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Receptionist

Receptionists working in Post Production companies have much more responsibility than those employed as receptionists in other industries. Post Production Facilities Houses provide complete end to end services for off-line, on-line and non-linear editing, visual effects, and DVD production to the independent, corporate and broadcast media sectors. Post Production involves creatively weaving together visual and audio materials shot or created during the production process, and combining them with other media, graphics, effects, subtitles, archive footage, etc., to create a variety of final products including broadcast programmes, DVD titles, corporate productions, etc.

Because Receptionists work at front of house and are the company's first point of contact for most clients it is essential that they make a positive impression. Receptionists are part of the team that supports the work of senior Post Production personnel and clients and are usually employees of the company. This role is sometimes combined with that of Traffic and/or Dispatch, and is often performed by Runners.

What is the job?
Receptionists answer phones, operate the door/entry system, log in visitors and clients, and meet and greet clients and other visitors to companies. Because clients spend long periods of time at Post Production houses during the editing process, they are usually catered for on the premises, and Receptionists may be responsible for ordering and delivering food to clients and other personnel. They are responsible for some aspects of building security, and for office administration, in some cases working as a de facto office manager. They monitor and control stationery and office stock supply, undertake general office duties, mail and paperwork distribution, and log in and log out tapes (when the role is combined with a library function). In some cases they are also responsible for traffic, dispatch and runners. When the Receptionists' role is combined with library/dispatch functions, they must be able to read, understand and generate, to industry standards, the labels and documentation which accompany tapes and media.

Typical career routes
Many Receptionists start their careers as Runners, and may combine the Receptionist role with that of Head Runner and/or Marketing and PR Assistant. Receptionists may eventually progress to become Edit Assistants, and eventually Editors or into other senior roles. The average expected job span in this role is 1 to 3 years.

Essential knowledge and skills
Receptionists must have good typing abilities, and appropriate IT skills, including a thorough understanding of Microsoft office or other relevant systems, combined with good standards of literacy and numeracy. They must be able to operate a variety of internal and external telephone and communication systems. Knowledge of Post Production is not essential but may be useful.

Key Skills include:

  • effective team working skills;
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • a high level of organisational skills;
  • precise attention to detail;
  • ability to multi task
  • diplomacy and sensitivity when working with clients;
  • god IT skills;
  • knowledge of the requirements of The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) regulations 1995;
  • knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures.

Training and qualifications
Although no specific educational or training qualifications are required for the Receptionist role, qualifications relevant to future roles, e.g., relevant Media degrees may provide useful background knowledge. Knowledge of the creative media industries is useful. Relevant typing and IT skills are essential. Personality and communication skills are also important at entry levels.

Where to go for more information
Creative Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media. The first sources of information for all jobs in the industry are the National Occupational Standards. Browse Creative Skillset's website for links to our network of training partners, information about training and access to the comprehensive Creative Skillset/BFI course database. Finally, Creative Skillset Careers is UK's only specialist media careers advice service; for detailed media careers information and advice, visit http://www.creativeskillset.org/careers/.

Websites
- UK Screen Association is the trade body for Post Production;

- BECTU, the trade union represents Post Production personnel; 

- British Film Institute publishes Sight and Sound

- Digital Post Production

- Broadcast Freelancer


Publications

- Broadcast, weekly newspaper for the UK TV and Radio industry; 

- Televisual, monthly business magazine for the broadcast industry;

- Audio Post Production for Television and Film - Wyatt & Amyes - ISBN 0-240-51947-7

- How Video Works - Weynand & Weise ISBN 0-240-80614-X

- Nonlinear Editing Basics - Steven Browne - ISBN 0-240-80282-9

 

All books available from: http://www.focalpress.com/


Glossary

Linear : Editing in formats where it is not possible to move sections around within edited material, e.g., VHS, u-matic or BETA, etc.

Non-Linear : Editing in formats where it is possible to move sections around within edited material, e.g., film, AVID, Edit Pro, etc.

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Adobe Acrobat DocumentReceptionist - Post Production

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