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What (or who) is behind the spotlight?
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Careers in Film and Digital Media

No matter where in the world you are located, a film and television degree often conjures up visions of Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards for some, while others dream of exotic set locales taken in from the comfort of a director's chair.

Certainly, a film and television degree can lead someone down either or both of those paths. However, the actual title of "film and television degree" does not do justice to film and digital media because the potential careers attached to this industry are not found solely behind a camera or a television screen. There are plenty of other careers in the world of film and digital media.


Animators use more than pencils and paper to do their jobs. With the availability of advanced industry technology, animators can bring entire galaxies to life with the use of software such as After Effects, Premiere, Flipbook, Flash and Dreamweaver, Autodesk Maya, Anime Studio, Apple Shake and Pixar RenderMan.


  • 2-D and 3-D animator
  • Digital cel animator
  • 3-D animator
  • Art director
  • Character designer
  • Compositor
  • Layout and background artist
  • Mixed-media animator
  • Animation producer
  • Storyboard and concept artist
  • Stop-motion animator
  • Demo artist
  • Technical director
  • Illustrator
  • Instructor

Broadcast design and motion graphics

Broadcast design and motion graphics professionals create main titles for television and film, commercials and network design, as well as design and animation for new formats such as cell phones and iPods.


  • Art director
  • Teacher
  • Instructor
  • Demo artist
  • Director
  • Broadcast designer
  • Creative director
  • Motion design for film titles, cable and broadcast networks, new media, commercials

Film and television

Film and television professionals can be found on sound stages and sets but also in the advertising, corporate video production and new media sectors. They work with a variety of genres including narrative, documentary, experimental cinema, music video, television programming and short films.


  • Producer, executive producer, line producer
  • Director, casting director
  • Camera or Steadicam operator
  • Lighting designer
  • Videographer
  • Grip or dolly grip
  • Gaffer
  • Postproduction supervisor
  • Screenwriter
  • Director of photography
  • Film and video editor
  • Location manager
  • Technical adviser
  • Art director
  • Production assistant
  • Production manager
  • Cinematographer

Interactive design and game development

Careers in interactive design and game development involve creating dynamically driven rich-media Internet applications, video games, virtual online environments and a variety of computer applications.


  • Art director
  • Interactive designer
  • Creative director
  • Creative technologist
  • Exhibition designer
  • Game artist
  • Interactive installation artist
  • Interface designer
  • Level designer
  • Programmer for projected media
  • Web designer
  • Instructional designer
  • Concept artist
  • Technical director

Performing arts

Performing arts degree-holders work in multimedia entertainment, television, film and, of course, the performing arts in a variety of roles associated with acting, playwriting, casting, directing and management.


  • Performer/actor, multimedia entertainer, model
  • Stage manager
  • Producer or designer - costume, scenic, lighting, set
  • Agent - media relations/publicity, casting
  • Voiceover actor or narrator
  • Playwright/scriptwriter
  • Choreographer or stunt person
  • Director - art, casting, technical
  • Drama teacher or dramatic coach
  • Impersonator
  • News anchor
  • Novelist
  • Theater consultant

Production design

In the expanding field of programming for cable outlets, broadcast networks, independent filmmaking, digital video production, theme parks and other entertainment venues, production designers are in growing demand. Working behind the scenes on sets, lighting and costumes, production designers support productions for film, theater and television.


  • Producer — studio film, television
  • Designer — conference exhibition, restaurant, scenic, lighting, costume, retail, theme park, museum

Sound design

Sound designers, composers and mix engineers develop soundtracks for all types of media. Sound designers work specifically with dialog, sound effects and Foley. Composers, music editors and music supervisors develop legal scores. Mix engineers prepare all three stems (dialog, SFX and music) for a variety of release formats.


  • ADR engineer
  • Boom operator
  • Foley sound effects artist
  • Editor — associate sound, dialog, music, sound
  • Music recording engineer
  • Music recording producer
  • Radio program editor or producer
  • Interactive and computer game sound designer
  • Location sound mixer
  • Re-recording mixer
  • Sound effects recorder
  • Supervising sound designer
  • Audio designer for Web and games

Visual effects

Visual effects have become a commonplace tool for films, but also for television programs and commercials. Visual effects artists are employed to produce images that are either impossible or impractical to shoot in the real world. Visual effects artists at studios both large and small help filmmakers achieve their vision.


  • Compositor
  • Digital artist or effects animator
  • Digital matte or texture painter
  • Effects programmer
  • Lighter
  • Lighting technical director
  • Modeler
  • Pre-visualization artist
  • Technical director
  • Visual effects art director
  • Visual effects supervisor
  • Visual effects producer
  • Broadcast graphic designer
  • Demo artist

A career in film and digital media offers a little (or a lot) of something for everyone—not just future filmmakers and television producers. As the global community continues to get closer with tools such as the Internet, international cell phones and expanded air travel, jobs in film and digital media literally are available around the world.

If your home country doesn't have an institution that offers a degree within film and digital media, all you need is a passport, a plane ticket and a passion to dream big.

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