Senior Film and Video Technician

Queen's University - Kingston, ON (30+ days ago)

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Job Summary
1. Give a short summary of the duties and responsibilities of your job.

The incumbent functions as Lead Hand in the operation of the Equipment Room and directs the other technicians in repair, maintenance, and installation activities. Lead Hand activities include:
  • Liaising with Department Head and the Production Committee on annual equipment updates
  • Reports issues raised by the tech team to the Department Head and faculty as necessary
  • Co-chairs the Production Committee
  • Coordinates the tech team tasks and activities, including the training of new faculty and staff
  • Identifies new software programs
  • Triages incoming requests to the tech team
  • Liaises with ITS as necessary
Conducts the inspection, maintenance and repair of film and video production equipment, as well as performing maintenance and repair activities as required, along with the Film and Video Technician. Repairs to specialized equipment components are outsourced accordingly. Keeps track of the equipment inventory and schedules the daily distribution of production equipment to students.

Provides first-line response and troubleshooting for technical issues associated with the teaching spaces. Contacts the service provider or University A/V services if the issue is not readily resolved. The issues that arise include shared maintenance of various equipment (such as in-class projection), streaming, engaging with outside service providers who provide maintenance, and repair through various insurance and warranty agreements.

Maintains and preserves the analogue film (8, 16, and 35mm), VHS, laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray collection in the departmental archive and keep the operating system and software for the File Cut Pro archival database up to date.

Provides software support and hardware troubleshooting for the faculty and departmental computing facilities when required. Acts as Departmental Computing Representative. Develops, installs, upgrades and maintains the computer-based facilities for students and faculty, which used for video and digital post-production.

Installs and maintains the Holostation in the Digital Media Lab.

Develops and maintains a room booking system for student workrooms (such as editing suites). Holds technical workshops for students on the use of software or equipment, and coordinates workshop schedules through the Production Committee, as required with the instructors’ and/or course needs and requests from faculty. Maintains the Sound Studio (Room 313) which includes the installation and maintenance of all programs and software, run training workshops for faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recommending and pricing out new equipment as needed.

Sits on the Production Committee and makes recommendations to both the Committee and the Department Head for the purchase of equipment and supplies in order to ensure scalability and backwards compatibility of equipment and installations. In coordination with the Production Committee, assists the Department Head in budgeting for future development and acquisition of facilities.

Provides an overall technical design for the Vulnerable Media Lab, which includes recommendations for specific equipment purchases that support future technical sustainability. Installs or act as the point-person for the installation of all new equipment acquisitions for the Vulnerable Media Lab. Provides recommendations for the scheduling of equipment use and maintenance in the Vulnerable Media Lab. Maintains and enhances as necessary the facilities for dubbing and viewing of video and digital media, including the Vulnerable Media Lab, with a view to scalability and backwards compatibility.

Small-scale repairs (e.g. costing a couple hundred dollars) in the Vulnerable Media Lab have a dedicated repair budget that has been pre-authorized by the Department Head based on the scope, frequency and cost of repairs. The incumbent works within this budget to coordinate the small-scale repairs and any outsourcing of specialized equipment components. Larger-scale repairs (e.g. costing thousands of dollars) must be authorized by the Department Head, and the incumbent provides recommendations to the Department Head on the repairs needed or any outsourcing of specialized equipment or components.

Provides appropriate training for all faculty, visitors and students who will use the Screening Room (222) equipment and facilities. Provides an inclusive technical design for the Screening Room, which includes recommendations for specific equipment purchases that support future technical sustainability. Installs or act as the point-person for the installation of all new equipment acquisitions for the Screening Room. Provides recommendations for the scheduling of equipment use and maintenance in the Screening Room.

Plans and organizes the digitization of the film and videotape collection. Makes effective recommendations to the Department Head on triaging the priorities of digitalization.

Provides orientation on the use of equipment as well as troubleshooting support for students using the production equipment (e.g. editing, sound recording, camera and animation, and multimedia facilities) on an as-needed basis. Prepares instructions on the operation of equipment and software, for distribution to students, either on paper or electronically. Assists faculty in preparing audio-visual and multimedia teaching material.

Uses a ladder or lift to access lighting grids in the Production Studio and in the Art and Media Lab as necessary for Film and Media undergraduate and graduate projects. Ensures the proper training of the technician in working at heights.

Job Description
2. To fulfil your duties what knowledge, skills and specialized techniques are required? How would each be normally acquired? How long would it take to become proficient in each of the areas of your work?

A detailed knowledge of all areas of film and video production is required, which is acquired through a 3-year diploma program in film, video and digital media production, or relevant equivalent, and ten years of experience working in production.

This position requires the use of both analogue and digital test equipment, and the incumbent must be able to use and interpret service manuals, schematics and wiring diagrams.

The ability to communicate well in a workshop situation is needed, as the Senior Technician assists students in developing practical skills.

Experience in working in an academic setting with teaching staff and students.

Knowledge of electrical, mechanical and electronic basics is required for the installation and repair of facilities and equipment used for producing and screening 16mm film, a variety of video and audio formats, and computer-based digital media.

3. Is it necessary in this position to oversee the work, or to instruct other staff? If so, what does this involve?

The incumbent has role of Lead Hand, which involves providing technical guidance to more junior staff and providing instruction to faculty in the operation of audio, video, digital, and classroom equipment, and the use of computer software. The incumbent also oversees the tasks of work study students and interns.

4. What other people must you deal with in this job and why? (i.e. is there direct contact with students, teaching staff, other departments, and people outside the university community).

The position involves direct contact with faculty for determining course requirements and the various services and facilities required, coordinating practical instruction and supervision of students, and for purchasing supplies and equipment.

There is direct contact with graduate and undergraduate students for the allocation of equipment and the delivery of practical workshops, as well as one-on-one assistance and troubleshooting in production and post-production environments.

There is direct contact with other departments on campus and with outside firms, clients or agencies, in the course of arranging the purchase and repair of equipment and supplies, as well as providing services and assistance to other departments.

There is direct communication with the Production Committee, departmental staff and faculty, and interaction with the Technical Director and staff at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

5. How is your work assigned to you and how closely is your work checked by someone else?

Work is assigned orally or in writing by the Department Head, the Departmental Administrator, Chair of Production Committee, the Faculty Technical Supervisor, or by faculty directly. Work progress is reviewed by the Head and/or Faculty Technical Supervisor through Tech Team meetings but is primarily evaluated on whether it solves the specific problem in question and whether it is useful in the normal course of affairs. The Senior Technician ensures the smooth operation of the Department's facilities.

6. a) Are the sorts of problems encountered in this job usually covered by established procedures or do you frequently have to develop or invent solutions to problems yourself?

In a rapidly changing technological area, many of the problems encountered in this position require the development of new solutions, such as when old software needs to be replaced on short notice. The Senior Technician is expected to have the expertise and initiative to arrive at these solutions independently, in consultation with the other technicians as needed. Repair work may require the diagnosis of problems in hardware and software.

If the solutions cannot be arrived at in a reasonable timeframe, the troubleshooting information is communicated to the next administrative level (i.e. the Head and/or the Faculty Technical Supervisor). The incumbent will then initiate a service order from ITS, A/V Services, or an external provider.

b) Are you involved in establishing standard procedures? (Give examples)

The incumbent is involved in establishing new standard procedures as necessary, for example in the management of equipment checkout and maintenance. The Senior Technician makes recommendations to the Production Committee on the design planning and implementation of new technological solutions in order to ensure scalability and backwards compatibility. In addition, the design or modification of facilities and the adoption of new software, often directly or indirectly affects standard procedures, and the Senior Technician must be able to make recommendations to the existing standard procedures that support the new software or modification made to the facilities.

7. a) What is the size of your department (i.e. #of classes for which you are involved with labs., # of students, # of staff you might come in contact with, # of technicians in department).

There are three technicians in the Department. There are also eleven full-time faculty and five term adjunct positions in addition to part-time teaching staff, all of whom the Senior Technician may be called on to assist. The Senior Technician is most closely involved with the production courses of FILM 251 (four sections totalling 120 students) as well as six or seven 300- and 400-level production courses (consisting of 20-32 students each). Occasionally, clients may also come from other Queen’s Departments, such as The Dan School of Music and Drama and Cultural Studies.

b) What kind of equipment or material are you responsible for? Are you solely responsible for it and what is its approximate value?

The position carries the primary, direct responsibility for:
Camera and lighting equipment $250,000
Sound equipment $50,000
Computer and editing equipment $125,000
Classroom and viewing equipment $40,000
Vulnerable Media Lab $400,000

8. Give details of any unusual factors affecting this job? i.e. hazards, unusual working conditions, requirement for a high degree of manual dexterity etc.

This position may be physically demanding at times. Extended periods of standing, bending, lifting, and lifting overhead are required. Working at heights in the Production Studio and the Art and Media Lab will be required on occasion.

Fine manual dexterity is required for intricate repairs and soldering.

9. Do you have any general comments about this position which may not be covered by the preceding questions?

The technologies used in the production of film, video and digital media evolve rapidly, and the person in this position must be willing and able to keep abreast of current equipment, software and techniques. This may involve taking formal instruction, pursuing independent study, and communication with other users in industry and education.

This position involves juggling multiple priorities of a time-sensitive nature. The high degree of interaction with students for the purpose of individual technical support, results in frequent disruptions to other work, thus requiring excellent organizational skills, good concentration, flexibility and human relations skills.

A commitment and special attention to safety issues is required.

Employment Equity and Accessibility Statement

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The University provides support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to contact Human Resources at


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