Are you interested in working for a film or TV production crew? Then understanding the purpose of each role will help you see how a film or TV production crew work together to form the final product.
An executive producer is actively involved in the funding of the project, but may not be as involved in the day to day creative process. They are involved in ensuring the project is produced on budget and on time and may oversee the producer. On some projects, an executive producer may also be the producer.
The producer is the driving force that sees the project from start to finish and is actively involved in all aspects of production. Think of the producer as the production leader. They make sure the movie or TV show is made correctly and oversees the logistics of a project. The producer is involved from the initial idea, finalizing the script, and ensuring the project is on schedule and budget. TV shows and films are unlikely to be completed with the skills of a producer.
The director helps bring the artistic vision of the film or TV show to life by actively overseeing the actors and technical crew on set. They are involved in the selection of personnel, make adjustments in the script to keep the project on schedule and budget, and oversee production. The director is the vision holder of the project’s look, mood, and feel. They direct the actors and make the final decision on technical aspects like lighting and camera position.
First Assistant Director
The first assistant director is primarily responsible for scheduling on the set. They ensure the actors and crew are on time and schedule. The first assistant director assists the director and producer. They make sure all lines are read, keep track of the shot list, and ensure props are in the right scene and in the correct place. There are a lot of moving parts to any production. The first assistant director helps to make sure the details are happening as intended.
The screenwriter adapts or writes the script for the film or TV show depending on whether it’s based off a book or the screenwriter’s original idea. In addition to dialogue, the script describes the mood and feel of the story, including descriptions of physical locations, and ensures the story unfolds in a logical sequence. They work with the producer and director before production begins and have to incorporate feedback and help make changes to the script as needed throughout the project.
Director of Photography
The director of photography helps bring the visual look and mood to life via technical decisions regarding types of cameras, lighting, and shots and angles used during filming. This person works with the director and the lighting director to bring the artistic vision of the project to life. They help make the technical decisions about which equipment to use, including types of cameras, lenses, filters, and more.
Digital Imaging Technician
The digital imaging technician oversees the quality of the material being shot, such as manipulating color profiles, so the film has the right look. They also manage data generated, including making backups of data. They’re an expert in the types of equipment being used on set. On some projects, this role is done by the director of photography.
This person runs the camera. The director of photography directs them to ensure shots contain the proper framing and movements.
First Camera Assistant
They assist the camera operator and director of photography on set. They pull focus and ensure camera equipment is ready, such as having extra batteries charged or holding a camera in between shots.
The lighting director works with the director and the director of photography to make sure the lights on set help achieve the look and feel of the project. They oversee the key grip, gaffer, and assistants, so lights and rigs are placed appropriately on set.
The gaffer is responsible for making sure the lighting plan happens correctly on set. They make sure the light hitting the set and actors captors the look of the project successfully.
They build and set up the gear to ensure the lights are in the correct place. They also need to be aware of a scene’s blocking to make sure the lights and other equipment don’t get in the way.
The audio technician records the audio and monitors and adjusts sound levels. They typically work directly with the director and the director of photography.
This person gets the microphone as close to the action as possible without the equipment getting in the shot or casting shadows. You can recognize them as the person wearing headphones and holding a long pole with a microphone at the end of it.
They are in charge of making and designing a project’s sets to capture the look and feel of the project.
The production assistant helps anyone who needs it on set. From grabbing lunches, holding equipment, to taking notes, they are that essential extra pair of hands.