting sessions. They also assist with general office duties. They answer the phone and make tea and coffee. General office admin and excellent computer skills are also a large part of their job. This includes editing and uploading footage from casting sessions for the Producer and Director to watch.

What's a Casting Assistant good at?
  • Knowledge of the industry

    Have strong knowledge of and a passion for film or TV drama with the ability to recognize talent

  • Knowledge of actors and networking

    Build up connections with actors and industry professionals, have an understanding of the art of acting and be aware of new and existing talent

  • Video

    Operate video cameras in screen tests, use software to edit together clips

  • Administrative skills

    Complete office and organizational tasks efficiently, have a professional phone and email manner for contacting actors and clients, anticipate what needs to be done next

  • Communication

    Band producers, work efficiently alongside the casting director and team to ensure the smooth-running of casting sessions

Who does a Casting Assistant work with?

Casting Assistants work with Casting Directors, and sometimes Casting Associates. They work directly with Actors and liaise with Producers and Agents.

How do I become a Casting Assistant?

There are no specific qualifications or training to work in casting. The most important thing is to have a wide knowledge of film or TV productions and be well informed about new and existing actors. You need good taste and an eye for talent. You also need experience of working with actors. A Casting Director is a senior role so you need a lot of experience and connections before you can become one. A good route into this role is as a Casting Assistant.

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.

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Casting Director

What does a Casting Director do?

Casting Directors find the stars to bring the characters in a film or TV drama to life. They are hired by the production company to match actors to their roles.

Casting Directors read scripts and meet with Producers and Directors to get a sense of the type of person they are looking for. They have to find someone who looks right for the role as well as acting it well. They need to understand the art of acting. Sometimes producers will have a lot of demands. Other times they won’t give much guidance at all. Casting Directors consider the actor’s availability, fees and how much box office buzz they’re going to create. While an experienced Casting Director may consult on the leading roles, the bulk of their job is to fill the many supporting and small parts that the film requires.

They are then in charge of putting out a “casting call” (an announcement to actors and their agents that auditions will be held for certain roles), creating a list of available roles and brief descriptions of the characters, choosing the actors who will be called in to “read”, managing the audition process, and working with director and producers to make the final selections and negotiate their deals (such as what they will be paid, and other aspects of their contract/agreement with the production). After the film is cast, the Casting Director’s job isn’t quite done! They remain the main liaison between the production and the performers’ agents/managers throughout the production.

What's a Casting Director good at?
  • Knowledge of the industry

    Have strong knowledge of and a passion for film or TV drama and an appreciation for changing trends in the industry

  • Knowledge of actors

    Understand the art of acting and be aware of a wide range of new and existing talent, have a good memory for actors you have seen in the past

  • Eye for talent

    Be able to spot actors with star quality and who will fit well into individual projects and roles, have the patience to conduct a long and thorough search for the right actor for each role

  • Communication

    Communicate well with the Producer and Director to understand their requirements and be able to give direction to actors

  • Negotiation

    Be diplomatic, work with agents to negotiate contracts, have good financial skills, stick to a budget

Who does a Casting Director work with?

Casting Directors work with Producers and Directors (and sometimes Writers). They work with the Director to find what they are looking for in an actor and search for potential candidates. They also work with the incoming actors at the auditions to make them feel comfortable and prepare them for their sides (small sections of Script).

How do I become a Casting Director?

There are no specific qualifications or training to work in casting. The most important thing is to have a wide knowledge of film or TV productions and be well informed about new and existing actors. This role is learned on the job, by assisting established casting Directors and working your way up. Networking and reaching out to casting companies is one way to get started in this field. Starting with an internship, you’ll learn the ropes by helping to run the auditions, with tasks such as bringing actors into the room, setting up microphones and camera equipment, reading out the lines of the “other characters” for an actor during their audition, and so on. Interns can apply for opportunities as casting assistants and work their way up to casting associate and beyond.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Driver

What does a Driver do?

The Driver is responsible for assisting the Transportation Coordinator, the transportation department, and the transportation needs of the film crew and staff. They are responsible for driving vehicles (including trucks or trailers used for makeup, costumes, lighting and other gear), personal trailers for the actors, and any cars that will actually be used on camera.

Drivers can also do anything from transporting equipment, props, costumes, set pieces, to moving and setting up base camp with various trailers. They also pick up and drop off crew members from base or studios to various locations, or pick up talent at hotels and bring them to wardrobe fittings or makeup or to and from set.

The basic skills required for this job are good organizational skills, attention to detail, awareness of various rules and regulations, scheduling skills, managing a team, negotiating skills…and of course, being able to drive! In some provinces, you may be required to hold a specialized license to drive larger trucks.

What's a Driver good at?
  • Organization

    Be good at scheduling and keeping track of transporting cargo

  • Communication

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

  • Resilience

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

  • Attention to detail

    Be aware of the various rules and regulations and follow them accordingly when transporting cast and crew

Who does a Driver work with?

Drivers work closely with the Transport Captains and Transport Coordinators. They also closely interact with talent and the location department.

How do I become a Driver?

You must be willing to create contacts with transportation department leaders and Producers in order to become a transportation department Driver. If you are serious about being a driver, you should research what type of driver’s license is required in your province or territory. For example, In Ontario, a Class A or D license could 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.

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

Greensperson

Also known as: Greensman

What does a Greensperson do?

The Greensperson is responsible for all the plants and live foliage on a film set. The Greensperson has to rent, arrange, and take care of all the plants for a film shoot. They sometimes have to create large jungles in a sound studio or decorate a room with the right plants for the scene. If the scene is outside, or a location doesn’t require the renting or creating of a green landscape, the Greensperson may be brought in to shape the existing plants to what is desired.

They are a part of the art department and have to do a lot of research in the pre-production stage. They have to mark all the areas in the script that require vegetation or plants, then they have to research the correct plants to acquire and where to acquire them. Once they get their budget they have to rent the plants to make the scene just right.

What's a Greensperson good at?
  • Knowledge of plants and vegetation

    Have an understanding or background in different types of plants and foliage

  • Green Thumb

    Know how to properly take care of a multitude of plants and vegetation

  • Physically fit

    Be able and willing to work long hours, inside and outside, moving heavy objects

  • Organization

    Be organized with the planning of what plants need to arrive on what day and time

Who does a Greensperson work with?

The Greensperson will typically work with the Production Designer and Set Decorator. The Greensperson will get the sketches from these team members of the look of the film. They work together to create the vision of the Director to life, the Greensperson focuses on the plant element in the sketches. They would also work with the production team, such as grips, on the day of shooting. The Grips or art department PAs would help the Greensperson get the plants into place.

How do I become a Greensperson?

There is no degree or education required but studying horticulture, botany, or design in landscaping would be good knowledge prior. Greensperson may begin working at a greenhouse and book themselves out to various film shoots to get established. Others may begin in the art department as a PA and then grow in set decorating and focus on the greenery aspects.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Transportation Coordinator

What does a Transportation Coordinator do?

The Transportation Coordinator is responsible for managing the transportation department and overseeing the transportation needs of the film crew and staff. They are in charge of getting everyone and everything from place to place. They are responsible for renting vehicles (including trucks or trailers used for makeup, costumes, lighting and other gear), personal trailers for the actors, and any cars that will actually be used on camera. They will also be in charge of hiring Drivers.

Transportation Coordinators are master schedulers. On larger productions they might oversee a fleet of cast and crew cars, as well as cargo transports, making sure everyone and everything arrives on time. They must be skilled in transporting cargo, and are responsible for handling the logistics of transporting cast and crew plus the associated equipment to the location of the film shoot. They must have motivation to work well under pressure and the ability to work long hours despite various weather conditions.

What's a Transportation Coordinator good at?
  • Organization

    Be good at scheduling and keeping track of transporting cargo

  • Communication

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

  • Resilience

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

  • Attention to detail

    Be aware of the various rules and regulations and follow them accordingly when transporting cast and crew

Who does a Transportation Coordinator work with?

The Transportation Coordinator works mainly with the Drivers and Transportation Captains, as well as the production office personnel such as the Production Coordinator and Assistant Production Manager.

How do I become a Transportation Coordinator?

Transportation Coordinators usually start out as Drivers then work their way up to Transportation Captains and eventually Transportation Coordinators. They work their way up by learning and exhibiting organization skills and scheduling skills. Since everyone and everything needs to be in place at a certain time and it is our job to get them there, it is an important job. No specific credentials other than a drivers’ license are required.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Craft Service and Catering

Also known as: Crafty

What does a Crafty do?

Craft services, also known as crafty, is the department of film, TV, and video production which provides cast and crew with food, snacks, and drinks throughout the workday.

On smaller productions typically there is one main “craft table” where the snacks and coffee are set up – and that table remains stocked all day, every day. The craft area on these smaller productions may also be where you might go for other types of supplies, such as a first aid kit, bandages, aspirin, gum, antacids, toothpicks, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and hand-warmers. On larger productions, craft trucks may be brought in to provide quick warm meals throughout the day like hot dogs or chili, along with other quick-grab items like prepackaged sandwiches or fruit.

Catering refers to complete hot meals, which are provided by a separate person or company to craft, usually a restaurant or catering company. On most larger productions “lunch” is generally catered, but can be any time of the day. This is usually pre-selected and ready at a specific time to keep the production on schedule.

What's a Crafty good at?
  • Scheduling

    Crafty must schedule food preparation to fit the shooting schedule of the production, as no one has time to wait for lunch

  • Food Handling skills

    Have the knowledge and the certifications to be able to handle food properly and safely

  • Customer Service

    Interacting with large groups of hungry people requires patience and a smile

  • Multi-tasking

    Often there are several different meals being prepped at the same time

Who does a Crafty work with?

Crafty and Catering work independently, but interact with all cast and crew on a set.

How do I become a Crafty?

There is no specific degree required for a craft services career, but an interest in food is an asset, as is a strong understanding of food safety. Catering companies are usually run by entrepreneurs with a background in Culinary school or in the food and hospitality industries. Gaining your food safety certification would be necessary to begin your career.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Set Costumer

What does a Set Costumer do?

Set Costumers are the right hand of the Costumer Designer and Costume Supervisor. While Costume Designers design the entire look of a character and supervise the construction of costumes, they seldom go to set. A Set Costumer is responsible for assembling the costume of the actor on set and making sure the Costume Designer’s vision is realized.

Set Costumers will track clothing to ensure that they are loaded and unloaded safely and without causing damage or stains. They supervise the clothing and accessories being delivered to the appropriate actors, and are taught about proper clothing care. This includes educating performers on not eating, drinking, or smoking while wearing specific garments. They create rules for performers to follow when it comes to ensuring that their clothing stays free of filth, rips, and other flaws.

Making sure that the production’s “clothing continuity book” is up to date is a key aspect of the job. This book details each shot in chronological order, including what each actor looks like in each scene. In addition to ensuring that actors wear the right costumes at the right time, this book can also record the use and placement of each costume during the production process.

What's a Set Costumer good at?
  • Dressmaking and tailoring

    Be able to draw, sew, make, alter and maintain clothes and accessories, prepare outfits to look faultless on screen

  • Styling

    Understand the stylist’s or designer’s vision for a show, know what styles suit different people best and create the right looks with flair and creativity

  • Attention to detail

    Spot and deal with any design or styling flaws or issues during filming, keep the department organised and tidy

  • Knowledge of design

    Have a passion as well as an understanding of fashion, the history of design and costume, colour, lighting, pattern and texture, and knowing where to source fabrics, accessories and outfits

  • Communication

    Work well with others, listen and respond to stylists’, presenters’ and contributors’ needs, be trusted and have good relationships with designers, PR and brands who may supply clothing or accessories

Who does a Set Costumer work with?

A Set Costumer works directly with the Costume Designer, Costume Supervisor or Stylist, or all three. They also work with everyone and anyone on the production, in particular the hair and make-up team, to ensure they all create a complete and coherent ‘look’ for any contributors featuring in a programme. They have contact with studio and technical staff, particularly sound when putting on and removing mics, and have regular updates with the production management team regarding budgets and schedules.

How do I become a Set Costumer?

Set Costumers are often the entry-level role in the costume department. Some start as Production Assistants, but others go straight in as Set Costumers. To get in, you need to develop your craft. Here are some more tips:

Educational Requirements: If you want to go to university, classes in art and design, fashion, textiles, theatre studies, graphic design or graphic communication are useful.

Get an Internship: An internship is a job with training, so it’s a great opportunity to earn as you learn. However, it can be challenging to find jobs as an intern within production companies. It might be worth looking for a job as an intern in an industry that uses similar skills, such as being a tailor for a clothing designer or tailoring company. Try to hone your skills through an internship in fashion and textiles or costume and wardrobe.

Build a portfolio: This is essential. Build a Costume Portfolio, get in touch with costume designers and ask if you can shadow them on productions.

Get work experience: Try to get work experience by writing to local production companies and asking if they offer any internships.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Best Person Grip

Also known as: Best Boys

What does a Best Person Grip do?

Best Persons (sometimes known as Best Boys) are second in charge and have a similar role to the Key Grip. They do all the paperwork. They liaise with the equipment rental companies, do the risk assessments, sort out contracts with the production team, and act as the go-between between the production office and the grip department.

While the Key Grip works with the Director of Photography and the Director to get the overall scope of the production, the Best Person does the day-to-day management. They create the schedules for the grip department, delegating the work for the production in accordance with the Key Grips plans. They also identify the needs of the crew and make sure everything is going according to plan.

They are the Key Grips right-hand and are responsible for making sure everything the Key Grip has planned out goes smoothly.

What's a Best Person Grip good at?
  • Knowledge of cameras and supports

    Understand the technical requirements of cameras and of the baseplates, dollies, cranes, and jib arms on which they are mounted

  • Leadership

    Motivate and communicate well with everyone throughout the project, take responsibility for decisions and outcomes, create a good working atmosphere

  • Organization

    Plan, prioritize, multitask and use your own initiative to manage schedule

  • Innovation

    Think quickly of practical solutions to problems, adapt equipment to particular environments

  • Communication

    Listen to the Director of Photography, be able to explain and share information with actors and the rest of the crew, especially when under pressure

  • Lifting

    Know how to lift safely, and have the stamina

Who does a Best Person Grip work with?

They work very closely with the Key Grip to help them achieve their plans for the production. They also work closely with the grip team to help schedule and manage the day-to-day task they will have to accomplish. The Best Person Grip will also be working with members of the production office such as the Production Manager, to make sure all the logistics are sorted out.

How do I become a Best Person Grip?

The best way to begin would be to contact your local IATSE union for trainee programs. They may be able to place you on a production willing to take on a Grip Trainee. After you’ve met the qualifications of a Grip, you can begin to apply for positions on unionized productions.

After being a grip for a number of productions and feeling confident in the field, you can use that experience to become a Best Person Grip.

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.

Reel Opportunities

VFX Supervisor

Also known as: Lead Visual Effects (VFX) Artist, Senior VFX Artist

What does a VFX Supervisor do?

This role is responsible for overseeing all VFX work and managing technical and artistic VFX personnel. While it is a creative role, most Visual FX Supervisors possess a strong technical background and are capable of making informed decisions about the most efficient and effective technique to employ to solve the problem at hand. Often a supervisor will work in tandem with a Visual Effects Producer and Computer Graphics Supervisor.

VFX Supervisors begin their work on a project in the early stages of pre-production. They are the main point of liaison between a VFX studio and the Director or Producer of the film or TV program. Together, they decide on what VFX is needed for every shot of the film. VFX Supervisors then work with the VFX Artists to create prototype materials to present. These can include concept art and 3D computer-generated images (CG). The prototype materials help to inform the style of the VFX in the production.

VFX Supervisors are present for filming during production so that they can see if the shots are satisfactory and will work with the VFX elements. VFX supervisors continue to lead their team when the film is being put together during post-production. They oversee the quality of all work produced and make sure that it is in line with the vision of the Director and/or Producer.

What's a VFX Supervisor good at?
  • Art

    Have excellent design, layout, colour, and composition skills

  • Knowledge of photography

    Understand cameras, cinematography, and how films are made, be able to influence the shoot so it works for the VFX

  • Knowledge of VFX programs

    Be adept at using relevant programs such as Maya, Blender, Nuke, and Photoshop

  • Collaboration

    Work in pre-production with the director or producer to decide on which shots will need VFX work, respond to their creative and artistic direction

  • Leadership

    Share the director or producers’ vision of the film with the VFX artists of all departments, inspire them to do their best work, manage their output in terms of quality and deadlines

  • Communication

    Be able to clearly articulate what needs to be done on-set to achieve the desired VFX shots, be able to relay information between the production and your artists

Who does a VFX Supervisor work with?

VFX Supervisors work with film Directors and Producers. Together, they decide on what VFX is needed for every shot of a film. They also lead all of the different kinds of VFX Artists within a VFX company or studio.

How do I become a VFX Supervisor?

The VFX Supervisor job is the highest leadership role within an entire VFX company or studio; therefore, you will work in other, more junior, VFX roles first before reaching this position. VFX Supervisors need the same technical skills and relevant software proficiency as Junior VFX Artists do, so you could start VFX work as a Roto Artist or Prep Artist and progress from there. In this case, an important thing that you can do is to create a show-reel to illustrate your abilities (even established VFX supervisors can have their own show-reels). Alternatively, you can start work in the production department as a Production Coordinator or Production Assistant and go from there.

Educational requirements: A college degree in film and TV production, computer animation, or art and design is key. These are taught at many colleges, universities, and art schools. Training in the use of visual effects and animation software is a must.

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.

Reel Opportunities

Computer Graphics (CG) Supervisor

Also known as: Senior CG Supervisor, VFX Artist

What does a CG Supervisor do?

Computer Graphics (CG) Supervisors are ultimately responsible for the delivery and quality of the 3D computer-generated (CG) elements of a VFX project.

Before a film goes into production, CG Supervisors identify areas of the VFX work that need to be researched by Software Developers. They design the VFX pipeline – which means they decide the order in which the work needs to be done. They manage the team of Technical Directors (TDs), helping decide which digital tools need to be created to streamline the pipeline.

Once production is underway, they supervise the creation of all CG imagery and manage the artists creating it. Some walk around the desks of the VFX Artists to check their work and provide feedback. They ensure the art is true to the vision of the film or TV Director. Once complete, the art, or assets, are given to the compositors who put the whole scene together.

CG Supervisors tend to be employed by VFX companies or studios. Supervisor positions are some of the most senior in these companies; as such, CG Supervisors are often involved in the hiring process for new VFX Artists.

What's a CG Supervisor good at?
  • Art

    Have a good eye, understand the principles of composition, know what looks good and why

  • Understand the VFX pipeline

    Know the process of how VFX get created, be able to plan and implement an effective pipeline

  • Working with Linux or Unix operating systems

    Know how to work with these operating systems, which are different forms of Microsoft Windows or macOS (Apple)

  • Knowledge of VFX programs

    Be adept at using relevant programs such as Adobe After Effects, Blender, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, Nuke, RenderMan, and 3DS Max

  • Programming and coding skills

    Have knowledge of programming in C++ and Python with a high level of technical ability

  • Leadership

    Manage the VFX artists and the TDs within the VFX pipeline, inspire them to do their best work, manage their output in terms of quality and deadlines, review and inform all creative work

Who does a CG Supervisor work with?

CG Supervisors work with the VFX Producer and VFX Supervisor to review budgets and schedules. They might also have discussions with the Producer and Director of the production company making the film.

In pre-production, they may identify areas of the VFX work that need to be researched and developed by Software Developers. They manage the TDs, such as Effects (FX) TDs and Rigging TDs, and lighting TDs. They are also responsible overall for the output of VFX artists such as Modelling Artists.

How do I become a CG Supervisor?

The CG Supervisor position is one of the most senior in VFX. Companies may ask for you to have at least five years’ worth of experience working in a senior film or TV production management or a senior VFX Artist role. Therefore, you can initially look for work in more junior-level positions in VFX, such as being a Motion Capture Technician, Prep Artist, Roto Artist, and then progress from there. Alternatively to the VFX artist route, you can start work as a Production Assistant in the production department.

Along with the desired length of work experience, employers also expect you to be skilled in using one or some VFX program(s). These likely include Houdini, Maya, Nuke, and RenderMan. It is also useful to have a knowledge of scripting languages such as Python and C++.

Here are some more tips:

Get a degree: There are degree courses available in computer animation, computer programming, computer science, mathematics, information technology that would provide you with useful experience and knowledge towards becoming a CG Supervisor.

Create your own showreel: An important thing that you can do is to create a showreel to illustrate your abilities (even established CG Supervisors can have their own showreels).

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.

Reel Opportunities

Data Capture Technical Director

Also known as: Data Capture Technician

What does a Data Capture Technical Director do?

Data Capture Technical Directors (TDs) go onto a film or TV set to collect information about the live-action footage that the teams in the VFX studio need to add visual effects to.

They take photographs of the set and the way the cameras are positioned. They “capture data” about the type of lens being used, its focal length, filters, focus and color temperature. They also record the camera height, camera mount and distance between the camera and actor, along with other details. They also take photos of surfaces so that the textures can be recreated digitally later on.

All this information is necessary so the exact live action scene can be recreated digitally later on, and so the VFX can be incorporated in a believable way.

Data Capture TDs use a variety of tools to capture data, including cameras and a ‘total station’ which electronically measures horizontal and vertical angles and distances.

They upload, log and backup all data, before sending it on to the relevant members of the VFX company on a daily basis.
Data Capture TDs tend to be employed by VFX companies or studios rather than working as freelancers.

What's a Data Capture Technical Director good at?
  • Being accurate

    Be methodical in your work, pay close attention to detail, have strong problem-solving skills

  • Technical knowledge of cameras

    Have an in-depth understanding of all motion picture equipment, cameras, lenses, monitors and lights

  • Understand the VFX pipeline

    Know the process through which visual effects are created

  • Using software

    Use the data sharing application FileMaker Pro. Be able to operate and maintain your data collecting equipment yourself

  • Being efficient

    Work quickly and accurately on set so that the physical production can run smoothly. Organize and prioritize your tasks

Who does a Data Capture Technical Director work with?

Data Capture TDs work with Camera Trainees and Camera Operators on set to gather data about the cameras, camera shots and lenses. They also work with Script Supervisors to the same end.

Data Capture TDs work with the VFX Supervisor and Motion Capture Technicians on set to ensure that the sets and actors have tracking markers placed on them in the necessary way so that the footage can be used by the Motion Capture Technicians and Roto Artists.

They also need to communicate with the various VFX Artists and Compositors who will be using the information that they have provided.

How do I become a Data Capture Technical Director?

Employers tend to want you to have a couple or more years’ experience working either on sets or in VFX before taking you on as a Data Capture TD. As such, one career path is to work in the camera department in the film and TV drama industries. This will give you good knowledge of cameras so you can more accurately collect camera data as a Capture TD. It also gives you on-set experience. Another route is to first work for a VFX company as a Motion Capture Technician. That is an entry level role in the VFX industry. It gives on-set experience and also involves working with Data Capture TDs to place tracking markers on actors or parts of the set.

Here are some tips:

Get a degree: It is not essential to have a degree in order to become a Data Capture TD. It is important to understand photography and cameras; both the DSLR and film varieties. Alternatively, you can take a degree in computer graphics, computer science, computer animation or VFX-related subjects.

Educational requirements: You can take courses in art, art and design, graphic design or communication, computer or computing science, and math.

Get an internship: Internships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn. You might want to enter the VFX industry through an apprenticeship as an Assistant Technical Director.

Build a portfolio: Get as much experience as you can in photography, both still and moving images. Create a stills photography portfolio that you can show to admissions personnel or employers. Go to build your VFX portfolio to learn how.

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.