A bachelor’s degree in digital video and media production can set you up for a number of career choices.
The versatility of these programs allows you to find your niche in the industry and do the kind of work that best suits you. Whether you see yourself setting up cameras and lighting or overseeing a script, there are many ways in which a BFA in digital video and media production can help you gain a foothold in the field.
Here, we’ll take a look at several potential jobs you can find after you graduate, and briefly discuss what these professionals do. You’ll see—from full-length feature films to television, music and the stage, many options are available in the world of digital video and media production.
With a BFA in digital video and media production, you should be prepared for openings as an assistant director (AD). Few people start out heading up their own feature.
There are different levels—first or second assistant director—and while the job titles sound similar, there are varying responsibilities for each.
Creative Skillset offers a nice breakdown of each, but in essence, the first assistant director serves as the director’s right hand, and in turn the second assistant director ensures the duties assigned by the first AD are carried out.
For example, the first AD will break down the script and determine the order of the shoots, while the second AD outlines the day’s call sheet and helps organize the cast and crew.
Associate producer, production coordinator, production assistant, unit production manager…
You see a ton of titles during the credits at the end of movies, and each of these people had a specific role in the creative process. Among the jobs you can find in digital video and media production are:
- Associate producer
- Production coordinator
- Production manager
- Unit production manager
- Production assistant
We’ll look at a few of these careers to give you a sense of the responsibilities associated with each.
A production manager helps organize the business side of things—dealing with budgets, scheduling, hiring and purchasing, according to Media Match.
An associate producer works under the producer and is generally assigned specific duties related to the production as a whole, according to the Producers Guild of America. The scope of the work could include coordinating the creative, financial or technological aspects of a film, commercial or show.
Production assistants are faced with myriad responsibilities: organizing extras, fielding phone calls, logging video or generally making sure smaller tasks get done, according to Get In Media.
In the digital video and media production field, there are those who make sure the overall vision of a piece is achieved at different stages in the process. Among them:
- Script supervisor
- Assistant editor
Each of these positions has varying tasks.
The script supervisor maintains continuity within the script and shooting—documenting scenes, working with the tech crew and cataloguing the process.
The editor has numerous tasks during any production, including examining clips, checking for errors and making sure scenes are put together in a cohesive manner, as well as working with the effects department.
The assistant editor, as you might expect, serves at the behest of the editor—running editing software, working with video and sound crews and coordinating with other members of the production.
Enjoy the View
Media in general is becoming more visually based, and the people behind the camera have a lot to do with how things
look. Specifically, we’re talking about directors of photography and camera operators.
The director of photography makes sure lighting is correct, frames scenes and outlines camera movement, according to Screen Junkies.
Camera operators, of course, run the video equipment and ensure shoots are made in accordance with what the scene is supposed to look like.
You’ve probably wondered about some of the odd-sounding titles at the end of a movie:
- Key grip
- Best boy grip
- Dolly grip
- Boom operator
Some of these positions in digital film and media production have similar roles.
Gaffers manage electrical gear. The best boy is the top assistant of the gaffer or key grip.
Grips build and maintain the structures that support cameras and audio and lighting equipment. The key grip is the head grip and the dolly grip moves the camera mount along a set of tracks.
Boom operators, meanwhile, handle the boom microphone—the mic attached to the end of a pole—and make sure it’s picking up sound correctly.
We’ve discussed many of the artistic and visual elements of production, but what about the rest of the elements of sound?
Among the entry-level jobs you can get with a BFA in digital film and media production are:
- Audio engineer
- Audio assistant
Audio engineers are charged with the recording and mixing process, using studio equipment to manipulate sound for
digital video and media productions.
An audio assistant works with supervisors, boom operators and other crew members to ensure the sound of a production is recorded at the highest possible quality.
Many professionals in the industry work as freelancers, finding jobs on tour with celebrities or famous rock bands.
It’s important for those in digital video and media production to broaden their network and have several projects going at once. It can at times be a nomadic experience, but a willingness to travel can open doors for you.
Freelancing—working for yourself, choosing productions you enjoy and having more freedom than you might otherwise—is but one of many options available to people with a BFA in digital video and media production.
As you conduct your job search in the field, think about your interests, strengths and skills. But whatever specific job you choose, the industry offers a variety of exciting careers.