We’re all familiar with that long list of names as the credits role, but have you ever wondered what all those people actually do? As the A-listers descend on Cannes for its annual film festival, we take a look at some of the lesser-known jobs in the film industry, away from the glitz and glamour of the red carpet.
From scriptwriting to special effects, casting to catering, there’s a vast range of skills required to bring a feature film to your local cinema screen.
On a film set, the collective roles behind the camera are referred to as the crew. These include technical jobs such as Cameraman, Lighting and Sound Engineers, through to Make-up Artist, Costume Designer and Set-Decorator.
Some roles have unusual names, often particular to the film industry. The Gaffer is the Chief Electrician or Lighting Technician and the Best Boy is the next in command. The Grip is in charge of building and maintaining all the equipment that supports the cameras, whilst the Greensman buys, arranges and maintains foliage and other greenery on the set.
A popular entry level role is a Runner. Runners help everything to run smoothly and provide a range of support in all areas of film production. Having gained skills and experience on set, Runners often progress to other roles, either within the Production Office or in other departments.
Once a film has finished shooting it moves into Post Production. Here the film is edited and any effects added. Foley Artists reproduce everyday sounds and sound effects to enhance the sound track of a film. This is because sounds are often lost or never even created when the film is being shot. Some sound effects, such as footsteps over wooden floorboards, may be recreated in a sound studio by performing the same action again, whilst others can come from the most unlikely of sources. Many explosions, for example, are nothing more than a carrier bag being crinkled very close to a microphone.
The finished film then goes into the distribution phase, which is about getting the film released into cinemas. Finally, it reaches the cinema, referred to in the industry as the exhibition sector. Here jobs include Projectionist, Film Buyer, and Merchandising Manager.
For further information on careers in the film industry visit: http://www.creativeskillset.org/film/jobs/