Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
This unit group includes producers, directors, choreographers and others who oversee and control the technical and artistic aspects of film, television, radio, dance and theatre productions. They are employed by film production companies, radio and television stations, broadcast departments, advertising companies, sound recording studios, record production companies and dance companies. They may also be self-employed.
- Encounter equipment malfunctions that slow and stop production. For example, radio producers may experience sound interference during live feeds. They inform technical workers and switch to other guests and news items until the interference is eliminated. Television producer-directors find they have insufficient power for lights when shooting in remote locations. They arrange for additional generators and find alternative locations for shoots. (2)
- Experience lower than expected funding and revenue. For example, artistic directors experience low attendance at plays. They identify weaknesses in promotional activities and develop strategies such as issuing complimentary tickets to stimulate sales. They may begin preparations for the new productions in case plays currently running are forced to close early. Film and television producer-directors find they have insufficient funding to complete their films. They try to raise additional funds from new sources, continue without staff and put projects on hold. (3)
- Find that interview subjects, actors, musicians and dancers are unavailable. For example, when scheduled guests are unavailable, radio and television producers may find substitutes, use alternative information sources such as film clips and change programming themes. When cast members are ill and understudies are unavailable, artistic managing directors find replacement actors. They book additional rehearsals and have cue cards made to assist replacement actors during performances. (3)
- May find that performers and interview subjects are not meeting expectations. For example, directors and choreographers find that actors and dancers are not interpreting their artistic visions correctly. Television producer-directors find that interviewees become inarticulate before cameras. They experiment with alternative approaches to relay ideas to performers and to animate interview subjects. (3)
- Select equipment and materials. For example, film directors select cameras. They consider the atmosphere and effect they want to achieve and the formats in which films will be shown. Technical directors in theatres select construction materials for sets. They consider the visual effects directors have requested and the prices and availabilities of various materials. (2)
- May choose projects to undertake. For example, artistic managing directors select plays for upcoming seasons. They consider local audiences, potential sales, funding requirements and the reputations of their theatres. They take into account failures and successes with similar productions. Assistant program directors at radio stations choose news stories for features and themes for programs. They consider audiences' interests, similar programming shown recently and the coverage of news stories by competing stations. (3)
- May select performers and production workers. For example, artistic directors, film directors and choreographers may choose performers, technical directors and set designers. They consider workers' technical abilities, artistic approaches, reputations, fees, attitudes, artistic styles and availabilities. (3)
- Choose presentation methods and strategies. For example, choreographers choose music, movements, costumes and sets that reflect their artistic visions. Film editors refine and shape films by selecting scenes that are technically sound and align with directors' styles. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
- May assess the suitability and effectiveness of sets, locations, music, lighting and costumes. For example, directors assess the suitability of props such as books, pictures and telephones. They check to see that props fit targeted historical periods. They confirm that props do not impede actors' movements. (2)
- May evaluate the suitability of venues for productions. For example, choreographers assess the suitability of stages for dance performances. They measure stages to confirm there will be enough room for the numbers of dancers involved. (2)
- Assess the quality of productions. For example, record producers assess the quality of music recordings. They listen to recordings to confirm the richness and clarity of sound, the success of the mixing process, the absence of ambient noise and the accuracy of performances by musicians and vocalists. (3)
- May assess the abilities of performers. For example, choreographers evaluate the abilities of dancers. They view video recordings to observe dancers' technical strengths and weaknesses and interview them to become familiar with their goals and ambitions. Record producers assess the ability and suitability of studio musicians before recommending them to clients. They review past experiences working with them and read resumes and biographies to find out about musicians' training, experience, skills and reputations. (3)
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Producers, directors, choreographers and related workers plan job tasks to meet production deadlines. They organize their daily job tasks to prepare for new projects and manage current ones. They schedule time to attend to administrative tasks, plan and monitor production schedules, meet with collaborators and complete work on current projects. They adjust their work plans to accommodate events such as bad weather, faulty equipment and illnesses. (4)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Producers, directors, choreographers and related workers may direct the work of actors, dancers, production workers and various technicians. They may participate in creating artistic visions and operational plans for their organizations. (4)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember workers' names and areas of expertise. For example, choreographers and directors remember names and skills of technical and artistic colleagues when looking for collaborators and performers for new productions. Radio producers remember names and areas of expertise of past guests on newsmagazines and talk shows.
- Remember technical details such as camera angles and dance movement sequences.
- Find information about funding sources. For example, feature film producers read news releases from governments and private foundations. They speak to professional contacts, civil servants, politicians and private donors to locate and clarify requirements for funding. (3)
- Find information about news stories, historical events and other topics important to theatre, television and film productions. They may read novels, documents from archives and articles in magazines. They may interview people with knowledge about historical events, review films and photographs, and watch and listen to recordings. (4)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Producers, directors, choreographers and related workers lead teams that produce plays, movies, musical performances and other works. They coordinate and integrate job tasks with large multi-disciplinary teams. (3)
Producers, directors, choreographers and related workers learn continuously in order to stimulate their creativity, to maintain awareness of current events and new technologies and to refine their skills. They learn through daily work experiences and through discussions with co-workers and colleagues. They read trade magazines, watch films and attend live performances. (4)