Four jobs you didn't know existed in filmmaking
Ever seen a role pop up in the credits of your favourite film and thought, wait, that’s a job?!
Actors may be the face of the film but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes. All sorts of roles are needed from location scouts to source the perfect hobbit-hole to graphic designers to craft everything from Quidditch World Cup posters to chocolate frog packaging for the Harry Potter films. We take a look at some of the lesser-known jobs in film to find out just what goes into crafting those big-screen hits.
1. Inventor of Klingon (film linguist)
Well, someone has to invent the weird and wonderful languages of fantasy films!
In the case of Klingon (the language spoken by, well, Klingons in the Star Trek world) that person was Mark Okrand.
Trained as a linguist in America, he started out studying Native American languages and ended up developing one of the most famous fantasy languages around. It just goes to show where studying a language can take you!
2. Ager of clothes (costume designer)
Think of the dents in Thor's armor after battle, or the sweat that soaks Rocky Balboa's hoodie...These are examples of strategic additions to costume and are the responsibility of the costume department. These are done to add credibility to a scene.
Tools such as sandpaper (and even cheese graters) are used to distress clothing not only for battle scenes, but also to make items look naturally faded if it's a wardrobe favourite of the character. The 'fake sweat' is achievable thanks to a mixture of water and glycerin.
The costume department will often be on standby during filming so that they can make these changes in real-time.
3. Maker of fish noises (foley artist)
The sound of a fish struggling in Gollum's hands before being eaten alive fills us with disgust, but, back in the real world, it’s actually someone’s job to make that sound!
These types of sounds in movies are usually added after the scenes have already been filmed, by somebody called a foley artist. There's no limit to what items can be used to create these sound effects, just whatever does the job best. The scrunching up and releasing of a crisp packet can create that homely fire crackling you hear in a cosy campfire scene, or quickly swinging a rope past a microphone can mimic the 'whoosh' of a ball being thrown.
Adding the sound effects in after filming allows more control over the quality of the audio as well as the opportunity to select the best sounds to accompany a scene.
4. Meticulous observer (script supervisor)
Ever noticed something that’s pulled you out of a film? Like a character going to sleep in one T-shirt and waking up wearing another? Well it’s the script supervisor's job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The script supervisor oversees the continuity of what's being filmed (making sure it looks the same throughout), whether that be the place of every casually displaced garment at the Weasleys' house , or making sure Harry's scar always appears in the same place.
Script supervisors aim to make sure there are no inconsistencies in films. On occasion however, they may decide that a break in continuity is worth it if something else in the shot redeems it, such as an amazing performance by an actor.