Special Effects Foreman

Supervise a team of Special Effects Technicians.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$45,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Special Effects Foremen do?

A Special Effects Foreman (SFX Foreman), also referred to as the Special Effects Coordinator or Supervisor, oversees the design of mechanical effects used to create non-digital optical illusions for film or theater. Special effects, also called physical effects, are produced on-set unlike visual effects (effects done by computers) which are added in post-production. Examples of special effects include explosions, gunshots, scenery, and atmospheric conditions: rain, fog, wind, and snow.

The Special Effects Foreman is the head of the entire special effects department, and reports directly to the Director and Producers. When you’re a Special Effects Foreman, you also staff and supervise the Prop Shop, where members of the Special Effects Crew build the props needed to create artificial effects.

Before filming begins you review the script and write a budget for your department, assisting production in visualizing how cost will influence the look of an effect. It is also your responsibility to explain the mechanics of a particular stunt or gag to the Director before and during filming.

You then hire qualified individuals to design and create the effects, and supply them with equipment. You must supervise and instruct your crew members to make sure what they produce will work safely on-set. Obtaining necessary safety permits when, for example, working with pyrotechnics is also the duty of the SFX Foreman.

Should I be a Special Effects Foreman?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: SFX Foreman

    How to become a Special Effects Foreman

    Special Effects Foremen often have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:xpr9aa&chl=no+college+%2816%25%29|certificate+%2829%25%29|associate%27s+%2812%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2843%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,16,43
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