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Three Professions within the Film Industry - Assignment Example

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Journalism and mass media communication encompasses various professions, all of which require a certain level of knowledge and experience to excel and possibly gain recognition. As a film enthusiast, I have chosen to delve into three professions within the industry that are neither widely known nor receive appreciation, for this assignment, I have chosen to look at gaffers, key grip and boom operators…
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Three Professions within the Film Industry
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Three Professions within the Film Industry Journalism and mass media communication encompasses various professions, all of which require a certain level of knowledge and experience to excel and possibly gain recognition. As a film enthusiast, I have chosen to delve into three professions within the industry that are neither widely known nor receive appreciation, for this assignment, I have chosen to look at gaffers, key grip and boom operators. Film production involves three phases starting with getting the right script and identifying visuals that match it, setting up the location for production and lastly undertaking the actual production of the film. All these require people with various expertises implying that filmmaking necessitates a combined effort from experienced and skills persons. Gaffers are technical people responsible for lighting during the making of a film. Alternately referred to as lighting technicians, they must have in-depth knowledge on the various ranges of lights, subsequent equipment and techniques to be used when filming. However, their knowledge of the vision of the producers, set and requirements of the director and scriptwriters is essential as well. The gaffer must ensure that his team is not in the way when a film is being produced and all persons under him should be kept aware of changes being made to the way the lighting works (Academy of Art University). This ensures that they fit into the working of the entire production crew efficiently. The technicality of this profession arises from the fact that one must be a qualified electrician, who can guarantee that the electric current requirements are met and that there are no overloads. Since the production of a set will be spread out meaning the area will be large, gaffers should have just as expertly trained person under him or her to lend a helping hand. This will ensure all lighting needs are met and well-coordinated (Film Connection Film Institute). This profession deserves acknowledgement because of the efforts put in during filmmaking. When various scenes within a movie are being shot, the crew responsible for lighting has to be available constantly. This usually translates to long working hours spread over a few months, until the production of the film is completed. For this reason, gaffers are not expected to merely have knowledge on logistics and mechanics; they should also be team leaders who are able to ensure all persons within their crew are getting along well and fatigue experienced due to long working hours does not interfere with performance of their duties. Anyone seeking to pursue this profession should therefore endeavor to work in different film sets so as to understand the various needs of different productions (Mamer 56). Working closely with gaffers, key grips are also crucial in the making of a film, and their responsibility primarily lies in equipment and construction features of a film (Jarvis). They overlap with gaffers because they can be found on lighting tracks trying to move across a set; besides that, they can be seen building scaffolding. He or she will oversee other grips depending on the logistics within a set such as the movement of camera equipment, and thus they must have physical strength. The technicality of this position arises from the fact that the filming of a particular shot may be difficult in terms of moving different equipment. In addition, a film set requires adjusting in order to create the right scenery. This calls for construction skills from the key grip as this is part of their responsibilities. Overall, the key grip belongs to a pre-production team that consists of the gaffer, producer in charge of set location along with director of photography (Taylor and Parish 208). A boom operator works in the production crew as the person in charge of capturing live sound through one type of microphone known as the boom microphone (Creative skill set). The technicality of this position arises from the fact that the boom operator will be responsible for the operating the boom mic and the supporting body microphones and area. This demands that they have knowledge and training on acoustics along with sound recording. A boom operator works in concert with the sound mixer to identify the acoustics of a shooting location, and establish a microphone system that will adequately capture the sound. It also requires one to have physical strength as the microphone will be held up for long durations (Creative skill set). Pursuing the profession of a gaffer begins with one getting qualified as an electrician and then developing an artistic sense to work successfully in film production. Such knowledge can be gained in film school with the repute and connection to experts within the field, through internships for example the Academy of Art University's School of Motion Pictures & Television. A key grip is highly a technical profession and as such one must seek to gain knowledge on lighting and camera equipment, be creative and tactful which helps when solving problems on set. Experience is also essential and it is thus advisable for one to begin by working in commercials and promotional advertisements. Lastly, becoming a boom operator calls for one to explore, experiment and learn about the various audio technologies and their capabilities. More important, one must learn about on-set protocol and this is best gained through experience from starting out as a sound assistant. One should get training on sound equipment but majorly, this is a hands-on learning profession. Works Cited Academy of Art University. “Gaffer”. n.d, Web. 28 May2013. Creative skill set “Boom Operator”. n.d. Web. 28 May 2013 Film Connection Film Institute.“What does a Gaffer do?”. 2011. Web. May 28, 2013 Jarvis, Lee. “TV/Film Industry Career Profile: Key Grip”. Media Match. January 2013. Web. 28 May 2013 Mamer, Bruce. “Film Production Technique: Creating the accomplished image”. London: Cengage Learning. 2009. Print. Taylor, A. and Parish, James. “Career Opportunities in Television and Cable”. New York: Checkmark Books. 2006. Print. Read More
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