Career in Film Technology

Introduction::

Film making requires all the knowledge and skills that are taught in a Management programme like PGDBA. It has all the P’s in it and it is also a Project. Film itself is a product; for example, lagaan is a product but it is a product like a ship which is made through a Project, which is taught in the Management programme. The finance for the Project, comes from venture capitalists who put their money into the making of a film. Venture capitalism has by itself become a subject of study. In this age of knowledge economy it is the ‘idea’ that sells. It is the idea behind the story of a film that is taken to the financiers who can be treated as venture capitalists. The concepts of strategy also apply to film making; for example, the film maker will decide the theme and this has its routes in the strategy because the trend of public likes and dislikes, the timing of making the film and its, release, the competitor, who may also by releasing the film at a particular time or may be making a picture on the same theme etc., are all the strategy factors. The goal of short-term strategy is the selection of Hero, Heroine, Story writer, Director etc., because this goal is achieved at the most in two or three years. The second P means positioning of the film and this is covered by huge advertising PR articles etc that precede the making of a film. Some procedures position their film for a certain segment of population, while others are for the masses. Branding, in the ‘banner’ in film making. This description also covers the P called Promotion but positioning also requires the establishment of channels. Thus, there are film distributors, who may be likened to the wholesalers and cinema hall owners are the retailers. The description given above very briefly describes how all the principles of Management apply to film making. In the Masters Course, not only all these aspects are covered but the Course also includes the technological units of study, like camera handling, editing, lighting, acting, etc. All those who will do the Master’s Course, will be taught all the technological skills as a general subject with specialization particularly in editing and market research for the ‘idea’ of the film. Ram Gopal Verma passed his Engineering course and confessed that he was failure as an Engineer but his creativity brought him success in Films.

Ever wondered how films are made or for that matter television serials or other programmes produced? Who are the people who bring out characters which become a part of everyday lives of the people? Who create those sounds and music which stir the right cord somewhere deep down your heart? In addition to the characters played by various artists, there are technical experts who work really hard to make the movies possible.

The Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of the number of films produced every year. Even though feature films constitute the dominant player, today documentaries, newsreels, corporate and advertising films and music videos have also grown in prominence. Therefore, this industry, despite being unorganized, provides employment to a large number of people- most of them behind the camera, which is where they say “the action is”.

Nature of Work:

The various technical departments in the film making process would broadly include: Direction, Photography (Camera), Sound Recording and Sound Engineering, Art Direction, Film Editing, Cinematography and Production.

Direction:

The director is the “captain” of the ship, that is, he coordinates all the activities related to the making of a film. Therefore, a director must not only have the ability to visualize scenes, approve the script and choose the cast, he or she must also have a fine understanding of music and photography, and possess coordination and management skills. In recent times, Ad film direction has emerged as a lucrative proposition.

Photography:

To pursue a career in photography in films, a formal knowledge of equipment and techniques, perceptual creativity, the ability to visualize, to observe animate and inanimate objects and capture them on the camera will take you a long way in your career.

Sound Recording & Sound Engineering:

Sound recordists are responsible for recording sound while shooting, recording songs and background music, dialogues and other sound effects. The sound recordist uses the sound mixer to put together the various elements of the soundtrack and edits it to give it a final shape.

Sound engineers

in collaboration with the sound recordists, have to create synthesized music for the desired effects. These professionals must possess the ability to understand and differentiate between various tones, notes, modulations and frequencies of sound. To become a sound recordist/ engineer, one must have a formal diploma in the field from a reputed institute. The basic criteria to get into these institutes is 10+2 with Physics as a subject.

Cinematography:

The Cinematographers take part in laboratory development of special effects by multimedia and other cinema technology. They compose each scene to be shot, in consultation with the director. Much of the special effects and highly impressive scenes that we see in cinema are the handiwork of the cinematographers.
To be a cinematographer, one must have a good understanding of colour and compositional and other basic aesthetic elements of visual imagery.

Art Direction:

This specialization, though not very technical in nature, creates the look of the film. It is the art department and the art director which are responsible for the designs and the ambience of the scenes. This profession has gained a lot of prominence in the past decade. It now demands a lot of creativity and understanding of various environments.

To make it as an art director, it is advisable to first get a diploma in art and design from any premier institute.

Editing:

After the shooting is complete, the editors edit the entire rush to give it a coherent form in line with screenplay. Depending upon the caliber of the editor a powerful film can be turned into trash and even an ordinary screenplay can be made into a box- office success. Editors must have a good sense of rhythm and good analytical and logical reasoning abilities.

Aspiring editors can stay and learn from a senior editor before seeking a job, but formal training from an institute would definitely give them an extra edge.

Production:

Producers organize and coordinate the different activities of technicians, cameramen, script writers, sound recordists, music directors, dance directors, fight masters, art directors, costume designers and others. They also arrange finances and take care of the marketing and legal aspects, besides having a hand in selecting the cast.
Therefore, a producer needs the ability to remain calm under all circumstances than any formal qualifications.

Job opportunities:

Freelance, part- time or full-time work opportunities exist in various aspects of film- making. These are available at film studios, production companies, editing studios or laboratories, government departments that make films and the film department of advertising agencies.

Getting a break in this industry is the toughest part. The film industry is unorganized and new faces are not easily welcome, especially if you want to work off- screen. Newcomers have to prove their talent and sincerity. There are two ways of gaining entry into this “big bad world of cinema”- (a) Convince a producer/ director to take you under their wing and teach you the ropes. You can also take up a job with a production house as an intern and work your way up. Most of the world’s greatest filmmakers started out this way. (b) Take formal training from a film institute.

Remuneration: The job and the pay both essentially depend upon the quality of the work of the professional and networking. Further, it also depends upon one’s specialization, the type of film, its budget and ultimately negotiation between the producer and the concerned person. While for Hindi mainstream commercial films the remuneration runs into lakhs of rupees. For short features and documentaries, it may be limited to a few thousands.

Television:

TV is a very dynamic industry. Though there is a great difference between the cinema work and television work, all the specializations mentioned earlier have a lot of scope in this field as well. Since here work has to be done on a regular basis, all the channels employ some people on a permanent basis. The remunerations also very from channel to channel and programme to programme (serials, documentaries, news, music channels, etc.)
There is a stiff competition in this field and you have to consistently put in maximum effort to become and to remain successful. Plenty of patience is required for over- night success stories are hardly there. However, if you are really good, the sky is the limit- be it in terms of fame or money. It is important to remember that film making is not all glamour and fun.

Post- Production:

Post- production refers to all activities that follow the production, be it a film, television serial or commercial or an animation. With the advent of the latest technologies, Post- Production has gone digital, which saves precious man hours and ensures better quality. The process is linear and utilizes a combination of analogue and digital machines to execute the various steps, the effects and composite market uses the latest and most cutting- edge technology from the computing and creative world to put together realistic visuals.

To be a professional in the different aspects of post- production, it is imperative to undergo training with multimedia training institutes. Some of the courses available are digital audio and video editing which teaches a student all about the software related to the same including the fundamentals and the concepts, digital film- making and editing, which covers the entire range of information related to film- making and editing.
India is the second- highest film producing nation in the world. Therefore, there is tremendous scope for people in this profession. Secondly, India has become a global hub, in the fields of animation and multimedia. With the added advantages of cheap, qualified and English speaking manpower it has an edge over other countries in outsourcing.

The salary range is in the region of Rs. 4,000- 5,000 at the entry level, though it can go upto around Rs. 8,000- 9,000 for talented freshers. With the experience of a couple of years, the salary may go upto Rs. 40,000- 50,0000 per month. Basically, sky is the limit for the talented and hardworking people.

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