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Films are an important medium not only of entertainment and information but also of communication. There are three major categories of films: feature films; documentaries; and advertising shorts and 1V commercials. Rim production techniques and methods are, essentially, the same whether the film is for television showing or for cinema.

There are four careers in film production, which are of significance. They are: film direction; cinematography or motion picture photography; sound recording/ sound engineering and film editing.

Film directors are responsible for the shape or treatment of the film. They may decide on the cast of the film and their work has to be within the budget of the producer. They work out the sequence of the story/ episode in their mind much ahead of the commencement of shooting. Their own concepts must be very clear for they have to guide the artists as well as the technicians. Sometimes they are called upon to demonstrate to actors/ actresses exactly what they want to shoot and how it has to be conveyed. To the technical experts they should be able to give the right instructions to obtain the desired results. Film directors, therefore, have to be knowledgeable about every aspect of film production and also about how to attract the viewers' attention. The work is a blend of creativity and technicality.

Cinematographers are responsible for motion picture photography. Their work is mainly technical but they have also to use some imagination in filming a shot. Before shooting starts the director has usually explained the impact he/she expects and the cinematographer has to use his/her skill, technique and imagination to capture the desired effect. The cinematographer and director may work out the details such as angles, light and speed before shooting.

Sound recording/ sound engineering is a technical job, which has to be tackled with expertise in keeping with the mood/theme of the film. The work of a film editor requires a lot of creativity and technical skill. Film editors work in the editing room, assembling and cutting the finished film. Editors put the shots together they are responsible for dubbing (adding sound to the picture) and creating the finished product ready for the audience to view. The editor's work is to carry forward the director's intentions to a meaningful conclusion.

All aspects of film production combine to create the whole film and there is constant interaction among the director, cinematographer and sound recorders / sound engineer. The editor has to wind up the show. While the director and editor have to be highly creative, the cinematographers and sound engineers have to be technically skilled.

All of them have to appreciate both the creative and technical aspects equally well to be able to work successfully as a team.

Personality Traits:

Visual imagination; creative ability; a knack of getting the right effect; wide range of interests to appreciate different types of subject matter; ability to work well as one of a team; technical ability; ability to work well under pressure; and knack of getting work done by teammates, technicians and artists.


There are specialized courses for all aspects of filmmaking. The various renowned institutes where such training is available are fully equipped with all types of equipment and students are exposed to the latest techniques of film production, Among all the institutes the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune is the only one where technical training courses in all aspects of film making are conducted.

The FTII offers three-year specialization courses in:

Film direction;

Motion picture photography; & Sound recording and sound engineering with a basic one year of integrated training.

The course in film editing is of two-year duration with one year of integrated training.

Television training is imparted in program production, technical operation in the studios, TV films and TV graphics and design.

The courses in film editing and film direction are open to graduates in any discipline through an entrance examination. Candidates with qualifications equivalent to graduation are also eligible to apply. The entrance examination evaluates general knowledge and general mental ability. While general knowledge pertains mainly to the Indian socio-cultural structure, the general, mental ability of the candidates is assessed on the basis of questions dealing with capacity for logical and deductive reasoning, pictorial reasoning, relationships, etc.

Those who qualify in the written test are called to Pune for a seven-day cinema orientation program, which is followed by an aptitude test.

The motion picture photography course at the FTII is open to graduates in any discipline with physics and chemistry at the plus two or equivalent level.

Applicants for this program have to appear for a written paper on general science (with questions on physics, chemistry and mathematics at the plus two level) along with the paper on general knowledge and general mental ability conducted for the other courses.

The cinema orientation week is also a part of the selection process for this course.

The sound recording and sound engineering course is open to science graduates with physics or electronics as one of the subjects. Those applying for this course have also to appear for papers on general knowledge and general mental ability and a special paper on physics and mathematics. The second stage of selection is the cinema orientation week followed by an aptitude test.

The FTII provides intensive practical and theoretical training in all aspects of film production. It has modern sound recording equipment, editing machines, movie cameras and all the latest technology. There are studios, projection theatres, and a film processing laboratory, a film library and everything else necessary to provide the most up-to-date training.

Some other institutes imparting specialized training for films are:

Institute of Film Technology, Madras; Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, CIT Campus Madras; Indira Memorial Institute of Film and Television Technology, Berhampore (Orissa); St. Xavier's Institute of Communication, Bombay; & Mass Communication Research Center; Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi.

Placement/ Prospects

There is a lot of scope for employment in the field of film making in the country. The proliferations of the electronic media and the boom in the advertising industry have created myriad openings in filmmaking. The competition for the jobs, however, is keen and those with flair and the right connections continue to get many opportunities to prove themselves time and again. Once a person has been able to prove himself/herself there is no limit to the amount he/ he can earn.

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