Tagged As: television

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Executive Producer (TV)

In many ways, television production departs greatly from the formula for filmmaking, as do the job functions associated with certain titles. On a television series, the executive producer may be creator and chief writer of the product. This person is the ultimate creative force and business authority behind the property, rather than just the chief financial backer or the studio’s enforcer on a film set.

Showrunner

Showrunner is more a title and a set of responsibilities given to one of the executive producers, less a completely different job. This person may be credited as the executive producer, creator, or writer-producer; in any case, his or her duty is to maintain the integrity of the overall canon of the series and keep the writing staff on task and on message.

Inside the Writers’ Room: Jane Espenson

Like most trades in Hollywood, writing for TV is a faceless craft. For the most part, the audience is blissfully unaware of the people behind the scenes conjuring magic from a blank page to entertain them. This is surprising, considering the television medium is uniquely writer-based; its scribes hold far more power than in the film business. Names like John Wells, Aaron Sorkin, J.J.

Media Buyer

A skilled media buyer has eerie insight into your psyche; this person knows that if you are watching Mega Piranha at 2 a.m. you may also be interested in attending Star Wars: In Concert or playing Halo Reach. Before Facebook was tracking your web usage to suggest that you become a fan of Dove chocolates and romantic walks on the beach, these mind-readers had your likes and dislikes pegged.

Television Director

For the director, television is a very different beast. In film production, he or she is the ultimate creative voice on set, but on the small screen, the director has a far more limited role and is constrained by the show’s format. Multi-camera shoots, live productions, and sitcoms each present unique challenges unlike that of a movie.

Staff Writer

For television writers, the first step is an entry-level gig as a staff writer. This is a less glorious title than it appears, and does not receive a credit, but it is the probationary proving ground that trains emerging storytellers in the art of creating episodic television. Under the Writers Guild of America minimum basic agreement, staff writers are paid a weekly salary and contracted for a designated period during the life of a series.

Gaffer

Lighting is one of the most important components to setting up the perfect shot. Proper lighting completes the scene by adding a dark and gloomy hue to an ominous rainy night, or sundrenched haze on a deserted island. Directors cannot rely on natural lighting to accomplish their vision; instead they create their own effects with the help of the gaffer.

Production Designer

The production designer collaborates with the director and the cinematographer to establish the look of a film or television production. Every story is intended to leave the audience with a particular emotion, and the design of the set and scenery is just as vital in that mission as an actor’s portrayal of a character and the music that plays under the images on screen. 

Set Buyer

Treasure hunters and shopping mavens searching for their ideal career in entertainment should consider the job of set buyer. As the title states, the set buyer is a professional shopper tasked with searching antique shops and rental houses and scouring yard sales and online auction sites for the props and set dressings that transform a bare set into a convincing environment. 

On-Set Dresser

Desk ornaments, family photos, and other knickknacks are not haphazardly strewn about a set; a crew of artists carefully designs the atmosphere of each space an actor occupies on screen before filming begins. The on-set dresser is charged with implementing that design during filming, and is supervised by the set decorator and lead dresser.