Careers in Films

"Every time I go to a movie it is magic no matter what the movie is about." - Steven Spielberg

We’ve all wanted to be a part of the movies since we were little kids. We all wanted to punch the villain and save the girl. From Charlie Chaplin to Brad Pitt, from Dilip Kumar to Ranbir Kapoor, we all have our favorites that we have grown up idolizing. But, movies are much more than what we just see on screen.  They consist of a world where approximately 300 – 400 people are involved in the completion of a single film!

Most of us, if given a chance, would love to be Actors. And why not? An actor gets fame, money and respect. But there is flipside to the acting profession as well. Actors hardly have any time for their family and friends, have no privacy what so ever and have very little job security. More importantly, there is MASSIVE competition in this profession and sometimes being a great actor is not enough.

There are many other aspects to film making other than acting. Getting into direction is a great career option. Directors are involved in every aspect of film – making, from the acting bit to the framing of the shots etc. The Director is the story – teller. They convert the script into a visual medium. It is the Director’s vision that is translated onto the big screen. They need to be creative, multi – talented and have great leadership skills.

Some people just have the knack of making money. They know how to convince people to finance their projects. If you feel that you can manage finances well and extract the best out of every individual, you can become a successful film Producer. A Producer is not involved in the creative aspects of film – making, but funds the film and plays a major role in giving the film a good release. The film belongs to the Producer and whatever profits the film makes, go to him.

Becoming a Writer is another great career option in the Film – Industry. This requires no formal degree. If you feel you have the ability to tell interesting stories in an innovative manner, you can become a writer. Writers are responsible for the ‘seed’ of the idea. They create characters, situations and stories with just pen and paper. As a writer, you can write Dialogues, Scripts, Screenplays or even Lyrics.

The person who’s responsible for handling the camera and setting up the lighting for every shot is the Director of Photography (DOP) or the Cinematographer. He’s one of the most important people on a film set. Before every shoot, the Director and the Cinematographer sit and discuss what the look and the feel of the film will be and how will they achieve it.

A film comprises of individual shots that are joint together. The person who does this is the Editor. Once the film is shot, the editor looks at the footage carefully and makes a plan of how he will edit the film. He joins separate shots together to come up with a whole film. Editing is the only aspect of film making that cannot be found in any other form of art. The rhythm and pace of a film depends greatly on the Editor.

Due to the audio – visual nature of films, there are vast opportunities in the field of Music and Sound as well. If you’re good at composing tunes, you can become a Music Composer. Music composers make music according to the mood and feel of the film. If you’re blessed with a talent in singing, you can become a Singer. Singers sing as per the requirements of the Music Composer and then perform live stage shows as well.

There are great career opportunities in the field of sound effects. If you’re interested in playing with sounds and recording different sounds, you might end up becoming a Sound Designer. Sound Designers come up with a particular sound tone for each film as per the mood of the film. They record each and every sound effect separately and add effects to dialogues, movements etc. Sound plays a major role in establishing the mood and texture of the film.

There is another aspect of film - making that most people don’t notice. This aspect is called Production Design. This includes all the visual elements that help create a particular look for the film. This includes sets, props, flowers, pots etc. The Production Designer sits with the Director and decides on a look and feel for the film. The sets are constructed and the props are created according to that look and feel. So if you’re good at Art & Designing and want to get into movies, this might be the perfect job for you.

One of the most upcoming aspects of Film – making is in the field of Visual Effects and Animation. With Film – making going digital and the rise of Information Technology, this part of cinema has started to boom. Almost every film today uses some or the other kind of Visual Effects. With the rise of computers, high quality animated films have also come up that do great business at the box office.  Therefore if you’re good at sketching and drawing, and like to create a separate world through your drawings, this field may provide you with just the opportunity you need.

Films are a huge industry and comprise of many disciplines and opportunities. You need to be determined and hard – working, no matter what you do. If you’re successful the rewards are great. You become a part of an Industry that is creative and well paying. But it is also important to not be deceived by the glamorous surface of the movie – making industry. In reality, it is a very tough industry to be a part of and luck is major factor in determining your success along with hard work and talent. Therefore, it is important to love movies if you want to be a part of them. If you just want to be a part of this industry for the glitz and glamour, you’ll end up disappointing yourself.

Entrance Exam


Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.