There’s no business like show business

Posted October 13, 2011, by Mike Kermode

Music, film and television occupy a big place in most of our lives – they help us to relax, help us to feel, and shape how we see and experience the world.

For most of us, these media are sources of entertainment and information, not income. But there are thousands of jobs available in these industries for trained, passionate and technologically astute individuals, where you can be both challenged and rewarded, and be part of a creative and dynamic process that can potentially reach thousands of people, all across the globe.

The JMC Academy is a unique Australian education provider that specialises in training entertainment technology professionals. Whether you’re a sound boffin or a digital media whiz, JMC’s Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane colleges have a range of courses that can bring out your creativity and help turn your inspired talent into a successful career.

Digital media and 3D animation

Digital media and 3D animation are two of the fastest-growing industries in Australia and the world. Encompassing digital art, technology and business, digital media increasingly shapes how our entertainment is crafted and presented, and has opened doors to new kinds of art in galleries, theatres, on the big and small screens, and, of course, online.

All this means that the practical skills of digital media artists and 3D animators are crucial in the production of today’s entertainment products. Film, game development, web design, advertising and television all now rely heavily on digital media to create, design and manipulate content. This has resulted in a hunger in the field for industry-ready talent versed in the latest multimedia software and 3D technology.

With its range of digital media and animation courses, JMC has the expertise and technology to train you to be a concept artist, web designer, games designer, special effects artist, animator or storyboard artist. Every student at JMC is trained in the latest industry-standard software, including 3D Studio Max, Maya and Mudbox – the kind of technology used in Hollywood animated features like Finding Nemo, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Monsters Inc. JMC graduate Damien Schneider has gone on to work on the award-winning animated feature film Happy Feet. 

Digital film and television

Digital technology has revolutionised the way films and television productions are shot, stored, edited and distributed, and the industry is in constant need of those proficient in multimedia software and technology.

For those with the right training, the opportunities are bountiful. You could work at a commercial television station, film production company or advertising agency, in a variety of roles. There are technical roles such as director of photography and editor; there’s the creative side of things, like director, scriptwriter, lighting designer, production designer and storyboarder; post-production handles editing and special effects; and there are management roles like producer, production assistant and post-production supervisor – and this barely skims the surface.
While there are thousands of people employed to help create TV and video productions every day, it’s a competitive industry, and professional training will give you the edge you need to get ahead. At JMC you’ll receive practical training in live television production, current affairs production and the modern media landscape, as well as feature film and television commercial production. Making music videos and documentaries are also key elements of the curriculum. 

The nature of the work is highly collaborative, and you’ll get to do fun, hands-on projects like the one that saw audio engineering and digital film and television students work together to film the Australian band Eskimo Joe in an exclusive showcase.

Popular music and performance

Frank Zappa once said that ‘Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid’. Music today is everywhere – on television, film and radio; in advertising, malls, shops; on the Internet, and pumping out of countless commuters’ headphones. There’s hardly an environment that music doesn’t perforate for the purposes of decorating time, transforming space, and evoking emotional responses.

It’s easy to forget that it all needs to be painstakingly conceived, arranged, performed, recorded, cut and distributed to get to your ears.

There’s a mammoth industry dedicated to the production of this music, offering a wide range of career options for the musically minded. Music production careers can be forged in theatre, television, radio, advertising, in bands, teaching, music production, publishing and composition, just to name a few.

To make it in this field, you need a broad range of skills. JMC’s music and performance courses ensure that you graduate not only with technical expertise (in instrumentals and software-based production), but an understanding of how music can be utilised in different ways, what makes the music business tick, and how to best achieve commercial success.

Audio engineering and sound production

It may be easy to take for granted, but the importance of sound quality in media and entertainment can’t be overstated. Sound engineers are responsible for ensuring that music and sound recorded, mixed, edited and performed is of a high enough quality to play for audiences, and they also manipulate sounds to create special sound effects. It is a highly skilled profession that requires proficiency in a range of technologies, both analogue and digital, as well as a fine set of ears.

Career options include music producer, recording engineer, sound effects editor, sound designer, Pro Tools operator, location recordist, live sound engineer and mastering engineer. And as digital technology continues to expand, so too does the need for trained and flexible ‘soundies’.

As demand for good soundies grows – especially for freelancers – if you’ve got a sharp ear, like the idea of managing a sound desk or studio, and want to help people enjoy what they hear, studying audio engineering and sound production could be a good move. And if you want the best sound training available, you can’t go past JMC, with its professional facilities, Pro Tools technology, experienced instructors and industry connections.

Entertainment business management

Good entertainment needs good management to reach its audiences. And as the availability, quality and sheer amount of popular music continue to grow, so too has the need for business-savvy managers. Artists simply wouldn’t make it without the business nous to give them their commercial footing.

Entertainment business managers today need to be multiskilled in everything from marketing to law, copyright and economics, not to mention web buyer behaviour in the context of fast-rising web downloads.

There’s a host of different roles for qualified business managers in the entertainment industry. Whether it’s work in artist management and development, promotion, music publishing, event or venue management, artist management, sales or as a booking agent, these guys and gals are the nuts and bolts behind the creative artists, making sure their talent is seen and heard.

Studying at JMC gives you an understanding of the business behind the stage and album covers – the music business model, and the interconnected networks of producers, distributors, promoters and buyers that keep the whole machine well-oiled. Train in entertainment business management, and you’ll be quite literally ensuring that the show goes on.

Is a career in entertainment calling you? See our range of professional entertainment technology courses.

Mike Kermode

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