The Next Big-Ticket to Hollywood: A Computer Science Degree?

Who said you had to be a left-brain person to make it in the entertainment industry? Palo Alto-based virtual reality shop Jaunt is taking its talents to Tinseltown by opening Jaunt Studios, paving a virtual road into the movie biz for software jockeys, engineering gurus and computer geeks everywhere. Founded by a slew of Lucasfilm vets, Jaunt Studios looks to propel virtual reality into mainstream media by teaming the brightest minds in Silicon Valley with the creative spirits and brand-power of Hollywood. That’s after they assemble their staff, of course. They’re hiring!

Theater majors, modeling contracts and questionable chemical habits aren’t the only launch pads into the big time. In fact, pre- and post-production positions like software engineers, developers and animators are some of the best paid and most secure careers in the film industry. Think about it – even the most talented actors go out of favor at some point, but a smart, experienced production engineer is likely going to always be of use somewhere in the industry.

Ready to put your big brains to use on the set of the next Avengers movie or Christopher Nolan project? Take a look at some of the best film careers for that right-sided brain of yours.

Computer Animator

Want to have a hand in creating the next Toy Story? Successful animators in the film industry make an average of $85,000 a year in California. Pixar, the granddaddy animation studio of them all, even offers a variety of great internship and entry-level job opportunities to help you get your foot in the door.

Digital Engineers and Technology Developers

Advancing technology in the film industry is such a big deal that they even devote awards to the people and companies that make it happen. Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reserves its Scientific and Technical Achievement awards for the professionals pioneering those areas of the industry. Past winners include engineers that have worked on groundbreaking developments in camera and motion-capture technology, the same enhancements that made James Cameron’s Avatar and everyone’s favorite The Lord of the Rings character, Gollum, possible.

Sound Engineers

Speaking of the Scientific and Technical Achievement awards, 2015’s winner of the coveted Gordon E. Sawyer Award for “technological contributions that have brought credit to the industry” was David W. Gray. You may not have heard of him, but there’s no doubt you’ve probably heard his work at some point. His sound technology has been used on films like Die Hard, Rambo and RoboCop. Want to know what the long-time Dolby® Laboratories executive did before making the silver screen boom? He was on the road building custom stereos and amps for ‘70s rock icons like Frank Zappa and Lou Reed.

Ready to Give Your Brain a Shot at Hollywood?

When you’re talented, you have opportunities – no matter if you’re the next great Hamlet or you can design your own 3D camera. It just takes finding the right opportunity for your skill set. Apart from Jaunt Studios, other production companies and studios are in need of tech-savvy wunderkinds. See what jobs are out there now!

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