Top 5 most under-valued careers in the film industry


There are some careers in the film industry that are less than glamorous but they prove to be vital in the overall picture. While many of us will have a burning desire to be the lead actor, the director or producer of a big movie, it's those smaller roles that really make productions work.

Without the hard 'manual labor' of crew members the whole machine doesn't work, and I want to give a little respect to those that achieve great things in these areas, but are somehow forgotten or under-acknowledged. (Also somehow the pay isn't that great either. How come?)

The top 5 under-valued film roles

1. Production assistant

How can any film production, big or small, function without the help of production assistants? These guys and girls are the frontline. Whatever problem there is on set, they are somehow involved. Whether the tea has gone stale, Christian Bale is losing his cool, or the 2nd AD needs a back massage, those folks clear the smoke, and make the sky blue.

2. Personal assistant

How iconic of a role is this? If you've been a PA you know how super hard it is to function in life doing this job. 10 hour days? Forget it. We're talking 20. From the backlog of 300 emails to dealing with the top brass at major companies, the high stakes, and the '24/7' nature of this role makes it an essential career in the film industry. Unfortunately PAs never get cheered on the red carpet.

3. Subtitles

Outsourcing this amazing art to Bangladesh just doesn't make sense. Subtitling is an art many of us seem to have forgotten. Translating a movie accurately into another language, and keeping those subtle nuances in is so key to this role. A lot of this work is being outsourced at the moment, from LA to Paris. It needs to be preserved.

4. Boom operator

The guy/girl who holds the mic above the frame is practically the star of motion pictures. Without his/her ability to point that mic consistently to capture the best depth of sound, we'd be spending years doing ADR. Beyond that, capturing sound in the action of a scene is like a sport. Those arms need to be strong during a monologue, and the boom op is vital in capturing the main dialogues for most feature films.

5. Extra / Background artist

Who can forget background artists? Practically everyone. Audiences don't even think about them, but the folks that do this work, are the ones that make a film come to life. Whether it's a battle scene in feudal Japan, a public brawl in a bar, or a crowd just walking down a street, these under-acknowledged people are always somehow part of the action in our favorite films.

Well there you have it. You might want to check out some film tutorials to get yourself up to speed with what's happening the industry.

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