Dcp_author_banner© Andrew E Weber

DCP Author

Personality type:

The Lowdown        

  • Creating digital cinema packages so a film, trailer or ad can be distributed to and played at cinemas

Is this role right for me?

For this role, you will need to:

  • Have a thorough understanding of post production processes
  • Know how to create a professional-level digital cinema package
  • Understand compression, colour space and codecs/wrappers
  • Have an understanding of editing techniques
  • Have good problem solving skills
  • Be able to work effectively under pressure to tight deadlines
  • Have good attention to detail in reviewing final deliverables

What does a DCP Author do?

A DCP Author is the technician who creates the digital cinema package for a film, trailer or ad. Due to the complexities of cinema-grade projectors, a film needs to be presented in a very specific way to play correctly. DCP Authors are specialists in making a film work in the standard it needs to be in, allowing it to be played in all cinemas.

It's not just a simple matter of encoding either, as they are also responsible for making slight colour changes to account for different projectors, and encrypting sensitive projects.

Will I need a qualification?

A qualification isn’t necessary, just the ability to demonstrate you know how to create a digital cinema package. However, a technical degree or equivalent qualification may be useful.

If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the film industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in film:

Film production courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick

What’s the best route in?

DCP Authors are usually digital wizards who show a flair for cinema distribution. Showing your expertise in a post-production role like Colourist or Visual Effects Artist, and displaying an aptitude for digital cinema and how to get the best results out of a projector would be a great help in establishing yourself as a DCP Author. From there, you can either look to become a DCP author at a post production company or go to a specialist DCP house.

Many junior DCP Authors are trained on the job after working as editors, assistant editors or post production runners, and proving that they have the skills and critical eye needed for the job.

Interested? Find out more…

For more information on job roles in the creative industries, take a look at Hiive's job roles.  



  • Broadcast is a weekly newspaper for the UK TV and Radio industry
  • Televisual is a monthly business magazine for the broadcast industry
  • How Video Works, Weynand & Weise ISBN 0-240-80614-X
  • Video Editing and Post Production, Gary H Anderson - ISBN 0-240-80337-X
  • Digital Nonlinear Editing, Thomas Ohanian - ISBN 0-240-80225-X
  • Editing Digital Film, Jaime Fowler - ISBN 0-240-80470-8
  • Technology of Video and Audio Streaming, D. Austerberry - ISBN 0-240-51694-X
  • The Technology of Video & Audio Streaming (2nd Edition), D. Austerberry - ISBN 0-240-80580-1
  • Video Systems in an IT Environment, Al Kovalick - ISBN 0-240-80627-1


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