A Day in the Life
What you do: The range of the job?
Introduction The Hairdresser in the film and television industry involves arranging the hair of actors, artists and guests for the camera. Aspects of Work - Central Aspects Learning new practical skills Being aware of how colours and shapes are used in design Secondary Aspects for this career: Having your own creative ideas about designs and styles Being physically active and on your feet Cleaning and clearing up Work requiring accuracy and attention to detail Other Aspects for this career: Being interested in chemistry Being aware of and taking into account the feelings, views or behaviour of others Being accurate with numbers in counting, measuring and arithmetic Being interested in human biology Being well-organised and careful with practical tasks Working evenings or weekends Work Activities The work of a Hairdresser in the film and television industry is very different to working in a salon. Different techniques may be required, depending on the style of the production. The Hairdresser works with the Production Designer and/or the Director in deciding on styles and looks that are appropriate to the production. If it is a period production, the style and type of hairdressing of the time must be researched. In film, the Hairdresser breaks down the script to determine the hairdressing requirements of the production. The Hairdresser then sets up the department, ordering stocks and whatever facilities will be required. He/she often selects the Assistants and Trainees for the department. The Hairdresser must prepare a budget and a schedule for the department and is responsible for the budget and the administration related to the department. When the rehearsals and then shooting begins, the work entails shampooing, colouring, styling and setting the actors hair and touching up, combing and/or spraying actors' hair between takes. It includes selecting and dressing all wigs, toupees, special effects, etc. as required. The chief Hairdresser would usually attend to the principal actors and assign an Assistant to minor cast members and extras, depending on the size of the cast involved in the production. The Hairdresser is responsible for briefing the Assistant Hairdresser as to the types of hairstyle required and delegates work to the Assistant and Trainees. The Hairdresser works closely with the Make-up, Costume and Wardrobe departments, taking account of the requirements of each. The work includes consideration of good hygiene practice and any allergies or special needs that actors may have.
Qualities: What you need to be able to do the job?
Personal Qualities and Skills A Hairdresser in the Film and Television industry must be fully qualified, must have experience in working with wigs and be able to style in both modern and period styles. Good organisational skills and an ability to get on well with people are essential. The progression route is from Trainee to Assistant to Full Grade Hairdresser. Trainees are assessed on their stamina, their attitude to work and their ability to work as part of a team of specialised people; often working under pressure. A specific amount and type of experience is necessary to upgrade so progress is limited by the amount of required work that is available. Film work is on a freelance basis. If you are managing a team then leadership, problem-solving and dispute resolution will be important. You must be able to give clear instructions and motivate staff to work precisely and consistently. A cheerful but firm, authoritative manner is necessary. You need to be able to work within agreed budgets, time frames and to plan and prioritise work.
Career path: How you start and where you can go with it?
Pay and Opportunities A qualified hairdresser in TV/Film with a number of years experience can earn EUR 50,000 plus a year. Top earners may make EUR 65,500 plus a year. Hairdressers in the film and television industry may be expected to work irregular and unsocial hours. The progression route is from Trainee to Assistant to Full Grade Hairdresser. Trainees are assessed on their stamina, their attitude to work and their ability to work as part of a team of specialised people; often working under pressure. A specific amount and type of experience is necessary to upgrade so progress is limited by the amount of required work that is available. Film work is on a freelance basis. Note: Wage and salary figures quoted are approximate and are for guideline purposes only. These may vary depending on experience or economic and local circumstances. Entry Routes and Training The starting point for employment in the film and television industry is as a Trainee Hairdresser, then upgrading to an Assistant before becoming a Full Grade Hairdresser. The requirements for upgrading are governed by the film section of The Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU). An applicant for Trainee in this section of SIPTU must be a fully qualified hairdresser with a good knowledge of colouring. An application has to be accompanied by details of experience. Trainees are expected to have their own basic working equipment. Before a Trainee can apply to upgrade to an Assistant Hairdresser, he/she must have worked on at least five films, both modern and period, two of which must involve working with wigs. In order to upgrade to Full Grade Hairdresser, one must have worked on at least five feature films as an Assistant Hairdresser, and have assisted on a number of commercials, in addition to having worked on a least five films as a Trainee Hairdresser. Two of the films in the Assistant Hairdressers' experience should be period films or features that have involved working with wigs. He/she should be well acquainted with wig care, blocking, setting, cleaning, and their use for doubling and ageing, and also be familiar with preparing for bald caps and laying on loose hair and pieces. A good knowledge of ordering wigs, measuring and budgeting for the Department, stock, etc. is required. All applicants for upgrading should have a thorough understanding of script breakdown and scheduling. Applications should be accompanied by at least two letters of recommendation from Heads of Department the Assistant has worked with, and full details of work experience, including the number of days he/she has worked on a feature or television production. There is a wide range of full and part-time courses at both further education and private schools. Schools organise work experience placements with local employers or may have their own salon on-site. Crumlin College of Further Education, School of Beauty, Hair and fashion - Hairdressing and Cosmetic Studies (one year full-time). FETAC level 5, also accredited by CITAC and the Department of Education and Science. - Hairdressing (Year 2), this is a one year full-time course which involves on and off-the-job training in Hairdressing. Awarding bodies of this course are the Department of Education and Science, and the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC). - Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) Masters Hairdressing Diploma. Part-time courses in hairdressing are for people employed in the hairdressing industry only. These include both short courses and day release apprenticeship courses. Cavan Institute of Technology - Diploma in Hairdressing. FETAC Level 6 / City and Guilds International Diploma (level 2). - Diploma in Hairdressing and Beauty Care. FETAC Level 6 / City and Guilds International Diploma (level 2). This is a two year full-time course. - Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy Combined. FETAC Level 6 / City and Guilds International Diploma (level 2). This is a three year course also accredited by confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC) and International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC). FAS Centres throughout the country run a course in Hairdressing. This 26 week course is accredited by City & Guilds / FETAC at level 5. Please visit QualifaX at http://www.qualifax.ie/ for more information on relevant courses.
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