Video Production Jobs
In today's media market, there are a Cheesecake Factory menu worth of video genres and formats. Technically pushing your phone for eight seconds with a weird face filter yields you a video. And some people have made seven figures doing this. For the rest of the labor force over 16, there are still a plethora of other types of video production jobs.
You could be working in traditional commercials, branded entertainment, live studio content, field producing for news outlets, industrial video content (mostly used internally for corporations), reality series, web series (which now span from that dog on a skateboard video on YouTube to The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt,) traditional cable content and of course that relic called film.
Video production when well executed is the product of preparation, a well-oiled team and a few miracles when filming. In a scripted show, the unknown are the visual and audio elements and how performances will read when the camera's actually rolling.
In live content, the show is fairly scripted but the real dance is led by the technical director and crew in the control room calling out camera angles, monitoring audio levels, and making sure commercial breaks happen at the right time.
For a live audience show, there's a bit less pressure because you get multiple takes and it's what is called live-to-tape. That tape part is a lot less stressful.
For daily news content, so much is up in the air because the reporter, producer and rest of the news team may have just found out about a breaking story minutes prior.
The point is in every video production, there will always be unforeseen hurdles and hiccups despite all the planning in the world. A video production job is for someone who has the constitution to think ahead but also thrives in a fast paced environment that is constantly changing.
We'll fix it in post! What a video producer loves to hear and what a video editor cringes upon overhearing. Just because that video producer didn't get everything they had imagined in production, all is not lost. This is when the post team steps in. And this is more methodical than actual production.
A post-production team can include some or all of the following: editors, assistant editors, the visual effects supervisor, the visual effects creative director, visual effects artists, compositors, colorists, Rotoscope artists, matte artists and the sound team which we will address later. Generally, the post team reports to the post-production supervisor for all technical, contractual, and logistical needs and to the producer and director for creative guidance and approval. If there is a visual effects producer, then they lead the visual effects team.
The beginning of post-production starts with a video editor who lays down the rough assembly of the video sequence, essentially the rough draft of the story being told. Once the editing passes approval, that sequence gets handed off to the visual effects team who creates anything necessary to the scenes that could not have been captured during production.
The average annual salary of an editor is $43,000 and visual effects artists and colorists make a bit more for their more specialized skillset. The post-production team can expect an upscale factory environment and the product on the assembly line is art. Knowledge of industry specific programs is required for these jobs and they are constantly changing. The two must know programs are Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Some productions still use the program AVID but that has become less prevalent than it once was.
Post-production houses are generally well crafted themselves, designed with a creative eye meant to provide an inspiring and calming environment for the editors and visual effects artists to pump out their genius. Meals are ordered by an in-house production assistant to provide a level of convenience for the artists who are expected to spend most of their day in front of their computer. This is also where clients, such as in the case of commercials, come to see the video they just dropped a boat load of money into. So the executive producer of the post-production facility has an incentive for the office to look nice.
Once the video is picture locked, the sound team steps in. The sound department can include some or all of the following: sound designers, sound editors, dialogue editors, re-recording mixers, the music supervisor, the composer, and foley artists. This is when ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) happens, usually led by the supervising sound editor or overseer of the sound department. This is the part of the process when sound effects are added and music is laid into the sequence. All parts of sound editing require patience. These people listen to the same thing on repeat for upwards of 12 to 14 hours a day.
Sound editors or sound designers make around an average of $50,000 a year and senior levels can expect a 30% increase in salary average. If you're a video producer, all you need to do is hear some bad sound and you will never underpay your sound department. Sound is everything!
Video production is everywhere at all different levels. While those 16-year-olds are outputting 20 vines a day, they're missing the sometimes grueling but also fun Santa's workshop-esque world of old school production.
*For hot jobs in video production, see our sections on film production and television production.
**For a breakdown of specific roles in video production, see our sections on film production and television production.
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