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How to make Career in Indian Film and television industry

Have you ever thought about working in the Indian film and television industry? Do you want to live the dazzling life of Bollywood? So in this article, you will know what kind of jobs you can find in the industry; what are their courses, what is the fee, and how much salary can you get after getting work. Let’s start with the Film Industry –

The Film Industry

The film industry is an area of commercial activity concerned with the production and distribution of films. The visuals impersonated on the screens occur with plenty of intricacies going on behind the scenes. An entire crew comprising of a lot of people from the various specialized domains is involved in the making of a single film.

Career Classification in The Film Industry

Although the profession of an actor or actress, writer, director, producer, or a cameraman seems to be the only name that transpires us when we think of the film industry. But there are a lot of employment opportunities in this field then one can imagine and they are enlisted below:-

1. Unit Production Manager (UPM):-

It is a conventional thought that a director is responsible for the foremost decisions of appointing the assorted cast and the other members. But it is not true. The UPM or Unit Production The manager is responsible for hiring everyone. He/She manages all the moving parts of the production and oversee pre-production. They are sometimes present on set and act as a point of contact between provincial authorities and the companies working with the production. Hence, he/she is the Production Manager who supervises all the departments involved in a particular film.

At the initial stage, a Film Production Manager earns an average salary of Rs. 10,25,700 and Senior Level Film  Production Manager earns about Rs.25,74,000 approximately.

2. Director:-

Roll! Camera! Action! Well yes, he is the Director. A director is a person who supervises the actors and other staff in a film, play or other similar production. The director has a key role in the decisions of selecting the cast members as much as the production manager. A film is projected based on the visuals of a director. A director provides the roadmap or blueprint which is integral in the smooth production process. It is a director’s responsibility to make the film look creative, realistic and acceptable by guiding the production team towards the achievement of that goal.

On average, a director is paid a salary around Rs.73,52,400 approximately and it may vary for various directors based on their experience and endeavors.

3. Assistant Director:-

Be it any high profile profession, an assistant is always a must due to the huge workload on a single head. More hands can boost work progression. Hence, a director hires assistants to help him/her run the errands. There is no limit to hiring assistants but usually, there are two people assisting the director.

1st Assistant Director:- The first assistant director works directly with the director. His/her task is to communicate with each department about the requirements of the various things in the production. They look after the safety standards of the entire team. They track the daily progress out of the whole film schedule.

ffeeccOn average, the 1st assistant director earns somewhere near Rs.26,18,100 per year.

2nd Assistant Director:- While the first assistant director carries out the direct arrangements for the director, the second assistant director arranges and manages the indirect operations without which the schedules can not be met. Their duty is to arrange the day to day schedules like daily call sheets for the crew which includes informing the concerned about the shooting location, timing, and similar requirements.

On average, the second assistant director earns an annual amount of Rs.6,00,000 approximately.

4. Director of Photography or Cinematographer:-

A Director of Photography or Cinematographer is responsible for the look of the entire movie or film. They establish a list of shots from the script and accordingly they make visuals for every scene. He/she directs the camera crew about how the shoot is supposed to proceed. They are the head of the camera department and they are credible for the proclamation and management of the equipment required.

At the initial stage, a cinematographer or director of photography earns somewhere near Rs.84,000-Rs.96,000 annually whereas after some years of experience it can rise up to Rs.4,80,000-Rs.6,00,000 per year.

5. Camera Operator:-

A camera operator is the person behind the actual filming. Although the requirements of one cameraman or multi-camera depend upon the film projects, these days almost every film is shot with the help of multi-camera. The camera operator or the focus pullers are extensively important parts of a film production team. Hence, the camera operator helps in the operation of the various cameras and scenes that are to be shot with distinct angles. They maintain the equipment and keep camera notes for continuity.

The salary of a camera operator can be anywhere near Rs.4,88,000 per year.

6. Gaffer:-

The chief light technician is also known as a gaffer. They design and implement the lighting of each scene. They manage electricians, organize, and execute the plans for rigging. Lighting is very important for each and every scene of a film and so are the gaffers. They have the best boy electric to run the errands smoothly and he is usually paid a good amount of salary.

The gaffer is in no way paid less and his salary is approximately Rs.84,000-Rs.96,000 per year.

7. Script Supervisor:-

As the name suggests, a script supervisor administrates the dialogues. It is his/her responsibility to make sure that the actor or actress stays true to the writer’s words and that no changes are formulated.

The salary of a script supervisor is nearly Rs.7,73,500-Rs.13,74,800 per year bases on their level of experience.

8. Sound Recordist:-

A sound mixer also known as sound recordist is a sound professional who looks after the offset monitoring and editing of the soundtrack. They oversee the work done by the boom operators (frontline sound recordists who capture actors’ voices; salary-Rs.7,45,500p/y) and make the necessary changes. An emotional, happy, funny, action, or dramatic scene is more captivating with a compatible soundtrack in the background. Hence, the sound recordist plays a vital role in the making of a successful film.

The income varies for distinct professionals but on average, the sound experts receive somewhere near Rs.4,10,900 approximately.

9. Art Director and Production Designer:-

A production designer designs and creates the look of the entire project during the pre-production process. Their job is to design a theme for the entire movie. On the other hand, the art director is a person who is responsible for bringing the picturized world into reality. They organize art production and carry out the production designer’s plans which may include the establishment of a huge prop or a set.

The salary of an art director is nearly Rs.6,34,100 per year, whereas the salary of a production manager may be close to Rs.3,00,000 per year.

10. Costume Designer:-

To judge a book by its cover is considered to be inadequate but not the same can be said for an individual who is a part of a theatre or a drama. The looks of actors for a particular film can definitely make the viewers judge the movie and costume are certainly essential to achieve perfection in the different characters played by the actors. For example, the traditional costumes in the movie Padmavat had a relatively indispensable effect on the viewers and they also defined the different attitudes of the characters in the movie be it the sword of Shahid or the heavily embroidered lehenga of Deepika.

The costume designers have a great role to play in the making of any movie. Hence, their pay is somewhere between Rs.4,00,000-Rs.7,00,000 per annum if they are really good.

11. Hair and Makeup Artist:-

The hair and makeup artist is hired by the actor or actress to create a whole look suitable for a certain scene. It is the responsibility of the HMA to design and create a look that is different, good, and unique in every way. They prepare the actors to be filmed and they are specialized in makeup which may include creating a horrifying face or a makeup to portray a zombie.

They earn a salary of about Rs.4,80,000-Rs.6,00,000 annually.

12. Location manager:-

As it is obvious from the name, a location manager decides various locations for the shooting of multiple scenes. Every location that is displayed on the big screen is just a small fraction of the massive land that is booked for a single scene only. The location manager does the booking of the land and asks for the required permissions.

They are paid an amount of Rs.4,09,000 per year approximately.

13. Transportation Manager:-

The production involves a lot of heavy equipment. The shuttle crew members also need to travel from one location to the other so the transportation manager arranges the movement of all of these. The planning and execution of how the movements in the shifts in the location are to be carried out by the transportation manager. They also hire drivers and vehicles for transportation.

They earn somewhere near Rs.3,00,000- Rs.5,00,000 per year.

14. Actor or Actress:-

This is by far the most well-known professional in the film industry. The stardom and fame of the actor or actress is all because of their extraordinary abilities to be recognized by the various characters they play in a movie. The task of an actor is to be able to live the character in which they are to display and carry out the process with utmost perfection in communicating the dialogues.

On average the actors’ income can be anywhere near Rs.15,00,000 and it can rise to a huge amount if the actor is well recognized.

15. Stunt Coordinator:-

In every film, all the scenes are pre-planned and the same applies to the stunts. The stunts performed by the actors are well coordinated because of the stuntman’s efforts. The stunt coordinator’s job is to see that the stunts are performed with utmost safety and that the actor is not exposed to any sort of risk.  They speculate the shots like a car crash or explosion and so on.

On average, the stunt coordinator earns a sum of Rs.1,84,000-Rs. 2,00,000 paper year.

The Television Industry

The television industry in India is one of the largest broadcasting industries in the world with close to 161 million TV households. There are about 800 satellite television channels operating in India. This industry includes all the people involved in the making of the various media and entertainment shows. There are numerous people operating at various levels in this massive industry and hence there subsist the need for well trained and skilled individuals at every level.

Career Classification in The Television Industry

If making a film is a race then television productions can be a full-blown marathon. A show which is telecasted on the television can go on and on for years if the theme is liked by the viewers and working on that project can be a whole lot of work than one can imagine. The various job profiles are enumerated below.

1. Scriptwriter:-

It all starts with an idea. At the very first, there has to be a  concept for a show which may need to be converted into a script for a better understanding of the plot. The scriptwriter writes the whole script which describes the uniqueness of the show and the characters in it. After it is approved by the production manager then the actual work of a scriptwriter begins. He/she writes the dialogues of the cast for each episode and their work can go on for as long as the show lives. A good scriptwriter is always in demand.

The pay of a scriptwriter can be Rs.5,000 per episode and can rise up to Rs.5,00,000 per month.

2. Production manager:-

The production manager has to look after all the departments of a project. It is upon him/her to hire the cast or decide who shall be the director. Most of the production manager’s job is similar to that of the film industry’s unit production manager. They are responsible to look after all the contract papers between the members involved.

The production manager can earn anywhere near Rs.3,60,000 per year.

3. Producer:- 

All the financial assistance is committed by the producer. A producer is the backbone of all the departments as without monetary support it is impossible to carry out any project. Most importantly a producer has a say in all the pre-production meetings and has the authority to remove anyone from their posts or they can halt the production at any time.

The salary of a producer is Rs.8,84,300 per year approximately.

4. Director:-

A director assists and guides the actors in every way possible. Their job is to bring creativity in the way a scene is being shot and bring the visuals a little closer to reality. The directors have the responsibility of hiring the perfect cast and crew for a specific show.

The pay of a director is Rs.5,40,000 per year approximately.

5. Executive producer:-

A show has several episodes and a bunch of activities takes place at the sets on a regular basis. It is not possible for the producer to see if the operations are running efficiently and effectively. Therefore, an executive producer is appointed to look after the whole project and to check the progress daily.

The executive producer’s salary is somewhere between Rs.7,94,700 per year approximately.

6. Location manager:-

The location manager shortlists all the shots and decides on where they are to be shot. Accordingly, he/she obtains the necessary permissions that are required to shoot on a certain location. This can be a challenging job in the present civilization as the audience wants to see shows as near to reality as possible and shooting in the public areas may require the location manager to look into a lot of security-related issues.

They are paid an amount of Rs.5,64,000 per year approximately.

7. Set designer:-

The set designer’s job is to look after the creation of a set where the shooting is done. This requires a team of a lot of skilled workers and creativity. The more appealing the look of the set, the more variation it can provide to the director to shoot from various angles.

In the television industry, a set designer can earn up toRs.5,00,000 per month based on the condition of the production houses.

8. Lighting director:-

For every scene, perfect lighting is a must. How is it that even in the dark themed scenes we are able to see the actors? It is all possible because of the lighting directors. The lighting directors make sure that the location meets the appropriate lighting standards. They work closely with the technicians and supervise them.

A lighting director earns a similar amount to that of a cinematographer which is Rs.4,80,000- Rs.6,00,000 per year.

9. Camera operator:-

The camera operator supervises the cameraman on how to go about the filming of the scenes. It is essential for the camera operator to make sure that the visuals can appeal to the audience. They are supervised by the director and basically they carry out the director’s plans. In many cases, several inputs are given by the camera operator and hence they help the director in achieving their vision.

Their pay varies between Rs.3,20,000.

10. Hair and Makeup Artist:-

The hair and makeup of the actors is managed by the Hair and Makeup Artist. They are professional artists who create the various looks of the actors based on the demand of the script.

They can earn anywhere between Rs.3,00,000- Rs.6,00,000 per year.

11. Costume designer:-

The costume designers design the costumes of the actors. Based on the trend and the personalities of the TV show stars, they come up with an innovative costume that plays a great role in defining the character of the cast in the show as well. They maintain the wardrobe for the actors and keeps on adding outfits for the various themes of the plot.

They are paid somewhere near Rs.3,00,000-Rs.4,00,000.

12. Actors:-

The actor or actress of the show is responsible to perform the role of the given characters in the best possible way. They need to be creative and talented to be able to instill the love for their character in the viewers.

On average, an actor earns a sum of Rs.80,000- Rs.1,00,000 per episode.

Various Courses, Eligibility and Fees

The courses for the distinct professions in the film and the television industry are almost the same for some domains. The list of courses along with the eligibility criteria that one must attain to pursue these courses are mentioned below and the one interested in any one of those can look for more information from other sources.

  1. Three-YearPostgraduateDiploma in Direction and Screenplay Writing; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree in any subject.
  2. Three-Year Postgraduate Diploma in Cinematography; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree in any subject
  3. Three-Year Postgraduate Diploma in Sound Recording and Sound Design; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree with Physics as a subject at the higher secondary level.
  4. Three-Year Postgraduate Diploma in Editing; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  5. Three-Year Postgraduate Diploma in Acting; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  6. Three-Year Postgraduate Diploma in Art Direction and Production Design; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture/ Painting/ Applied Arts/ Sculpture/ Interior Design or any related field in the FineArts or similar qualifications.
  7. One Year Postgraduate Diploma in Feature Film Screenplay Writing; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  8. One Year Postgraduate Certificate Course in TV Direction; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  9. One Year Postgraduate Certificate Course in Electronic Cinematography; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  10. One Year Postgraduate Certificate Course in Video Editing; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree
  11. One Year Postgraduate Certificate Course in Sound Recording and TV Engineering; Eligibility- Bachelor’s Degree with Physics as a subject at the higher secondary level.


The expenses for these courses differ among various institutions. But on average, the three-year courses may cost up to Rs.1,50,000-Rs. 2,00,000 and one-year diploma courses may cost up to Rs. 50,000-Rs.1,00,000. If an individual stays in the hostel then the hostel fees of Rs.45,000-Rs.50,000 may be included in the cost of the fees.

Training Institutions

Although the passion of an individual matters the most it is always essential to enhance the skills. Training institutions are extensively significant in enhancing one’s ability to achieve better. The best training institutions for the film and television courses are enumerated below.

  1. Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
  2. Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata
  3. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai
  4. L.V. Prasad Film Institute, Chennai and Trivandrum
  5. The National Institute of Design ( NID ), Ahmedabad
  6. ADYAR Film Institute, Chennai
  7. Government Film and Television Institute, Bangalore
  8. Zee Institute of Media Arts ( ZIMA ), Mumbai

Selection Process

Usually, the selection process is simple i.e. if one meets the eligibility criteria and has a certain bachelor’s degree then he/she is approved to join the institution. However, this is not the same for all institutions and some may require a series of additional tryouts.

In the context of The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune before getting admission to the institution the candidate has to go through a Joint Entrance Test ( JET ).

This test is split into two categories:

  1. Written Test– The written test includes two types of questions. The first half is from General Knowledge and the other half comprises of subjective questions. If one clears this test then the admission is granted.
  2. Orientation: This is the second phase of the test. All the theoretical questions are converted into practical assignments for the newcomers. These assignments need to be up to the mark. Then comes the departmental interview in which the examinee has to face and answer a series of questions. After clearing this interview another special interview is organized to assess whether the candidate possesses the basic knowledge of the several departments.


Most of the individuals might not be aware of the fact that scholarships are provided to candidates who perform exceptionally well. The varied scholarship schemes of distinct institutions can be found on the official web page of their institute.


The Indian media and entertainment industry comprises various segments that include television, print, films, radio, music, animation, gaming and visual effects, and digital advertising. The industry has recorded unprecedented growth over the last two decades, making it one of the fastest-growing industries in India. The effect of digitization is being felt in the film sector as well. With about 95 percent of India’s cinema screens already digitized, the industry is poised for buoyant growth in the long run. Hence, the employment generation is bound to increase in the coming years which makes the scope of this industry very vast.

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