A new career in TV

March 7th, 2009

The world of TV is a glamorous one in numerous ways. It also demands hard work and long hours at times. When choosing a career in television, it’s vital to achieve the right qualifications needed or work experience. There are many different jobs within the industry, all requiring a specialized set of skills, both in front of camera and behind the scenes. Most actors and actresses go through drama school. There is a lot of challenges for roles on TV. In addition to dramas or comedies, there are chances to appear in commercials or to do voice-overs.

Some actors have had a lucky break and have advanced from being an additional or background artist. Extras are in great demand and it’s possible to have a semi-professional career in television after some experience, with some extras going on to speak lines. Performers and technicians unite to bring the shows to our screens. Directing programs is another opportunity that starts with working from the bottom rung and climbing up gradually. A director may begin life as a Story Editor or Script Editor. Directing TV shows, commercials or music videos has led finally to directing movies in Hollywood.
Most careers in television however, are gained from thinking in the long term, starting with the humble Runner. A runner in a TV studio is often a graduate or somebody on a work placement scheme. The Runner is there to run errands and usually make him or herself useful. Sports addicts can use their craze to become sports commentators or presenters. Broadcast journalists often start as researchers or newsroom assistants, becoming the talent in the studio or as outside location reporters.

The technical departments need a lot of expertise, including the camera crew. The Camera Assistant is under the Camera Operator who assists the Director of Photography. The Lighting Department consists of Electricians and Senior Electricians known as Gaffers, under the managing of the Lighting Director. Technicians in the Sound Depart also have an essential role to play, in the studio and on location. All these disciplines offer rewarding careers in television.

There is a large group of people that make it all occur, unseen by the public. Hair and Make Up artists make everybody presentable. They may also work on productions requiring the fitting of wigs, facial hair and bald caps. They may be called upon to work with tattoos, and to simulate bullet wounds, burns, bruises, cuts and so on. Presenters can earn a lucrative salary and gain celebrity status, whether in the current affairs or light entertainment field. Some news and current affairs presenters have entered a job in television from a journalism background. They need to be well presented and cool in a crisis, especially on live TV. A Hair and Make Up specialist must be well-informed about the time period they are working within and how to age an actor.

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