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    Camera operators, sound mixers, and editors work together to create the moving images we watch on movie screens, televisions, tablets, and smart phones. As immersive formats such as VR and 360 blend the physical and digital worlds, careers in film and video production are evolving to meet the challenges of these new storytelling mediums.

    Film and Video Production Salaries on the Rise

    Employment of film and video editors and camera operators is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Production companies and freelancers are working with new content delivery methods, which may lead to more work for editors and camera operators.


    Film and Video Production Careers

    Camera Operators are the first people to use the camera's eyepiece to assess how all the elements of performance, art direction, lighting, composition and camera movement come together. After the Director and cast have rehearsed and blocked the shots, the Camera Operator and Director of Photography decide where to position the camera and what lenses and supporting equipment to use.

    Directors of Photography (DoP) provide a film with its unique visual identity, or look. DoPs create the desired look using lighting, framing, camera movement, etc. They collaborate closely with the camera crew: Camera Operators, 1st and 2nd Assistant Camera, and Grips). After reading the screenplay, DoPs meet with the Director to discuss the visual style of the film. They conduct research and preparation including carrying out technical recces of locations. They prepare a list of all required camera equipment, including lights, film stock, camera, cranes and all accessories etc., for the production office to order.

    The Production Sound Mixer and Boom Operator plan where they should place microphones to get the best possible sound quality. After each take, Production Sound Mixers (who are situated off set, but close by), check the quality of sound recording and, if necessary, ask for another take. Production Sound Mixers work with the Boom Operator to select suitable types of microphone. They carefully reposition these microphones for each set-up, to ensure adequate sound coverage. If music is required in a scene, Production Sound Mixers also set up playback equipment and speakers for the actors.

    Boom Operators assist the Production Sound Mixer and operate the boom microphone. This is either hand-held on a long arm or dolly mounted (on a moving platform). If radio or clip microphones are required, Boom Operators position them correctly around the set or location, or on actors’ clothing. Boom Operators are responsible for positioning microphones so that Sound Mixers can capture the best quality dialogue and sound effects. If this is done well, a great deal of money can be saved by not having to re-record (post-sync) the dialogue at a later stage.

    The Editor works closely with the Director to ensure that a story flows effortlessly from beginning to end, each shot is carefully chosen and edited into a series of scenes, which are in turn assembled to create the finished film. Because scenes are shot and edited out of sequence, Editors may work on scenes from the end of the film before those at the beginning, and must therefore be able to maintain a good sense of how the story is unfolding.

    Does this sound like you?

    • I want to tell stories.
    • I have a good sense of visual composition, perspective and movement.
    • I’m interested in acoustics and audio technology.
    • I like to combine creativity with technical skills.
    • I pay close attention to details.
    • I like to collaborate and work as part of a team.

    Take the Next Step:  Enroll in Media Arts at The Seattle Skills Center