Top 10 Careers in Digital Filmmaking

Nov 04, 2016

For many, a degree in Digital Filmmaking is often considered a bridge towards a narrow career path. You can only use that degree to become a movie director, or a camera operator, right? Wrong.Prospective students and working adults seeking a new direction in life find that this broad area of study can qualify degree recipients for a wide variety of careers in digital filmmaking. Even better, the skills learned in degree programs from schools like SAE Expression College can be applied directly to the job, so courses are as practical as possible.

What is Digital Filmmaking and Video Production?

In this industry, you’ll utilize cameras, editing software and equipment, lighting, and video and audio coordination bundled together into the complex digital media that you see on TV, in theaters and online.

Interested in working with cutting edge technology, in an exciting, fast-paced environment?

Here is the List of Top 10 Careers in Digital Filmmaking:

1. Production Assistant or Production Manager

Production Manager - Careers in Digital Filmmaking | Production Manager and Assistant discussing

Production assistants support production manager and directing team throughout the shoot. This includes distributing and transporting copies of the script and making sure the set is in working order each day for efficient filming.

Producer’s Average Salary: $68,000*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

2. Editor or Assistant Editor

The film editor and assistant editor are the members of the film crew that turn a raw film into individual scenes and then arrange them into a finished film. In many cases, film editors are hand-picked especially for the personal editing touch they can put into the movie.

Editor’s Average Salary: $55,740*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

3. Art Director

Art Director overseeing work of a team member

The art director’s role is to unify and coordinate a vision for the entire piece. They oversee the creative direction, the visual elements used in the film, the style and the tone of the scenes, and sometimes have a hand in the production of marketing materials for the whole project.

Art Director’s Average Salary: $89,760*
Growth Outlook: steady growth* (in film)

4. Post-Production Coordinator

The post-production coordinator oversees editing in post-production and makes sure everything is done according to plan. Many scenes in modern cinema involve computer graphics added after the scene is shot, so the post-production team utilizes digital graphic and editing software to add computer generated images and other important aspects of a scene.

The post-production coordinator is responsible for these additions, and the general oversight that ensures that the scene is built in the vision of the film’s director. They usually have to be familiar with picture editing software and modern film technology like movement tracking and green screen operation.

Post Editor’s Average Salary: $55,740*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

5. Screenwriter or Script Supervisor

Screenwriter working on a new script for a new film - Careers in Digital Filmmaking
The writers and supervisors behind the production of script materials for a film are the ones that build the scenes and write the dialogue for the entire movie.

The screenwriter builds the script while the script supervisor maintains continuity between the actors, the costumes, and the nonverbal elements of the script that must be present in each scene.

Screenwriter’s Average Salary: $60,250*
Growth Outlook: steady growth (in film)*

6. Cinematographer

Cinematographer - Careers in Digital Filmmaking

The cinematographer oversees the camera crew, equipment, and method of physically shooting a movie. As each scene is shot, the cinematographer gives direction to camera crew members and makes decisions about artistic and technical direction during the shoot.

Cinematographer’s Average Salary: $59,360*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

7. Grip Camera Operator


Grip Camera Operator shooting a a scene for a filmThe grips are technicians that work with the film crew and handle the maintenance and operation of all the technical equipment and hardware associated with the cameras. Many times in movies, the cameras are rigged to a remote controlled zip line or on crane-like devices that must be operated by technically skilled individuals.

Grip Operator’s Average Salary: $59,360*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

8. Location Manager

Careers in Digital Filmmaking | Male location manager with DSLR

Often under-appreciated in the industry, the location manager is responsible for an aspect of the film that could make or break its commercial success: the location.

Why is this an important and sought after career in digital filmmaking? If the location of the shooting isn’t right, the movie’s tone and artistic style can change drastically. Choosing the right location, environment and setting are all critical parameters to a film’s believability and success. Imagine, if Lord of the Rings franchise wasn’t shot in the idyllic mountains of New Zealand, and instead, in the sprawling jungles of Brazil! Finalizing a location for a scene could be the single, most powerful and persuasive effect in digital filmmaking.

Location Manager’s Average Salary: $68,440*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

9. Casting Director

The Casting Director takes the creative vision of the director and is tasked with matching the characters in the script to real actors that can portray them to the liking of the director.

Casting Director’s Average Salary: $68,440*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

10. Videographer

Videographer - Careers in Digital Filmmaking | Videographer setting up his camera for a live concert

The videographer plays a role in the actual taping of moving images, working with the lighting and sound crew to shoot high-quality video.

Videographer’s Average Salary: $59,360*
Growth Outlook: faster than average*

Reinvent your career in this growing digital filmmaking industry; it is predicted to grow at six percent by 2024.

It’s true, many of these jobs don’t require a college degree, but An applied sciences program like the Digital Filmmaking at SAE Expression College can offer the experience and knowledge to get you the job you want and the confidence to know that you’re in the place you want to be for the rest of your life.

Filmmaking is a fast-paced industry full of exciting innovations. A breadth of experience and applied learning is imperative to succeed in digital filmmaking.

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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