Self-assessment is about matching one's interest and career objectives with the knowledge about the industry and the various jobs in it. Career objectives are your personal guides for making job related decisions that can lead to a long-term career development.
There are personal constraints that influence accepting one type of job over another. There is an important distinction between one's ability to do the work and one's willingness to do the work. One of the first steps in self-assessment is determining your skills and previous experiences.
All production crew jobs require some combination of cinematic, technical and organizational skills. These skills are mostly acquired on the job, but also through specialized training and education.
Cinematic skills are closely related to artistic or creative skills. In production work, it refers to one's ability to understand and see how things will ultimately look on the screen. Although the director is primarily responsible for the “look” of the final product, production crews indirectly and directly contribute to that “look.” Among the production crew, keys or department heads are more closely involved in the “creative” process than other less experienced members of the crew. Cinematic skills are typically learned through experience working on the set.
Technical skills are learned through training and experience. Technical skills are specific to a particular craft such as rigging, sound mixing, costume building, set construction and so on. As such, technical skills include “how to” make something and how to properly use tools and equipment. An important aspect of technical skills is safety on the set.
Organizational skills are essential to every member of the production team. To reach a point of capturing a scene on film, many tasks and people have to be mobilized and coordinated. The production department oversees the entire process, from getting everything set up on the set or location to wrapping up after a shoot. However, coordination needs to happen at the level of the departments. Within the department, everyone is expected to carry out his/her task in a timely manner. Coordination between departments is necessary to pull all the different parts together.
Interest and Values
Be sure to have a look at Know Yourself: Self-Assessment in the Getting Started section.