How to choose the right Career choice in Film | Brennen Higgins | Skillshare

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How to choose the right Career choice in Film

teacher avatar Brennen Higgins, Everything video and photo related!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. How to choose the right career for film

    • 2. Entry level job: The PA

    • 3. Different Jobs: Camera Department

    • 4. Becoming a Best Boy, Grip and Gaffer

    • 5. Becoming a Set Designer

    • 6. Becoming a Editor or Sound Operator

    • 7. How to choose your path with Directing and Producing

    • 8. Different jobs that get overlooked in Film

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About This Class

Lets discuss some of the different roles played in film. Today we will cover everything from movie editor to movie maker. Lets dive in. And as always, as any questions you would like! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Brennen Higgins

Everything video and photo related!


Hello, my names Brennen Higgins. I'm here to teach you everything you need to know about cameras, photography and film. I've always had a passion for photography and film, so much so that I went to school for it. I received my bachelors in Film and Photography and hope my skills and knowledge can benefit others!

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1. How to choose the right career for film: So if you're wanting to take film from a hobby to a career, is a couple of things you need to know and there's a specificly a bunch of jobs that you need to know that you need to kind of pick from and decide what career path you want to take. And let's talk about the different types of jobs there are. And let's talk about what might be the better path for you to take. Let's get started. 2. Entry level job: The PA: So before we talk about the more serious jobs, let's talk about what probably all of you are going to have to do if you want to make it in film, you're going to have to become a production assistant to start with. So production assistant can be anything depending on how big of a shoot or how small the shoot. A lot of times if you're on a very small shoot, a production assistant could do as much as be a grip which is carrying carrying the equipment. Pretty much anything anyone asks you to do onset is kinda what a production system is. So you might have to go get food. You might have to go get coffee for your actors or actresses or directors. There's been times where I had to take producers to the airport and pick people from the airport off. I mean, that's kind of a list of everything. And you're not particularly going to be, say necessarily doing things I'm set that you'd probably want to do. You probably not gonna be working with any type of camera. You probably not going to be doing anything, but you will be onset and that's the important thing. So you're probably gonna be a production assistant. And you might be a production assistant for like a year, you never know. But the thing is, is whenever you are a production assistant and allows you to see every department there isn't a kind of allows you to get to know a lot of people and you get a lot of the connections from it. So production systems probably going to start with. So then after your production system for awhile, you'll probably branch off into one of these next categories. 3. Different Jobs: Camera Department: So let's talk about the camera department first. So you have three main roles, which is an AC, assistant camera, a camera operator, and a director of photography. So let's start where you're probably going to start off with if you're wanting anything related to camera, and that's going to be your AAC. So what is an AC? Essentially, an AC is literally an assistant camera. They can be anything from a focus polar, which if you don't know what to focus pullers, they control depth of field basically during a shot. So that's something very common that a AC can do. Ac also builds the camera's off and they also do like Len swaps lens cleaning, camera cleaning. Basically, they makes sure that camera is set up for the camera operator and the director of photography. So basically, that whole setup is the job of an AC. Now, if you want to look more actually like being on camera, you do have camera operators in literally a camera operators sole goal is to operate the camera. They don't have any control of lights, they don't have anything related to AAC. They literally control the camera when it's reporting. So if that's what you wanna do, there's nothing wrong with being a camera operator or an AC and film at all. I mean, they're very, very great jobs. And now the third and the most stressful is the director of photography. So the DP or the cinematographer, a lot of people get misconstrued. They don't necessarily record. But what they do is I set up the lighting. They control basically the whole atmosphere in the lighting. They control camera movements, and they're in control of framing. So basically the whole setup of the shot and how the shot looks is related to the DP and then the cam objects records it. And then the AAC would build and have the camera ready for them. So that's kind of a role for the camera department. Now, of course, when you're on these bigger sets, sometimes you know, they may have 1, 2, 3 assists in cameras. And they'll literally have somebody build the camera. They'll have somebody be a focus polar. So there are more specific jobs on bigger shoots. But typically you're probably not going to be on those. There's also say like there's a steady cam operator. And steady cam operator is literally a camera operators specialize in doing steady cam movement. So there's a lot of little specifics, but those are the main three that you want to look for in the camera department, if that is where you want to choose. Now let's talk about the lighting and the Grip Department. 4. Becoming a Best Boy, Grip and Gaffer: So we previously talked about the camera department. Now let's talk about the lighting department and the Grip Department. Now of course, there are many roles just like in camera, but we'll specify them down to like the grips and best boys, the electricians and the gaffers. So basketball, what does your busboy you best way is kind of your key electrician. So he's in charge of basically all the lighting output and the total voltage. And no is just basically in control of making sure your generators or whatever you're plugging in 2 does not blow. And it's one of the more underrated jobs and film. Because if you didn't have your best boy, your electrician, and if you blew a light or short-circuited a light, potentially ruined whole production for a day or multiple days. So underrated Lee, heroes of the bus boys. And then you have your gaffers. Now your gaffers work with your sentiment, refers. They're basically in control, setting up lights and basically shaping and doing everything a cinematographer would need with the lights so they're in control of the build for the lighting. And then you have your grips, which grips are more in charge of just unloading equipment, setting up equipment wherever things need to go. They're in charge of basically all of the manual labor that is in the film. Now though, the role isn't as important, don't shy away from being a grip. Grips get paid a lot of money. And just so you guys know anything in film, if you're a union, you will get a lot of money. So it doesn't matter if you're an AAC. A grip doesn't matter what you're doing. If you're in the union, you're going to be making a lot of money. If you're not in the union, that is okay, totally fine. But you will still be making you could be making upwards of $500 if your grip a day, $600 a day if you're a grip. So don't be, don't be persuaded just to do some of these bigger roles. These small roles like grip, if you're fine with being a grip, pay very well. So that's always something to remember. Now let's talk about the art department. 5. Becoming a Set Designer : Now if you're on the artistic side, let's talk about the art department. Now. The art director is in control of actually creating the whole set. So they'll work closely with the director to kinda get the feel and the look of the film. There'll be in control of actually the whole creative process of building that set. Now you also have your prop makers, which like it sounds, you'd be a prop maker. So if you're somebody that likes to build stuff, a primate group B grade for you. Now you also have your set designers. Now if you're a set designer or a set decorator, this be gray for somebody that's like an interior designer. So if you'd like to build the look of spaces, it would be perfect for you. Now if you like drawing, a great thing would be a storyboard artist. So a storyboard artists essentially would work with the direct draft of the script is done. They would totally design the look of it on paper. So you'll have your script, you'll write out and design all the scenes and you'll draw out all the scenes. And basically, this will be an easier way that they'll be able to get a feel of how the film will look and how it will flow. And it kinda helps decide on the pace of the film. So there are overlooked, but storyboard creators are so important to film. Now that's it for the Art Department. Let's talk about the bigger roles you can have now. 6. Becoming a Editor or Sound Operator: Now there are two other departments. Now let's throw these together. So you have your sound and then you have your editing for post-production. So you do have your editing department for editing, editing. Pretty simple. So I don't want to make a whole video or a whole section on it. Just because you understand that if you want to be a video editor, it's kind of self-explanatory. You just a video editor, you know. So you as an editor understand exactly what you're doing. You know, there's not a lot to tell you aside from editing, but you do have variable things like sound mixing. And of course you could be a boom operator onset or you could do sound mixing post-production. And now, if you're doing post-production work, that's when it becomes very fun because you get to actually create sounds with, say. A lot of times you'll see instead of somebody getting punched in a film, that sound effect is actually sometimes like somebody hitting a watermelon. So like sound design can be very creative. So if you're wanting to be on the creative side of sound, that's a really interesting topic to go with. So that's kinda of the two, the two main between editing and sound. So let's move on to the next. 7. How to choose your path with Directing and Producing: So let's talk about all the roles of the actual production side now. So starting with a line producer, this person is in charge of budgeting. They're in charge of budgeting both the actors. Location's, everything from the cost of what your equipment is. A lot of producers basically in charge of all of that. Now, an actual producer or producers kind of in charge of the whole overview of the film, are in charge of looking over the script and deciding what everything will be needed. They're in charge of the locations, are kind of in charge of the whole overview of the actual film itself. I'm the director side. You have your assistant director and sometimes you have an assistant director one, you have a second assistant director. So basically the assistant directors job is to have a script breakdown and decide basically what days needed to be shot with what scenes. And basically they're in charge of just the whole schedule. And also scheduling and making sure paces being being kept up on set, making sure nothing kinda falls behind that. Also in charge of getting the actors prepared, letting them know when they're scenes are up. Basically everything related to keeping the production on schedule is in charge of the AD's as well as a director as obviously in charge of basically the whole overview of the film. They're in charge of the feel and the look of the film. They're also in charge of directing the actors. And Fisker, the director controls the whole overview of the film. And basically all the creativity comes down to the director as well. So they also work with the DP to talk about camera movement. What kind of a one in every scene, what they're trying to get out of the scenes and basically the whole overview. Also to go back to a producer, producer also sees out through the whole entire film. So post-production on the film. A producer will also be in charge of the distribution of sad film. So if that's something that you kinda look forward to and you'd like the marketing side of it. Maybe go with the producer side. Now you also have your production managers. They're like the line producer almost in the sense where the control budget, but it's more of the day-to-day budgeting. So a lot of times it's craft services or budgeting, what they can spend for that day and what they need and what they don't need and kinda eliminating everything and having the whole budget for that day you kind of prepared. So if you're more onset organize wanting to work with budget, PM is great for you. 8. Different jobs that get overlooked in Film: So that's ideally kinda minerals and film. Now there are a lot of smaller roles that you may really like. One of them being like location scout. So if you're somebody that would be interested in something like that, It's kind of a really strange rule and it's hard to get into. But location scout, there's a bunch of different types of like smaller jobs like back that can be very, very beneficial. So now that you know the overview of all of the types of jobs, the important part is for you to decide what you want to go on, what path you want to choose. And remember, I would really recommend kind of sticking to your guns on what you want to do. And don't just take different jobs that you maybe don't know about or this and that because you may go down a rabbit hole, gets stuck in something you don't want to be in. So now your job is to decide what you wanna do in film. And let me know in the discussion what you would want to do and what role you think you would like to have in film.