Special Effects Tech

Most of the fantastic and scary scenes that are seen in movies or on television have been orchestrated by special effects technicians. They typically meet with producers or directors to discuss effects that are needed for a film or show. Then they create samples often on the computer to determine whether their rendition meets with the approval of those heading the project. They are experts at creating the illusion of explosions crashes battle scenes and severe weather conditions. They are able to fabricate monsters and dinosaurs for the purpose of interesting or scary scenarios. In addition they use makeup masks and rubber prostheses to make actors and actresses look younger or older than their actual chronological ages or to simulate injuries and wounds. In general they know how to modify both lighting and sound so that a specific effect is achieved. According to the website www.ehow.com there are no formal educational requirements for this career. However most special effects technicians have an associate’s degree or more often a bachelor’s degree in art theater film animation or computer science. Those dealing with pyrotechnics such as fires and explosions need special training and apprenticeships in order to be licensed to handle firearms and hold a permit to work with explosives. Special effects technicians must be artistic and creative well-versed in computer technology and ideally they need some background in chemistry and physics. For some projects they must know how to use power tools to construct the items are necessary to create the effect. Special effects technicians work individually as well as on teams and some work on a freelance basis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that special effects technicians earn an average annual salary of approximately $50000.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $50000
High Salary: $60000
Low Salary: $40000
Tasks: Helps create illusions for films or stage productions.
Works with producers and directors to determine what special effects are needed.
Ensures that special effects look real.
Installs, operates, and maintains special effects equipment.
Also Called: Computer Animation Specialist
Makeup Effects Specialist
Pyrotechnics Effects Technician
Mechanical Effects Technician
Additional Resources: http://www.ehow.com/about_6395625_special-effects-technician-job-description.html