What’s a Gaffer Do? Assignment Description.
Professor Lynn Dickinson – Media 1
“What’s a Gaffer Do?” (WAGD?) We all know what actors and directors and writers
do, but for every one of them, there are dozens, maybe hundreds of other people
working hard to create that media product, capture your attention, and wedge it
into your experience. In doing this paper you’ll learn about some interesting, fun,
and pretty cool jobs in the media you didn’t know existed.
1. Choose your favorite medium from Television, Cable, Film, Music, Radio, Print
(newspapers and/or magazines), Books, or Internet.
-ORChoose a profession that interests you (for example: firefighter, lawyer, chef,
artist, gardener, etc.)
2. Find Three (3) professions you didn’t already know about within your chosen
medium and learn about them for this assignment.
-ORFind Three (3) jobs that people in your chosen profession can do within the
media. (For example, if you chose Lawyer – you might have found:
Entertainment Attorney, Film Contracts Analyst, and Talent Agent.)
3. In your paper, you’ll identify the medium or profession you chose, and for each
profession, answer the following questions:
a) What is the job title you discovered?
b) What do people with that title do? What stage in the process do they
do it? (Development? Preproduction? Production? Post Production?
Distribution? Publicity/Marketing? Etc.)
c) If possible, identify what “department” they work within (for example,
Camera Department, Art Department, Editing, Research, Promotions,
d) Why did you choose this particular profession to learn about?e) How do people get started within this profession? What’s a typical
f) Are there any guilds or unions for this profession? If so, which one(s)?
Do they offer any internships or entry level mentoring programs?
(You can discover this information on the website or by calling the
guild or union, if there is one.)
g) Why is this profession important to the medium?
Cite your sources. It’s okay to use the Internet – but be sure the sites you select are
legitimate and credible. Do not limit yourself to the Web. Call the union offices, go
to the library, interview someone in the profession, get creative and have fun! Turn
it in via eCompanion by the Due Date: Check your Syllabus. NO LATE PAPERS
ACCEPTED. (If you turn it in early enough, I’ll give you feedback for possible
re-submission. Check your syllabus for that feedback due date, too.)
WARNING: You may not copy and paste content from a “help wanted” ad, or
any other source into your paper without proper citation. That’s plagiarism.
It’s dishonest and it will be reported to the college.
? WAGD? Assignment Extra Credit: Want another possible 10 points for your
efforts? Arrange a time with me in advance, and present your findings to the class.
Take 5 minutes to teach all of us about the professions you studied. (We’ll have signups in advance for this option, in class.)
? WAGD? Assignment Extra-Extra Credit: Media professions are changing all the
time – which is what makes Communications such a dynamic and versatile degree.
Teach me about a profession I didn’t know existed and I’ll give you 5 extra points. I
warn you though, it won’t be easy. I know about a LOT of media professions already
(I may not know all the titles a given job may go by across different organizations,
but if it’s a profession I know about already – no extra-extra credit points will be
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