Cutting edge

Post-production editing professionals are highly sought after for film and television projects, writes Sangita Sharma Phukan

Post-production is the process of editing or fine-tuning of audio/video footages with respect to sound, visuals, computer graphic, special effects, etc for movie, television and web viewings. It can best be understood as the art, technique and process of assembling various audio/video shots into a creative and coherent whole, thus maintaining the smooth layers of images, music, rhythm, pace and human performances.

"The process of post-production occupies a significant place in the creation of films/movies, digital art, videos, television programmes and also audio recordings. It is, infact, the most crucial phase before delivering the end product to the audience, as it requires a lot of creativity to create a work of art from raw footages," says R.Krishnan, the global head of an animation institute.

Work it entails

A number of processes are involved in post-production: These include:

  • Editing camera footage for films or television programmes;

  • Editing sound track;

  • Writing and recording sound track;

  • Adding visual special effects through Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).

Types of editing

There are two types of editing— linear and non-linear.

Linear editing is done by using videotape. Also known as tape-to-tape editing, it can simply be done by dubbing or copying the desired shots from the camera to a video tape recorder (VTR). This was prevelant prior to the introduction of non-linear editing in the 1990s. However, with the advent of non-linear editing, which is done on computers through software, linear editing gradually became obsolete as the former offered a huge amount of cost-effective flexibility to the work.

In non-linear editing, footage from the camera is captured on the hard drive of a computer which is then manipulated by means of editing software like Avid’s Express Pro, Final Cut Pro or Premiere. These clips are then arranged on a timeline, adding music tracks and titles, special effects etc. This finished product is then rendered into a video that is distributed using platforms like a DVD, iPod, CD-ROM or videotape and web streaming.

For non-linear editing, the computer should have a video capture card if it has to capture analog video and a FireWire connection for capturing digital video from a DV camera, along with the necessary video editing software.

In non-linear editing, the original source files are not lost or modified during editing. The editing software records the decisions of the editor in an Edit Decision List. This list offeres the flexibility to change decisions by editing this list as and when required.

Net working

The world wide web has made the editing process all the more flexible, cheaper and user friendly. There are a number of applications available on the Internet today that can be downloaded without any cost. These applications are very user friendly and can be manipulated conveniently. The free web applications include Cinelerra, an editing tool that can be downloaded easily. There is also Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker, Apple’s iMovie that comes with the operating system. "One does not need a high-end computer for video editing. An Internet connection and web browser is enough for the purpose, as web-based editing systems have the capacity to take a video directly from a camera phone over a GPRS or 3G mobile connection. This is then edited through a web browser interface," he says.

Job opportunities

"A career in post-production requires a very creative mind with an eye for detail. Along with it, if one is equipped with proper training, this can be a very promising career. In fact, an editor is the most sought-after professional for film and television productions, as he can change the face of the video," he says.

A trained professional can work as an editor, assistant editor, special effects designer and assistant with a variety of employers like television networks, independent film producers, independent audio and picture editors, post-production houses (video and audio), special effects and animation companies, and multimedia producers.

Training needs

One can establish oneself as a freelancer as well and earn handsomely. The salary depends on the organisation one is working with. However, Rs 15,000-20,000 is offered at the entry level. After that a professional can demand on project basis. This might go up to several lakhs for a freelancer.

Training in the latest software is very important to be successful in this field. An artistic bent of mind is inborn. If technical knowledge is added to it, one can achieve great success.

As the entertainment industry is reaching new dimensions in technology and creativity, the post-production work is becoming all the more interesting and important. The end product depends a lot on the expertise and creativity of the post-production team. So, it is desirable for post-production professionals to have a sound knowledge of computer graphics, basics of animation and multimedia and audio/video special effects. Added skills are necessary to get that cutting edge.



Career Hotline
Not getting credit
Pervin Malhotra

Q. I have done a PGDIM from IGNOU and have been working in a state finance corporation for the past 6 years. I have good exposure to both mobilisation and deployment of resources. But my career doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Please advise.

— Jitendra Sahni

A. The most valuable pointer I can suggest is to first work out a written career plan for, say, the next 5 years, including your realistic yet ambitious goals, and make an honest assessment of your strengths and shortcomings. Without such a plan, it is impossible to plan your career growth successfully.

Once you have drawn up your 5-year career plan, assess the opportunities available for someone with your qualifications, skills and experience.

The third step is to marry the two, namely your goals and the opportunities available.

Thus, for instance, considering your experience, you might wish to become a top-flight finance professional. In which case, you might like to consider a switch from your present job to some other, faster-growing company in the financial services sector, which is currently booming. Or, is it that the company you currently work for is not growing fast enough to provide you sufficient growth opportunities?

In a nutshell, work out your goals. The action you need to take will then automatically be evident.

If the niche area of Mergers and Acquisitions, interests you, Times School of Business in collaboration with Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, University of Mumbai offers a programme in Mergers & Acquisitions (6 month, Part-Time).

Eligibility: Graduates with 50 pc plus 2 years work experience or fresh postgraduates are to apply for the course. For details visit

Fast Moving future

Q. What are the career opportunities available in radio?

— Gauri Kohli

A. With The government launching 300 plus FM radio stations in the near future, radio offers great career prospects.

A typical radio station is divided into four parts — creative, activation, marketing and sales.

The creative part, dealing with the programme content of the radio station, is provided by the radio jockey (RJ), the producer and the scriptwriter.

Radio jockeys interact directly with the audience. They must be adept at handling the console with its numerous buttons, the inflow of phone calls and messages, and bring a spark to the programme, simultaneously.

An RJ should be fluent, clear, engaging, alert andspontaneous.

Behind the RJ is the producer who comes out with the ideas for the programmes. The producer often works along with the scriptwriter who writes copy for different promotions, advertisements and mini-plays. Both producers and scriptwriters should have a strong creative bent.

Music is a very important element in radio. Those with a keen ear for music and melody become music managers or sound engineers.

In addition, as in any other media organisation, there are jobs for those who market the radio station as a brand as well as those who get advertisements for the radio.

Apparel avenues

Q. I am an engineer from a business background. I would like to strike out on my own. Is textile manufacturing and export a good option?

A. The ‘Made in India’ tag no longer means tacky and substandard, it’s now a brand to flaunt! In fact, some of the biggest names in the international fashion industry are making a beeline for fashion apparel manufacturing to India.

The cr`E8me de la cr`E8me from the glitzy world of fashion like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Gucci, Prada and Armani are either sourcing their work or exploring manufacturing options in India. Given the availability of cheap labour, India’s specialty is accessorising designer wear with embroidery, appliqu`E9, patchwork, tie and dye etc.

Leading buyers are also sourcing materials from India. In keeping with the offshoring trend, textile manufacturing is increasingly migrating to low-cost developing countries like China, India, Bangladesh, and Taiwan. Global retailers are looking at a handful of competent vendors for purchasing material.

The elimination of the Multi-Fibre Agreement has been widely hailed as the dawn of the ‘new world order in textiles,’ as a result of which the Indian textile and apparel industry is poised for a boom in exports. If we position ourselves properly and continue to net the US and EU markets as we are successfully doing at present, our share of the global export market is expected to take a big 8 per cent leap by 2012 from the current 4 per cent, riding on quality and price competitiveness.

The current exports revenues: $19 b are expected to touch $50 b by 2010. Two years into the quota-free regime, Indian textile exporters are getting into hitherto untapped destinations such as Spain,
The Netherlands, Italy and Australia.

The Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) estimates that in the next five years, Rs 1, 94,000 crore will be invested in the sector. The government is pitching in to give China a run for its money by adding 24 textile parks, taking the number of such parks to 50. CITI predicts that by 2012, India’s market share will cross $ 110 billion.

The second largest employment generator after agriculture, India’s Textile sector employs 35 million people, while another 28 million are employed in the cultivation of jute and cotton. Fourteen million new jobs are in the offing within the next 5 years. So, if you have the interest and the aptitude you are essentially looking at a golden opportunity in the textile sector.

The industry is expected to face a shortage of 6.5 million workforce by 2012.

The government has announced several new initiatives, including the setting up of SEZs to develop and equip this industry to achieve the $50 billion export target by 2010.

The domestic textile sector is projected to grow into $100-bn industry in the next five years.

Talking point

Q. I come from a semi-rural non-English speaking background. My friends often make fun of me when I tell them about my wish to work in a BPO or other service sector companies. They say my English is poo . Does it mean that with my basic English I won’t get a job anywhere?

— Sameer Jain

A. Your friends are absolutely wrong. You don’t need a tough vocabulary to be able to work in a BPO. A decent vocab with a neutral accent (no pronounced vernacular or mother tongue influence) is what is needed for international BPOs.

The domestic ones are even more lenient in their requirements.

Don’t let anyone deter you from what you want to achieve in life — even if it takes a bit longer.

Moreover, the recruitment strategy of companies in the services sector is changing in favour of small town youth. In a marked departure from the traditional model of employing English-speaking public school products, many banks and even BPOs are recruiting graduates from smaller towns and even some villages, who have a government school background.

For instance, ICICI bank is expanding its network in semi-urban and rural areas by recruiting people from humble background and polishing them through training.

The notion that only English-speaking people can serve customers is wrong. Even those who don’t know English can be suitably trained to cater to this segment.

This strategy not only contributes to containing the escalating attrition rates but also helps absorb educated unemployed youth from rural and semi-urban areas.

Many other companies like Wipro have also started sourcing some of their workforce from this graduate pool. The strategy pays off because, in turn, the companies get staff which is more loyal and stable.

The writer is a noted career consultant

Please send in your query, preferably on a postcard, along with your full name, complete address and academic qualifications to: Editor, Jobs and Careers, The Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh-160030, or at



Accounting for shortfall

Concerned over the declining number of risk valuers, ICAI, the apex body of chartered accountants, is planning to promote the study of actuarial science among CAs.

In future, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) may approach the government to permit chartered accountants to take up the actuarial work, which relates to valuing risks.

"AS 15, which deals with the employee benefits on retirement, demands a lot of actuarial work for which we rely on the actuaries. The decreasing number of actuaries is a problem for CAs. We, therefore, want to promote the actuarial science among chartered accountants," president of ICAI Ved Jain said in New Delhi recently.

AS 15, which was notified in 2006, says that corporates have to calculate the last drawn salary of the employee and provide for pension and gratuity on that basis. This has to be certified by a professional actuary.

A number of actuarial valuation methods have been developed to determine the liability of a company towards employees. An actuary has to choose a suitable valuation method and in consultation with the employer makes appropriate assumptions and computes the benefits to be provided to employees.

Jain said the institute will deliberate on the issue of chartered accountants learning the intricacies of actuarial work to provide for the shortage in the number of actuaries in the country.

The actuarial science, Jain added, may be made a part of the chartered accountancy curriculum so as to equip the aspirants for such work. This, he said, will also help them in detecting anomalies in the actuarial calculations.

"In future, we may also take up the matter to the government on the actuarial issue so as to allow CAs to take up the actuarial work," Jain added.

Accountancy firms seem to be happy with the move as it will be convenient for them to get the work done efficiently.

"Certainly it is a welcome move. With more complex actuarial calculations and scarcity of actuaries, it will be be convenient to have a person doing the work in your backyard.

Since chartered accountants are not equipped for doing so, training will have to be provided to them," Grant Thornton partner Sai Venkateshwaran said. — PTI



Women on board encourage more females to join corporate ranks

Advocates of larger female strength in corporate corridors should target the boardrooms first, with a latest survey showing that the number of women officers tend to grow higher in companies having a larger number of fairer sex directors.

"Women board of directors are a predictor of women corporate officers. The more women board directors a company has in the past, the more women corporate officers it will have in the future," according to a report by Catalyst, a US-based non-profit organisation promoting women in business.

The study found that the number of women on a company's board is directly connected to the future number of women in its senior management ranks.

Interestingly, a previous Catalyst study found that the Fortune 500 companies with the largest representation of women board directors and corporate officers achieve, on an average, higher financial performance.

About the findings of the latest study, Catalyst president Ilene H. Lang says, "Women leaders are role models to early and mid-career women and, simply by being there at the top, encourage pipeline women to aspire to senior positions. They see that their skills will be valued and rewarded." The study, which was sponsored by the Chubb Corp, Citizen Communications and IBM Corp, found that the companies with 30 per cent women board directors in 2001 had, on an average, 45 per cent more women corporate officers by 2006, compared to companies with no women board members.

Similarly, companies with the lowest percentages of women board directors in 2001 had, on an average, 26 per cent fewer corporate officers than those with the highest five years later.

The catalyst research further revealed that the companies with two or more women members on a company's board in 2001 had 25 per cent more women corporate officers by 2006 than companies with one woman board member in 2001.

It also found that the presence of women on boards had a stronger impact on the growth of women in line positions than in staff positions.

"Line experience is necessary for the advancement into CEO and top leadership positions," Catalyst says and adds that women are historically under-represented in these roles.

A gender-diverse board signals the right tone at the top and the importance that a company places on creating a successful work environment for all employees, Lang adds.

Moreover, this study shows that what is good for women is good for business. Simply put, more women on corporate boards correlate with more women in the C-suite and better financial performance a real win-win for companies, shareholders, and talented women seeking companies that support their advancement," she says.

Companies with more women directors have more inclusive workplace culture, policies and programmes that support women's advancement, Catalyst says.

The women board directors are also a powerful antidote to damaging stereotypes that devalue women's abilities, it adds.

Besides, an increasing number of women on corporate boards is important for both financial performance and gender diversity in the corporate officer ranks.

Catalyst, which has been studying the number of women on Fortune 500 companies' boards and corporate leadership roles for over 10 years, says that their number in these positions has grown considerably in this period, but the progress has stalled in past two years. — PTI



Govt in search of directors for eight new IITs
Desperately seeking technocrats

The government has begun the search of directors for the eight new premier institutes of technology (IITs), six of which are set to start in the current academic session and the remaining from 2009-10.

Apart from the eight new IITs which are coming up in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, the Human Resources Development Ministry has also invited applications for the post of director, Bombay IIT.

The Cabinet recently approved establishment of eight new IITs with an estimated cost of Rs 6,080 crore.

The government had also approved the creation of 30 faculty posts per year in the first three years of establishment of each of the new IITs, besides approving posts of a director and registrar.

The directors, as per the public notice issued by the Ministry, would be appointed after obtaining the approval of the competent authority, based on the recommendations of the search-cum-selection committees.

Six of the eight IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan would start their academic session this year, while the remaining two in Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pardesh will begin teaching in 2009.

The aspirants for the post of directors can send their applications directly to the Ministry, while the eminent persons can also nominate candidates and send their recommendations to the selection committee.

Even bureaucrats and officials of the public sector undertakings (PSUs) with requisite experience and qualification can apply for the posts of director through official channels, the notice said. — PTI

Now, institutes as mentors

The new IITs will be mentored by the existing ones. The IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat would start the academic session with 120 students each for B.Tech programmes through temporary campuses and would be mentored by the IITs of Madras, Guwahati and Bombay, respectively. The IITs of Rajasthan, Punjab and Orissa will start their classes in the campuses of their mentor IITs at Kanpur, Delhi and Kharagpur, respectively.



Smart Skills
Ad, ad world of media planning
Usha Albuquerque

Advertising is a cool career—colourfully dressed individuals, smoking, pencil chewing, thinking up the big idea! This is the image that attracts many a bohemian college student. There is, perhaps, no other career that deals with cool people — models, film stars, business tycoons — as well as creative ideas. Advertising is a business that greatly influences our daily lives. Our choices regarding the type of cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the mobiles, TVs and laptops we use are largely influenced by advertising.

But most people associate an advertising career with the creative team that produces ads with gorgeous models selling cosmetics or clothes, or the laugh-your-guts-off ad for a mobile phone or cold drink. We are also familiar with the front face of the agency, client servicing, which represents an agency to the client and the client within the agency. What is not so well-known, is the crucial role played by that of the media planning and media buying departments. That’s because even the best and most expensive ad is of no use, unless the right people see it.

Media planners ensure that ads are viewed by the most suitable audience. They choose the best outlet or medium to reach the customer they want. They plan, schedule, book and purchase space in the print media (newspapers, magazines) or outdoors (billboards, kiosks and bus panels) and time (TV and radio, internet).

Work profile

There are numerous television channels, newspaper and magazines, radio stations, cinema theatres and out-of-home sites. In addition, today the media also includes the digital world of online advertising and mobile phones, events, product demonstrations, public relations and anything else that can reach and influence consumers or potential consumers.

There are various aspects of media planning. In planning for a brand, the media planner must ensure that an effective and efficient plan is generated for the best way to reach and influence consumers. Some products need to reach millions of consumers, and television may be the best vehicle for this. For others, it may be a specialised, distinctive consumer reached through limited print magazines, or FM radio. The media planning exercise often involves conducting some targeted brand or need-specific research to assess recall and viewership/readership of a campaign. Based on extensive research studies of consumer patterns, the media planner must work in ensuring that the ad client gets true value. A lot of groundwork and research is vital for a successful advertising campaign.

A media career can involve several kinds of work. One could be working with an ad agency, or a media company as a media planner. An agency may employ its own personnel or commission an outside agency for the job. You can also work as a media buyer with a media agency, where you would need to examine all the different kinds of media, their rates and ensure the best deals for the highest and most effective visibility for your ad. Another important job is media scheduling. Once the deal has been struck with the media houses, the actual delivery of the advertisement material and availability of space in the media have to be worked out. Therefore, the media scheduler is responsible for the actual output of the advertisement in the specified media.

Entry point

To get into the field of advertising and media planning you will have to do a course in advertising and then, specialise in media planning. It is an advantage if you have a background in maths and statistics, an MBA or an MBE. Media planners deal with numbers, and rating systems, analysing, crunching and reporting numbers that help sell advertising. So, a course in economics, mathematics or statistics is often helpful. This helps the professional to delve into demographic and psychographic reports and to analyse data.

There are several institutes which offer postgraduate diploma courses in mass communication, specialising in advertising and media planning, such as the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi, and Xavier’s Institute of Communications, Mumbai. Some of the institutes like MICA (Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad) specialise in communication management as an MBA programme too. Most good institutes offer a one or two months’ internship as part of the curriculum. The best way to get into the field after a course is to get some on-the-job training.

Very few colleges offer specialisation in advertising at the bachelor's level. Those that do cover advertising in general, and often media planning is not covered in much detail. Specialising at the PG level is usually the best route to a good job in this field. The starting salary is flexible, between Rs 10,000-20,000 and depends on the individual's merit, qualifications, experience as well as the company's size and performance.

Skill set

However, more than any academic qualifications, to be successful in media planning you need to have good creative instincts, communication skills, team spirit, ability to withstand the high stress levels of an extremely competitive environment and self-confidence. In addition, a media planner requires objectivity, numerical ability, and a logical, analytical brain. This is one career where success comes early to those who show promise. If you have the required aptitudes and skills, and are willing to put in hard work - the sky can be the limit.

Career growth

Today, there are 500 accredited advertising agencies, and several hundreds not listed. Some of the giants in advertising and media planning that most students dream of working are Hindustan Thomson Associates (HTA), Ogilvy and Mather (O&M), McLann Ericksson, Carat, Satchi & Satchi, Leo Barnett, Grey, R.K. Swamy — BBDO, Bates, Mudra and Redifussion Dy and R, among others. Over the last six years, the advertising market has grown from under Rs 20 billion per annum to over Rs 80 billion. This has meant a proportionate increase in the number of career opportunities at various levels.

Moreover, as advertising grows as a medium, it is constantly evolving with changes in technology and its desire to find new and better ways to reach an ever-growing consumer marketplace. The Internet has revolutionised the industry, and has taken the advertising world by storm, with online advertising a global medium with massive potential.

Consumers and consumer behaviour are changing too. More than just figuring out numbers and ratings, the media planners of the future need to examine the psychology and the buying patterns of the new consumer, whether in the metros, medium, small towns.

But advertising is not a glamorous profession, as most believe it to be. Those who join must be prepared to work long hours and under much pressure and deadlines. Agencies are expected to deliver work "yesterday"!

Training talk

  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, JNU, New Campus, New Delhi
  • Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), Shela, Ahmedabad
  • Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, V.L. Mehta Road, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai
  • National Institute of Advertising, New Delhi.
  • Wigan & Leigh College, 86-A, Central Avenue, Sainik Farms, New Delhi
  • Xavier's Institute of Communication, St. Xavier's College 5, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai 400001. (Mah)

The writer is a noted career expert



Bits & bytes
MEFB inaugural session held

The Department of Economics, Goswami Ganesh Dutta Sanatan Dharma College, Chandigarh, recently organised the inaugural session for MBE and MEFB students.

The principal of the college, Dr A.C. Vaid, urged the students to work hard and with dedication. Nisha A. Angrish, head of the department, welcomed the new students and also congratulated the seniors for showing good results. The inaugural session was followed by summer training and mock presentations for the MBE and MEFB students. — TNS

Revamped animation course

Arena Animation, the global leader in high-end animation training, has launched the brand new version of its 2.5-year comprehensive animation engineering programme — DAE. This programme is available only at select Arena Animation centres across the country.

It offers a unique blend of digital and analog art skills, as well as an understanding of the creative and technical processes involved, according to a Press release.



Fortnightly Quiz-315

1. From which premier medical institute of India did Nepal's first President complete his postgraduate studies?

2. In which cold area of the world are one fifth of the world's undiscovered yet recoverable oil and natural gas reserves believed to be located?

3. Which Sri Lankan batsman recently emulated Sir Don Bradman by scoring nine centuries at a particular venue?

4. Who recently became the first cricketer in the history of the game to go for a review of an onfield umpire's decision (other than stumping and run out)?

5. Which country recently won the Junior Asia Hockey Cup title for the second successive time?

6. Name the US swimmer who holds the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics.

7. Name the Romanian who, at the age of 14, became the first gymnast to score perfect at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

8. Name the official mascots for the Beijing Olympic Games.

9. What is the fuel of the torch for the Beijing Olympic Games?

10. What is the meaning of Citius, Altius, Fortius?

Winners of quiz 314: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Guneet Singh, X-C, MGN Public School, The Mall, Kapurthala-144601

Second: Apoorv Sharma, V, Indus Public School, Vijay Nagar, Jind-126102

Third: Shinky Jalhotra, 12 (inter arts), DAV Edward Ganj Public School, Tehsil Road, Malout-152107, district Muktsar, Punjab

Answers to quiz 314: 96 km;Vienna; Salman Rushdie; Pompeii; Asimov; Five times; Rafael Nadal; Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg; 169 runs; New Zealand

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

Note: Kindly mention the pincode of your place to facilitate the delivery of the prize money.

Answers can also be sent at

Name ……………….……………….....……
Class ………………..………….......….…
School address …….………….....…….

— Tarun Sharma