It is a dream for many to get behind the scenes and work at a film studio. Movies and TV can transport us to a whole new world or tell a deeply emotional story. Working in the studio allows you to be a part of that magic.
The UK is home to some of the best homegrown talent and facilities. There are a lot of moving parts to any production, but you could find yourself working with creative and technical experts in every field.
Which Types Of Jobs Can You Have In The Uk Film Industry?
As an actor, it is your job to inhabit a character and tell their story. You need to have a good imagination, especially if you are working with green screens or special effects. Be prepared that acting is not always as glamorous behind the scenes.
Your director will have their own vision for your character, so it will be a collaborative process between you to create the finished performance. You cannot be camera shy and you need to have confidence. You also need to be resilient. An actor hears many no’s before they land a role, so learn from each audition and keep going!
As a director, you have a vision of how you want to tell a story. You need great communication skills because you oversee every aspect of production. Each team and person you work with needs to understand what you want and how you want to achieve it. You will need to manage your time effectively because, on top of filming, you will have meetings, budgets and technical decisions to make.
You should know everyone’s name on set and solve problems as soon as they arise. Networking skills will play a huge part in your success as you need to find producers, writers and financing. The only way to hone your skills is through practical experience, so get involved however you can, to begin with.
- Director of photography
Most cinematographers begin their careers as camera assistants and build from there. As director of photography, you need knowledge of technology such as lighting and sound, as well as having an eye for detail.
You will work closely with the director to create an overall aesthetic while making sure everything is well-lit and shot from an angle that makes the most of each actor’s performance.
A producer is the right hand of any director. You will have to be incredibly organised while having a mind for figures and budgets. Producers are pragmatists and they work to make sure a film is made on time and on budget, and they will have a host of contacts to make this happen.
People with strong leadership skills are best suited to the role of producer. You will be making sure everything runs smoothly and that each department works to its timeline. You may also have to say no to some creative decisions where you do not have financing or cannot film a scene in a safe way.
Come post-production, an editor works very closely with the director to take hours of raw footage and make a coherent and powerful film. How you cut and edit scenes have the ability to make or break a film.
You need to consider if a scene needs comedic timing and if it needs cutting to keep an engaging pace and build suspense. You will also be responsible for making each scene flow and keeping the continuity when using different takes.
As a writer, you will either have an original idea or adapt an existing story for a new production. You may be asked to write based on a proposal by the director or join a TV show as part of their larger writing team.
A good script will jump off the page, making it easy for the director to imagine and for the actors to embody their characters. You will often be working to tight deadlines, especially for TV, and will need to be able to edit and rewrite with a quick turnaround.
- Hair & makeup artist
Just like with fashion, hair and makeup looks will need to be created for each scene and character. As an artist, you will have to break down a script and determine how many looks need creating.
You need to be ready for early starts because you will be one of the first on set. You will have to coordinate with wig makers, dentists and prosthetic artists depending on the nature of the project too.
- Floor runner
Becoming a floor runner is one of the best ways to familiarise yourself with working in a studio and seeing how each department runs. Time is of the essence and you need to be able to multitask and bring all of your energy.
You will be running errands, delivering messages and communicating with almost every department on set. A good floor runner is reliable and efficient and they take care of the cast and crew.
Popular Filming Studios In The UK
The UK has plenty of beautiful landscapes and ancient architecture to work with on location. It is also home to state-of-the-art film studios.
Whether you are seeking filming work as an actor or a makeup artist, here are just a few remarkable studios that are the heart of many amazing TV shows, movies and more.
- Pinewood Studios
Located just outside of London, Pinewood is a huge lot. It has the legendary 007 stage, 3 TV studios, a dedicated underwater stage, and 23 other stages. The 007 Stage is world-famous and was built in the 1970s for The Spy Who Loved Me and later Spectre in 2015. Pinewood Studios is proud to be the home of at least 22 of the 007 films.
Known for his lifestyle as well as his missions, James Bond is a known gambler and many filming locations around the world have been used for his casino scenes. If you are looking for a gambling experience but can’t visit some of the iconic filming locations, then you can also choose from a range of live casino games to play now where you can experience live poker, blackjack, and more.
Some of the biggest movie franchises are also filmed at Pinewood, including Marvel films, Star Wars, and Jurassic World. Pinewood also dedicated another stage to a beloved James Bond actor – their second largest stage on site is known as The Roger Moore Stage.
- BBC Elstree Centre
Based in Hertfordshire, Elstree is a smaller studio with 6 stages – and home to BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing. It also holds the external set for Eastenders, and The Crown was filmed here. More recently, many iconic TV shows like Gangs Of London were also filmed here which have quickly become fan favourites for many!
- Warner Bros Studios Leavesden
Warner Bros have a state-of-the-art lot based in the South East of England. Spider-Man, Wonder Woman and the Harry Potter films all had a history with the Leavesden studio. Today, you can explore the amazing Harry Potter studio tour which is filled with amazing pieces of the set from the iconic movie franchise for fans to enjoy.
Throughout the 1990s, Leavesden was a filming location for many popular films, including GoldenEye and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Since then, the filming studios have been used for multiple films each and every year including the more recent Tomb Raider, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and The Batman. Upcoming films to be released, Barbie, Wonka, and Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, have been filmed at these studios.