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EPK Director/Producer

Industries:
Film
Personality type:
Communicator
Departments:
Distribution | Marketing | Publicity and Stills

The lowdown

  • Producing interviews and behind the scenes footage for press kits
  • Producing documentaries about the making of the film
  • Producing extras for DVD release

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

  • Have a wide experience of being on film sets
  • Have experience of programme making
  • Have experience of editing techniques
  • Have experience of journalism
  • Understand film production processes
  • Have good computer skills 
  • Be able to work to a brief
  • Be able to multi-task
  • Have good communication skills
  • Be sensitive and tactful
  • Be able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Be able to work well under pressure
  • Be able to give direction
  • Understand the relevant health and safety laws and procedures

What does an EPK Director/Producer do?

EPK Directors/Producers (D/P) may be asked to pitch for a job after reading the script. They will consider how the EPK and “making-of” films fit in with the overall press and marketing campaign. Once they have been hired EPK D/Ps work directly with the film company’s publicity department, and with the on-set Unit Publicist, to organise the shooting schedule.

For the b-roll (general behind the scenes footage of the film’s production) EPK D/Ps select days during the main shoot when major cast members are on set. They make sure they are available for interviews and know when exciting location and action sequences are planned. Once on set, EPK Crews work closely with Assistant Directors and the rest of the crew to find the best position from which to film. Their shot ideally includes a good view of the scene, and also of the crew filming it.

EPK crews must also ensure that they do not position the camera in actors’ eye-lines during takes. Interviews are usually conducted as close to the set as possible. If special lighting is required, or if the set is too noisy, other areas must be found. At the end of each day’s shoot, EPK D/Ps check the sound and picture quality of any interviews recorded, that any scenes shot are of the right quality.  

EPKs often have to be ready up to two months before the film’s release to allow for all approvals to be given, and for any changes that need to be made. ‘Making Of’ programmes have to be delivered to television stations up to a month before broadcast. They should be completed well in advance to allow for any approvals and re-cuts. Once the final cut is approved, the picture is graded and the sound mixed to broadcast standards. 

DVD material requires up to six months lead time. This is to allow for DVD authoring and to dub (translate) or subtitle the programme extras.

EPKs are produced and edited by a small number of highly specialist companies. These employ Director/Producers (D/Ps) to write and edit each production. Camera and Sound Operators are hired on a film by film basis, and are usually highly experienced film industry practitioners. EPK D/Ps often work on three or four films simultaneously.

Will I need a qualification?

You will need a degree in Photography, Graphics, Film, Communications or Media Studies. However, editing experience is the best training for EPK D/Ps. You can take courses in this.

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?

You can join an EPK company after working in post production or as a successful broadcast journalist. You will need to have plenty of experience. Companies specialising in EPK sometimes offer traineeships which are advertised in the national media. 

Interested? Find out more…

Websites

Publications

  • Variety a weekly publication for the film, television, music and interactive entertainment industries  
  • BFI Sight and Sound magazine featuring articles, reviews and full credit lists for international cinema. 
  • Screen Daily - online industry news service and weekly publication, Screen International
  • Campaign for news and articles about the media industry 
  • Brand Republic a trade magazine for the advertising, marketing and PR industries

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