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Overview of the role

Providing support, assistance and delivery within the technical support operation of a post-production company

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Post production technical operator

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the media industries and covers the Post Production area for Film, TV and Advertising. Post-production is effectively the final step in the making of a film or television programme and associated products, is the process of refinement and transition of productions’ raw materials into a finished product before distribution and release to the public. Post Production Technical Operators are employed by audio and picture post-production companies, visual effects companies, broadcasters and by film and TV production companies who have their own facilities.


The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide support, assistance and delivery within the technical support operation of a post-production company. Core duties include (but are not limited to) first line technical and edit support for the workflow and lifecycle of the content in post-production, media backup, ingest and export. The core objective of the role is to ensure that the technical support operations are fulfilled effectively and efficiently to the technical specification provided. Each company engaged in post-production, of whatever size, employs Technical Operators to prepare, manage and deliver the assets and creative media handled during the post production process.


In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with creative colleagues in editing, visual effects or production teams, as well as clients. This is a junior position into the Master Control Room (MCR) department, the role is often shift based and may involve working alone or as part of a larger team; they will report to senior technical managers.


An employee in this occupation will be responsible for applying technical knowledge and understanding to the post production process in film, TV and Advertising. Post-Production Technical Operators are given high levels of responsibility with sensitive material, working to specific and varied technical standards within time-limited deadlines. In this role, they are responsible for assessing quality of content and carrying out corrective measures where possible. They have to be able to analyse source material/content and interpret and apply technical specifications to this. Although it is a technical role, there is a need to have an eye for the creative processes in post production such as editing, audio mixing and colour grading. The roles require an understanding of current digital file-based workflows as well as legacy media. Creative personnel in picture editing, grading and audio dubbing suites depend on the picture and audio files produced by technicians in this role. They are known by a variety of job titles, depending on the specific services provided by their employer, however the core technical understanding that they use applies across the industry.

Typical job titles include:

Dailies operator Data wrangler Digital imaging technician (dit) Grade/edit assistant Input/output operator Mcr operator Media operator Offline assistant Quality control operator Technical operator


Occupation duties

Duty

Criteria for measuring performance

KSBs

Duty 1 Work effectively as part of a team, supporting creative colleagues to deliver the clients’ vision of the final programme, film or commercial

To be recognised as a productive and effective colleague delivering excellent service to clients and
colleagues on every project

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 2 Preserve or create audio, video and data content at the best quality possible as it passes through the post production department, in line with industry standards and client requirements

Demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge and skills required, in a time pressured environment, across many projects simultaneously

K6 K7 K8 K9 K10

S6 S7 S8 S9 S10

B5 B6

Duty 3 Ingest and export media to/from the post production environment

Demonstrate an ability to work accurately to agreed workflows, in a time pressured environment, across many projects simultaneously

K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16

S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17

B7 B8

Duty 4 Receive and dispatch media from/to external organisations

Consistently, accurately and securely manage media movements in and out of the company
documenting and communication to ll relevant parties in an accurate and timely fashion

K16 K17

S18 S19 S20

B3 B8

Duty 5 Manage media on post-production storage systems, to ensure that the right content is available at the right time, to the right client.

Consistently, accurately and securely manage media storage for all project according to company requirements

K18 K19 K20 K21 K22

S21 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27

B1 B3 B10

Duty 6 Support creative colleagues in edit suites

Work effectively behind the scenes, with colleagues and clients to ensure smooth, consistent and efficient operation of editing services

K23 K24 K25

S27 S28 S29 S30

B7 B8

Duty 7 Support creative colleagues in picture and sound finishing suites

Work effectively behind the scenes, with colleagues and clients to ensure smooth, consistent and efficient operation of finishing suites within appropriate technical boundaries

K26 K27

S27 S28 S31 S32 S33 S34 S35

B5 B7 B8 B11

Duty 8 Perform formal Quality Control Assessments to produce reports on the technical quality of sound, pictures and data of finished content

The ability to produce concise and accurate formal reports, referencing appropriate standards, to meet client requirements. Communicating findings to both clients and colleagues accurately and in a diplomatic manner.

K28 K29 K30 K31 K32 K33 K34

S36 S37 S38 S39 S40 S41

B9 B10

Duty 9 Conform to company Health and Safety policies, company processes and procedures

Adheres to Health & Safety Legislation and organisational policies and processes

K35

S42 S43

B11

Duty 10 Handle legacy media content

Demonstrate an ability to integrate legacy material into contemporary workflows

K37 K38

S27 S44 S45 S46 S47 S48

B7 B8


KSBs

Knowledge

K1: Understand the purpose of post-production within the end-to-end production process Back to Duty

K2: Understand the commercial context of post-production with the film, TV and advertising industry Back to Duty

K3: Understand the importance of agreed workflows and how to adapt these to meet the needs of a production Back to Duty

K4: Understand the importance of accurate, effective and timely communication with own team, other departments and customers to ensure efficient progress of the work in hand Back to Duty

K5: Know the relevant health and safety legislation and company policies to ensure a safe working environment for themselves, colleagues and customers Back to Duty

K6: Understand the principles of video signals for film and TV in the digital and analogue domains including: resolution, sampling, colour science, display technologies and emerging and legacy video formats/standards Back to Duty

K7: Understand the principles of audio signals in the digital and analogue domains including: Signal path basics, mono, stereo, surround sound, object-based audio, audio levels and loudness Back to Duty

K8: Understand the use of metadata and other forms of content documentation Back to Duty

K9: Understand the use of timecode and other frame labelling protocols Back to Duty

K10: Understand why it is business critical to use unambiguous labelling of content, clock numbers and file naming conventions Back to Duty

K11: Understand the importance of agreed workflows and how these may be adapted to meet the bespoke needs of a production Back to Duty

K12: Know and understand the structure of and appropriate application of, audio and video file formats in common use in production, post-production and delivery Back to Duty

K13: Know the fomats that are used for still images and graphics held as bitmaps or vector images, and which file formats are used for moving images held as sequential single frame files Back to Duty

K14: Understand the principles of encoding, transcoding and compression of digital audio and video Back to Duty

K15: Understand the capabilities of different connection standards for portable storage devices Back to Duty

K16: Understand the principles of high speed file transfer across Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wider Area Networks (WAN) Back to Duty

K17: Know and understand the protocols for secure, audited receipt and dispatch of content via physical and electronic transfer Back to Duty

K18: Understand the principles of computer systems, IP networks and shared storage systems as applied in post production Back to Duty

K19: How media is managed throughout the data lifecycle including production storage, shared storage, nearline storage and archive, whether on premises or in the cloud Back to Duty

K20: Understand the bandwidth requirements and disk configurations necessary to ensure reliable playback and record performance at the required resolution for one or more clients from shared storage or directly connected storage Back to Duty

K21: Understand the principles of good digital content governance, resilience, RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks), security, confidentiality Back to Duty

K22: Understand the value of media content to the business and its customers Back to Duty

K23: Understand the principles of non-linear editing systems Back to Duty

K24: Understand the functional role, capabilities and limitations of the equipment used in offline editing Back to Duty

K25: How to provide operational assistance and first-line support to creative personnel and problem solve within agreed governance constraints Back to Duty

K26: Understand the principles of non-linear picture and sound finishing systems Back to Duty

K27: Understand the functional role, capabilities and limitations of the equipment used in online editing, colour grading and audio dubbing Back to Duty

K28: Understand the technical standards and customer specifications used for UK and international delivery of programmes, films and commercials to cinema, TV broadcast and online distribution platforms Back to Duty

K29: Understand the requirements of international productions to aid localisation, such as textless backgrounds and audio stems. Back to Duty

K30: Understand the correct environment in which to perform quality control and assessment Back to Duty

K31: Understand the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) classification of quality issues and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 5-point quality assessment scale Back to Duty

K32: Know and understand the regulations to comply with in regard to flashing images and stimuli causing photo sensitive epilepsy Back to Duty

K33: Understand the regulations and specifications for on-screen text and graphics such as: safe areas, minimum text height and minimum durations for legal information in commercials Back to Duty

K34: Understand the importance of intelligibility of dialogue and how this is impacted by a complex range of factors, especially age-related hearing loss Back to Duty

K35: Know and understand the relevant health and safety legislation and company policies Back to Duty

K36: Know and understand legacy video standards such as standard definition PAL and NTSC and their conversion to contemporary standards Back to Duty

K37: Know and understand legacy video and audio tape formats Back to Duty

K38: Understand the implications of using legacy formats in contemporary workflows Back to Duty

Skills

S1: Work in line with agreed workflows, adapting to operational changes as they occur Back to Duty

S2: Multitask on simultaneous projects, often for different clients, prioritising the work to ensure that all tasks are completed on schedule Back to Duty

S3: Analyse and interpret the work order and technical specification to complete the scheduled tasks Back to Duty

S4: Use process documentation and work order reporting systems for efficient, accurate and timely communication with other departments about the progress of the work in hand Back to Duty

S5: Work accurately with a high degree of attention to detail Back to Duty

S6: Analyse and advise on the quality of audio, video and data throughout the post production process to colleagues, customers and suppliers Back to Duty

S7: Follow post production processes to ensure the necessary quality is achieved Back to Duty

S8: Access and interpret the relevant information pertaining to technical specifications and client requirements, and apply to the post production process Back to Duty

S9: Use appropriate technical vocabulary to document and communicate compliance with, or exceptions from, technical standards Back to Duty

S10: Assimilate information from multiple sources and apply to task in hand Back to Duty

S11: Ensure data is transferred securely between client supplied sources and post production storage systems, performing data integrity and virus checks Back to Duty

S12: Ingest and export media content and metadata to/from post-production systems, syncing the audio to video and applying colour transforms (LUTs) as required Back to Duty

S13: Arrange media content in agreed folder structures, using consistent and unambiguous folder and file naming conventions Back to Duty

S14: Prepare graphics and still images for ingest using software such as Photoshop where basic manipulation is required. Back to Duty

S15: Encode and transcode audio and video data to required specifications Back to Duty

S16: Export finished content or work-in-progress with metadata from post-production systems to required specifications and naming conventions Back to Duty

S17: Provide technical advice to clients and colleagues on an appropriate file specification for a given requirement Back to Duty

S18: Dispatch and receive physical assets to/from external organisations and audit the process Back to Duty

S19: Use file transfer software for fast, secure and audited delivery of assets to external destinations Back to Duty

S20: Communicate work progress to colleagues and clients as appropriate Back to Duty

S21: Manage access by clients to shared storage systems according to company protocols Back to Duty

S22: Ensure data integrity when moving media between storage systems Back to Duty

S23: Backup, archive and restore media, sequences and metadata according to company practice Back to Duty

S24: Safely delete media as instructed and complying with company protocols Back to Duty

S25: Maintain content security measures, both electronic and physical as required by the employer and their clients Back to Duty

S26: Enact business continuity procedures Back to Duty

S27: Prioritise the workload to ensure the scheduled tasks are completed on time, liaising with colleagues and clients Back to Duty

S28: Provide frontline operational support to clients in editing suites, to ensure that they can find and work with their media Back to Duty

S29: Take ownership to resolve and/or escalate faults/incidents to the appropriate person, within agreed governance constraints Back to Duty

S30: Connect and set-up post production editing equipment using appropriate cables and connectors Back to Duty

S31: Perform and check data conforms of sequences prior to colour grading or online editing Back to Duty

S32: Transfer picture data between grading and editing systems, ensuring the data integrity of content and sequences is maintained Back to Duty

S33: Relink ingested media to updated sequences as editorial changes occur Back to Duty

S34: Prepare and transfer audio data to the dubbing suite Back to Duty

S35: Perform basic editing functions necessary for the preparation of media and sequences for creative processes, or for formatting of finished content for delivery (e.g. adding line-up signals, idents, patching in QC fixes, audio laybacks) Back to Duty

S36: Analyse and interpret the results of reports from audio and video test equipment Back to Duty

S37: Consistently assess and identify faults in content, using the correct terminology to accurately describe and record them Back to Duty

S38: Use own judgement and discretion to decide what is acceptable and what is not in relation to quality control, depending on the context of the material, its intended use and the required technical specifications and customer requirements Back to Duty

S39: Deliver accurate and concise Quality Assessment Reports with clear indications of mandatory failures, advisory warnings and client approved exceptions Back to Duty

S40: Provide technical advice on remedial action to correct faults identified Back to Duty

S41: Communicate findings to both clients and colleagues accurately, and in a diplomatic manner Back to Duty

S42: Comply with company Health and Safety policies and practices, identifying, mitigating and reporting any incidents or risk to the appropriate person Back to Duty

S43: Consistently work in a safe manner for self, colleagues and clients. Back to Duty

S44: Use appropriate legacy media physical handling procedures Back to Duty

S45: Carry out basic operation of videotape recorders and audio recorders Back to Duty

S46: Digitise tape content into editing systems Back to Duty

S47: Playout finished content from editing systems to tape Back to Duty

S48: Provide technical advice to clients and colleagues on the implications of using legacy format in contemporary workflows Back to Duty

Behaviours

B1: Displays a strong work ethic and commitment to meet the standards required - upholding ethical and professional standards Back to Duty

B2: Demonstrates a passion for post production, the media industry and its productions - proactively keeping up to date with latest developments within the industry Back to Duty

B3: Maintains company and customer confidentiality, acting as an ambassador for their employer Back to Duty

B4: Acts in a manner that supports the commercial customer relationship acting as an ambassador for their employer Back to Duty

B5: Demonstrates attention to detail and not willingly accepting second best; whilst at the same time being pragmatic about balancing client expectations against the available time and budget Back to Duty

B6: Proactively keeping up to date with latest developments within the industry Back to Duty

B7: Thinks creatively and logically to solve technical issues - contribute to a process of continual improvement of workflow and technique Back to Duty

B8: Delivers good customer service in a creative environment Back to Duty

B9: Balances the quality threshold which it is practical to achieve within time and budget constraints, and the customer expectations Back to Duty

B10: Works with a high level of sustained concentration and attention to detail Back to Duty

B11: Works safely to ensure a safe working environment for themselves, colleagues and customers Back to Duty


Qualifications

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.


Additional details

Occupational Level:

4

Duration (months):

12

Review

This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0696
Version: 1.0
Approved for delivery: 11 April 2019
Route: Creative and design
Minimum duration to gateway: 12 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £9000
Trailblazer contact(s): nicoles@creativeskillset.org
Employers involved in creating the standard: Clear Cut, UK Screen Alliance, Pinewood Studios, West Digital, MPC, Fifty Fifty, Framestore, Molinare, MPC, Edit Store, Technicolor, Company3/Encore/Deluxe, Motion Pictures Solutions, Platform Post, Run VT, Motion Pictures Solutions, Flix Facilities, MPC, Company3/Encore/Deluxe
LARS Code: 442

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