“So what do you want to do?”
Ask most aspiring filmmakers that and the usual responses you’ll get will be director, writer, producer, actor or even occasionally editor. If you didn’t know better you’d swear those were the only job titles in the film industry. Of course they’re the ones who usually get all the fame and attention. But if you’ve ever sat through all five hours of a film’s credits, you’ll see a plethora of titles that people rarely give a second thought to, here are the top 6 alternative film jobs you should consider.
1. Foley Artist
OK so the Foley is more than a noise maker, they’re responsible for recreating sound effects that are unable to be picked up by the mike,or were lost during filming, along with the composer, the foley’s work adds so much depth to a film. The squeaking of a door, tree branch tapping against glass or the dull thud of footsteps in a horror movie adds to the tension, and these are usually created in post-production. Usually by grabbing something and hitting it on something else.
2. Props Master
Master. Never a bad word to have in your title. Unless of course, it’s preceded by slave in which case you are a horrible, horrible person. But as a Props Master you get to procure or produce objects used on screen, so you don’t really have to worry about any rights violations.
The Props Master works closely with the Director, Set Decorator and Production Manager to develop the stylistic concept, and then are given money to go do lots of shopping. A good choice for women, or husbands who want to rub it in their wives faces.
And If you’re really good your props might become iconic, inspiring lots of geek to “use the force” whilst making “vroom stish” noises.
Granted there’s not much of a demand for puppeteers these days, so this is probably a bad career option, but as long as the Muppets and Guillermo del Toro keep making movies, there will be some need for people who know how to stick their hands up Miss Piggy’s arse.
It really is a shame that puppetry has fallen out of favour. There’s something sublime about the animatronics of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s that just can’t compare with modern CGI. Maybe the physical presence affects the actors – think Sigourney Weaver being slobbered over by the Xenomorph, or maybe a lot of the CGI is still shit.
4. Titles Designer
Ever watch Game of Thrones? Of course you have, how fucking awesome is the opening title? Very, is the answer. And if you were a Titles Designer, then one day you too can design something not quite as awesome, but I’m sure still very good.
Although in the past decade many shows and films seem to have forgotten that opening titles exist, the ones that haven’t have turned them into an art form. Hell some of them are even better than the shows that follow.
Great opening titles do more than just list the above the Line, they get viewers into the mood. Se7en is unnerving; True Blood’s seduces and repulses, Star Trek’s offers hope. And then there’s the Game of Thrones which is epic. Did I mention that?
5. Motion Capture Performer
Do you have an intrinsic understanding of how the human body moves? Can you comfortably wear a silver leotard covered in ping pong balls? Are you to do really cool voices? Then Motion Capture Artist might be for you my precious.With computer technology growing in leaps and bounds, there will be an increasing demand for these performers, presumably so Producers can save millions on…something. And with James Cameron set to make another several hundred bloated Avatar movies, there certainly won’t be any shortage of work.
Then again it’s giving James Spader the chance to play a robot, and that is never a bad thing.
6. Prosthetics Artist
Many moons ago (approximately 218), not long after my fighter pilot phase and just before some other phase, I wanted to be a Prosthetics Artist. I was inspired by the exquisite work of Michael Westmore on Star Trek.
But then I realized that they often have to be at work at 4am to spend several hours painstakingly gluing latex to a snoozing actor, and blending the pigments perfectly. I hate waking up early and get bored easily, so gave up on that idea pretty quickly.
But a good Prosthetics Artist is essential for certain genres, and without them filmmakers would have to rely on CGI, which would mean more trips to the Uncanny Valley. And nobody wants that.