The Media and Entertainment (M & E) industry in India is currently valued at $20 billion and is estimated to grow up to $30 billion by 2019. Known as the world’s most prolific film ‘factory’, India churns out 1000+ films annually, while Hollywood’s average is significantly lower at 500.
With such a large film and television industry, and a growing number of cinemas and cinemagoers, film making is both an exciting and lucrative field.
Here are five stellar careers you can pursue with a degree in film making:
Cinematographers use their knowledge of lighting, camera lenses, exposure, and filtration in order to construct the mood, feel, and effect in every frame, shot, and scene of the movie. They work closely with the director, cameramen, and all filming equipment in order to capture the highest quality of film possible.
Much of payment in the film depends on the type of project, its duration and one’s level of experience. In India, an assistant cinematographer who has just joined the industry is paid Rs. 84,000 – Rs. 96,000 per year. But as experience increases and reputation spreads, his/her salary can be between Rs. 480,000 and Rs. 600,000 a year. In general, for cinematographers, the motion picture industry tends to pay more than the television industry. A successful, award-winning cinematographer can earn up to 2-3 crores per feature film project!
- First Assistant Director (1st AD)
Not to be confused with a director’s personal assistant, an Assistant Director’s job includes many administrative duties such as:
- Recruiting and interviewing the production crew
- Arranging meetings between production members
- Assisting in preparation of publicity material
- Coordinating with the post-production team
- Creating call sheets and deciding shoot orders
The salary for 1st ADs is never fixed and depends on the production budget. A degree holder can join as a 3rd AD or 4th AD and progress towards 1st AD through experience and rapport. A beginner can be paid anywhere from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15,000 a month. More experienced ADs can earn a good Rs. 30, 000 – Rs. 50,000 a month. A 1st AD with many years on the job and completely indispensable to the director can earn close to 2 lakhs a month with a major production house!
Becoming an AD is normally regarded as a stepping stone to becoming a film director.
A screenwriter is in charge of creating original, plausible and above all, filmable scripts for directors and producers. Creating a script, complete with instructions for camera angles, shots, and lighting are among a screenwriter’s duties. The process also involves:
- Brainstorming ideas or selecting a source to adapt a story from
- Conducting research on story material
- Liaising with producers and editors to ensure screenplay schedules are followed
- Rewriting the screenplay during production in case of budget concerns, cast changes, etc.
Most screenwriters are self-employed and their income is based on how much a producer is willing to pay for their script. Their salaries increase as their work portfolio and recognition increases. In India, an aspiring writer can begin earning an average of Rs. 246,404 per year. With experience and credit in successful films, the payment is done as a percentage of the film budget (like 5% or even 15% for larger productions). In the US, a screenwriter can earn an average of $60,000 a year.
- Technical Director (TD)
A Technical Director in television is responsible for ensuring that all equipment in the studio functions properly. In addition, he/she monitors what is broadcast and checks that it adheres to the network regulations and policies. Deciding on video transitions, visual effects, and lens choices in concert with video operators is one of their main duties.
According to Payscale India, a TD earns a median of Rs. 2,524,700 and pay increases with experience.
- Casting Director
Casting Directors short list, recruit and interview actors and actresses for movies, television serials, and advertisements. Their duties include:
- Reviewing a script and creating casting breakdowns
- Distribute or publish necessary information to talent agencies
- Review demo reels, photographs and production credits of applicants
- Negotiate contracts with the performer or agent
As with many jobs in the film and television industry, casting directors and assistants often don’t get a standard rate. In the US, assistants, make $100 – $150 a day and directors $300 – $500. Top casting directors can make up to $100,000 per feature film.
In order to pursue a film making career, consider film making courses that can send you down this path by providing industry support and successful placements. Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism is a digital media institute that offers such film courses in Pune and Bangalore, which equip you with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to make a break the entertainment field. With professional studios equipped with soundboards, lighting setups, and high-end film cameras, you get a hands-on glimpse of what it is like to work in the entertainment industry.
With the right education and a helpful nudge, a career as a cinematographer or screenwriter is within your grasp!
Images:All RF from Pixabay