The graphic designer is responsible for designing and supervising the execution of all graphic program material, including credits, charts, graphs, logos and even some props, such as documents used in a drama. The graphic designer must be highly creative but also capable of adapting concepts to suit the requirements of production staff; and must also work in close consultation with the program's producer, director, set designer and sometimes, when developing a title sequence, the composer of the theme music. A graphic design department can also employ photographers, photographic assistants and rostrum camera operators.
Case Study - Graphic Designer
Trevor is a graphic designer with an ITV company. He first worked there when he was at art college, on a placement during his graphics degree course. After he graduated, he maintained his association with the company by working for them on a freelance basis. He believes that this put him at an advantage when a full-time position became available.
I had to apply for the job like everybody else, of course, but as well as my show reel and a portfolio of work, I had a track record here and they knew what I could do.
I work with the Senior Graphic Designer and together we are responsible for everyday graphics, such as title sequences and program captions and run-downs. Last year, the station launched a new corporate logo, which was designed by a company in London, so we also had to adapt it for all the other programs that used it, like the evening news magazine, so that everything tied in.
Engineers have a vital role to play in broadcasting, but it is beyond the scope of this book to give details of all the jobs available in this vast and highly technical field. Further information can be obtained from BBC Recruitment Services.
Operational engineers are responsible for the technical facilities needed for the production and transmission of programs. They may be involved in studio work, outside broadcasts, the operation and maintenance of the networks, and transmission systems (for example, cable and satellite). Some work at base in control rooms or maintenance areas; others are out with mobile recording units, at transmitter sites, on location or on overseas assignments.
A number of graduates in electronics, electrical engineering and applied physics may be directly recruited as engineers.
The specialist engineer works in research and design, developing new techniques and systems and improving existing equipment.
Trainee engineers act as a support force for qualified engineers, setting up, aligning and maintaining equipment while they train to become engineers themselves. Applicants for traineeships should be aged between 18 and 26, have normal hearing and color vision and hold (as minimum qualifications) GCSEs at grades A, B or C or equivalents in English, maths and physics, a BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in electrical engineering, or have studied maths and physics to A level.
Film Camera Operator (see Camera Operator)
Floor managers have an important and demanding job. They coordinate and manage everything that happens on the studio floor, from checking that props are in place, to making sure that performers know where to stand and what to do. They also give cues and prompts and, when there is a studio audience, the floor
Editor - Film, Videotape, Electronic News Gathering (ENG)
The editor, working closely with the producer and director, prepares the final version of a program. The work demands great attention to detail, precision and creativity and the skills take a long time to accumulate. Ironically, the better the editor, the less conscious the viewer will be of his or her work.
Film, unlike videotape, is cut and spliced. The film editor studies each frame of a developed film and decides which to remove and where to insert out-of-sequence shots. Increasingly, editors are becoming multi-skilled and able to work on all formats. The assistant film editor, who does not make editing decisions, helps the editor by logging film in and out, doing joins, synchronizing rushes and keeping in touch with film processing laboratories.
Most television programs are recorded on videotape cassettes. When edit points have been decided, the sections of the tape to be used in the production are recorded on to another tape. Editing machines are complicated pieces of equipment but relatively easy to learn to operate; it is not necessary to have a technical background in order to become a videotape editor, although many start out as television engineers or technicians. The assistant videotape editor does support work for the videotape editor, such as keeping records and lining up the machines for use.
Electronic News Gathering (ENG) Editor ENG editors use the same techniques as videotape editors. They have to meet deadlines for news bulletins and are usually working under great pressure. ENG editors are expected to be able to maintain and repair their own equipment, as many of them work away from base.
Casting directors, many of whom are freelance, work with the producer and director on the casting of a production. They liaise with agents, visit drama schools and spend a lot of time interviewing and auditioning hopefuls. Casting directors need to have an excellent memory for faces and an instinctive knowledge of who will be right for a certain part. In many radio and television productions, however, the casting will be done by the director and/or producer.