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Director of Photography

Director of photography is in charge of the entire look of a production. From lighting to camera angles.

Making the image look as good as it can.

Hours: Unusual hours are normal in this industry, with 42 percent of workers having part-time or variable schedules. In 2006, workers averaged 29 hours per week.

Opportunities: Although six major studios produce most of the motion pictures released in the United States, many small companies are used as contractors throughout the process.

Pay: Earnings of workers in the motion picture and video industries vary, depending on education and experience, type of work, union affiliation, and duration of employment. In 2006, median weekly earnings of wage and salary workers in the motion picture and video industries were $593, compared with $568 for wage and salary workers in all industries combined.

On the basis of a union contract negotiated in July 2005, motion picture and television actors who are members of the Screen Actors Guild earn a minimum daily rate of $759, or $2,634 for a 5-day week. They also receive additional compensation for reruns. Annual earnings for many actors are low, however, because employment is intermittent.

Training: Formal training can be a great asset to workers in filmmaking and television production, but experience, talent, creativity, and professionalism usually are the most important factors in getting a job. Many entry-level workers start out by working on documentary, business, educational, industrial, or government films or in the music video industry. This kind of experience can lead to more advanced jobs.

Citation: Suggested citation: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2008-09 Edition , Motion Picture and Video Industries, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm (visited July 22, 2009 ).

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