12 roles to understand when it comes to your film crew

May 20, 2019 by SARAH HICKEY

Depending on the size and scope of a film or commercial video project, there are a lot of intricate roles and subdivisions within film and video production that ensure every aspect of a film is executed with creativity and precision. Here are some of the roles we get asked about most.

1. Director - The Director is the driving creative force. The director guides the artistic style,  dramatic aspects and visualises the concept while acting as the key link between the production crew and creative team in the fulfilment of that vision.

2. Producer - A producer can fill a variety of roles depending on the production. A producer’s role can include a variety of duties such as scheduling, casting, contracts, location scouting, and arranging permits.

3. Director of Photography (DOP) - Also known as the Cinematographer, a DOP works closely with the Director, camera crew and lighting department to achieve the visual identity or look of a film or video production. They also oversee all aspects of filming from renting and managing equipment, recess and reviewing footage.

4. Production Designer - A Production Designer approaches a production with the intention of defining the visual style of props, costumes, sets and other physical elements that help to tell the story.

5. 1st Assistant Director - The 1st AD is the Director’s right hand. They take responsibility for a  number of important practicalities so that the Director is free to concentrate on the creative process. This mainly includes devising the shooting schedule (a timetable for the filming) and making sure it’s kept to on the day of filming.

6. Assistant Camera (AC) - ACs follow instructions from the DOP. Commonly responsible for adjusting the camera lens or 'pulling focus' to follow the action on set as well as managing and maintaining camera equipment and accessories.

7. Gaffer - A Gaffer is the lead electrician on a production. They work closely with the DOP in the execution of the lighting plan for a production. They have a lot of lighting knowledge and equipment that they can use to execute any desired mood or effect.

8. Sound Recordist - Responsible for recording clean and clear audio on set, a Sound Recordist also executes their recording with post-production sound design in mind.

9. Production Assistant - PAs help out wherever needed on production across all departments. Their responsibilities vary depending on the type of production.

10. Editor - An editor works in post-production in assembling what is recorded into a coherent sequence. They creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing etc to effectively "re-imagine" the director's vision into a cohesive whole.

11. Graphic Designer - A graphic designer works in either pre-production or post-production to esign digital assets that may be used to enhance a film in a number of ways.

12. Motion Designer - Once digital assets have been designed, it is the motion designer’s job to animate those and bring them to life through the use of selected software to achieve a  desired movement/animation style.

These are just some of the crew members we have around during a filmmaking process, but this can vary and fluctuate pending the project. For more information, or to get an idea of what ’s involved in your production, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Monster & Bear are a leading film and video production company based in Melbourne Australia that specialise in narrative films, TVC production, corporate video production and other video productions.