Working in the film industry can often be as exciting and rewarding as it sounds. It’s hard work however, and an extremely competitive field. There are many careers involved in the creation of a media piece, whether it be a film, television series, advertisement or web video. Each position plays a key role in the complex process, so having talented, educated individuals on set is vital. The best way to learn the fundamentals of film and the technical skills required in the industry is to attend film school. There, you’ll also be exposed to the various aspects of film that you can specialize in. Salaries in the film industry vary drastically, but hard work and experience can lead you to top positions with very generous paychecks. Below we list the average salary for a variety of careers within film.*
Audio visual technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining and operating the equipment used to capture and edit forms of media such as motion pictures, television programs and radio broadcasts. They work with a variety of tools and technology including mixing consoles, digital camcorders and video cameras, Adobe Systems and video editing software. On average, audio/visual technicians earn $40,000 annually.
Camera operators are responsible for setting up, operating and maintaining the cameras used to capture pictures and film for various media projects. They arrange each shot, applying their knowledge of light, filters, lenses and camera settings in order to obtain the highest quality footage. Camera operators work closely with directors in order to understand the filming sequence and desired visual effects. On average, camera operators earn $43,000 per year.
Sometimes referred to as the director of photography, a cinematographer is responsible for overseeing and directing all audio/visual crew members. They manage the lighting, framing, cameras and audio in order to achieve the director’s artistic and technical visions for the piece of media. Cinematographers have a high-level position, and thus earn $81,000 annually on average.**
Film directors hold the highest on-set position. They’re responsible for working with each department to plan, coordinate and execute the film sequence. Film directors are also responsible for the overall vision of the project. They select the scripts and determine how they should be interpreted and visually portrayed. Since film directors essentially have the final say in the production process, they earn a generous salary averaging $91,000 per year.**
Film editors are responsible for compiling raw footage, then organizing and editing it into one string. They work closely with directors in order to trip the footage to the required length, determine the audio and visual effects needed, and cut sequences to the desired angles. It’s important for film editors to have strong computer skills, as they spend most of their time working with video editing software. Film editors earn on average $51,000 per year.
A film producer is one of the top positions within the industry, holding heavy responsibilities and the overall success of the project in their hands. Producers are also often investors, and hold a large financial stake in the project. They are in charge of planning and coordinating the many aspects of motion pictures or media productions, overseeing writers, directors and department managers to ensure production is completed on time and within budget. Film producer salaries vary drastically depending on the size of the project, but on average they earn $67,000 annually. In addition to a base salary, film producers also generally receive a percentage of profits gained from the final production.
Property masters often have a background or interest in art or interior design. They are responsible for planning, acquiring and setting up the set props used in various productions, such as stage performances, film sets, commercials or television shoots. Property masters earn on average $62,000 per year.**
Talent directors are responsible for seeking out, auditioning and casting performers for various talent parts. Talent directors are employed in many different industries, but most commonly stage productions, film, television and radio. They work closely with producers in order to determine the specific attributes and numbers of performers they need for a production. On average, talent directors earn $67,000 per year.
A technical director is an upper-level position, responsible for overseeing all technical departments including engineering, production and equipment maintenance. They must be coordinated and organized, and have strong managerial and critical thinking skills. The average annual salary of a technical director is $67,000.
*According to Onetonine.org
**According to Indeed.com
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