Assistant Director / 1st AD
The 1st assistant director works with both the production manager and the director to make the shooting schedule efficient as possible. The 1st A.D. breaks the script down into a shooting schedule and also helps manage the scheduling of talent, crew and equipment needed for each shooting day. This person sometimes helps direct the background extras in a scene.
Assistant Director / 2nd AD
The 2nd A.D. works directly with the 1st A.D. to accomplish their duties. The call sheets for each shooting day are created by the 2nd assistant director. The 2nd A.D. also helps manage the scheduling of talent, crew and equipment that is needed for each day. This person also assists in directing the background extras in a movie scene.
The director is the leading creative artist on a movie set. The director works directly with the actors on their performances and has final creative control on almost every aspect of the the film. The director plays a large role in casting, script revisions, shot composing and even editing. Usually, the director is hired by the producer of the film.
The line producer supervises the entire budget of the movie. Expenses may include celebrity salaries as well as daily costs like location and equipment rentals. The production manager reports to the line producer the current expenses and needs of the production on an ongoing basis.
The producer helps organize the entire production. This person helps develop the script into a workable project. They assist with the hiring of actors and key crew members, while keeping track of finances throughout the production. The producer oversees script progress and often assists in creating final distribution plans for the movie.
Assistant Food Stylist
The assistant food stylist assists the lead food stylist in the preparations and arrangements of the food. This person usually has an extensive background in cooking, recipe development, and the ability to assist in achieving creative solutions for making the food look the most attractive.
Craft Services are the various snacks and beverages that are provided to the film crew throughout the day. This is separate from catering. The person in charge of craft service sets up and maintains a station near production that provides these snacks and beverages. The craft service person is given a budget prior to attaining all the refreshments.
The food stylist will prepare and arrange food in an appealing way to be used in photographs, commercials or movies. This person usually has an extensive background in cooking, recipe development, and the ability to achieve creative solutions for making the food look its most attractive.
Lighting & Grip Departement
The best boy is the lead electrician on set and is in charge of all the other electricians, similar to how the key grip is in charge of all the grips. The best boy usually operates, adjusts and balances the electrical load on the generator where required. This person is also responsible for distributing the electrical cabling properly providing the required power to each of the lights.
The electricians (or juicers) essentially set up and operate all the lighting instruments and cabling as instructed by the best boy or gaffer. This is a physically demanding job due to the large number of heavy lights and cabling often required. Electricians must be knowledgeable of tungsten and HMI lighting as well as changing and installing bulbs properly.
The gaffer is also known as the chief lighting technician. This person is primarily responsible for developing a lighting plan according to the desires of the Director of Photography. The gaffer informs the best boy and key grip on where and which lights are to be placed. The gaffer is in charge of creating the best possible lighting scenario according to the camera framing.
Grips essentially “shape the light” that is provided by the electricians. This includes creating pattern and shadow effects, coloring light, diffusing light or blocking light. While electricians set up the lights and cabling, grips provide everything else that is built around the lights to create the quality of light that the gaffer desires. They also provide a variety of special rigging, securing and safety measures on set.
The key grip is the lead grip on a film set and in charge of all the other grips. The key grip and best boy collaborate with the gaffer and D.P. to formulate the best tactic for accomplishing a given shot. The key grip oversees the proper camera rigging mechanisms as well as manages the light blocking and diffusing techniques.
Makeup & Wardrose Departement
The costume designer makes decisions on which wardrobes and costumes actors will wear based on the script requirements and character portrayals. Costume designers create or choose various clothing patterns, designs, colors, sizes and accessories for each wardrobe used during production. On larger movies, the costume designer has several assistants helping to organize, disperse and maintain all the costumes used by the cast.
This person is responsible for styling and maintaining the talent’s hair throughout filming. The hair stylist is usually equipped with all of the appropriate supplies needed for the hair styling process. The hair dresser works in conjunction with the make-up artist to attain the best possible look for the actors and actresses.
The makeup artist’s main task is to apply and create a variety of looks on the actors and actresses skin surfaces with makeup, from current trends to classic or period pieces. The makeup artist creates a look according to the director’s desires, often inspired by the characterizations in a story.
Special FX Makeup
The prosthetics or special effects makeup person uses a variety of techniques for applying and gluing different materials such as latex, gelatin and other colorations which are used on the face or skin of an actor. Gore and blood, burns, creatures and aging special effects are the more commonly used prosthetic makeup techniques.
The wardrobe stylist works closely with the costume designer, and assists with preparing everything related to the actors clothing, costumes and wardrobe. Common tasks of the wardrobe assistant are maintaining and styling for all the wardrobes worn by the various actors. They also assist in helping to organize, disperse and account for all the costumes used on set.
This person is in charge of attaining all the legal permits and other clearances needed to gain proper permission for filming in a particular location. The location manager also takes care of attaining and processing any other location permit fees as well. On some smaller shoots, the location manager assists in coordinating the parking of vehicles.
Quite often the location scout is one of the first crew members to be contacted on a production. The location scout assists in finding the various filming locations according to the producer and director’s desires. Location scouts often have a large database of location photographs to show before travelling to the actual location for filming.
Captains / Gang Boss
The transportation coordinator, or gang boss, organizes and provides a variety of vehicles and transportation for all crew, equipment and actors to and from the filming locations. The transportation coordinator/captain deploys the appropriate vehicles and drivers at the proper times to keep the production on schedule and on budget. They also work closely with the locations manager in attaining the proper parking permits and parking locations for all vehicles.
The transportation driver works under the supervision of the transportation captain. Transportation drivers physically drive and operate all provided production vehicles to and from the filming locations. This includes the transport of all crew, equipment and actors safely to and from the film set while staying on schedule. Types of production vehicles may include cube trucks, passenger vans, stake beds, flatbeds, limos, cars or any other .
Camera Assistant (1st AC)
The 1st AC is the chief assistant to the camera operator. The 1st assistant camera person is in charge of measuring and pulling focus during filming. The 1st AC also threads the film through the camera when a new magazine is loaded. This person also helps setup and build the camera, as well as maintain and clean the camera and lenses.
Camera Assistant (2nd AC)
The 2nd AC is also known as the loader. The 2nd assistant camera person is primarily responsible for loading and unloading the new rolls of film into the different magazines, as well as maintaining and filling out all the camera reports for the film lab. This person also runs the slate or clapper to maintain sync and the correct labeling for each and every shot.
The camera operator physically controls and operates the camera during filming, under the direction of the D.P. (Director of Photography). The camera operator works closely with both A.C.’s as well. The camera operator controls the shot’s framing, and the camera movements as instructed by the director of photography.
Camera Operator (Aerial)
The aerial photographer or camera operator is qualified and equipped to film aboard aerial devices. This usually refers to small airplanes and helicopter filming, but more recently, the use of drone cameras are being widely used as well.
Camera Operator (Jib Arm / Crane)
This person is responsible for setting up and operating the mechanical camera crane also known as the “jib arm”. The jib arm is primarily used for large establishing shots that require substantial elevation and smooth motion.
This is a relatively new job position that has been created in response to the popular use of digital video formats. The data wrangler is usually responsible for organizing, labeling, downloading, duplicating and reformatting the digital storage disks for use on set and the editing room.
Digital Imaging Technician
This is another new job position that was created in response to the popular use of high-end digital video formats. The digital imaging technician uses various image manipulation methods to achieve the highest possible image quality during the production. This person usually manages the transferring and storage of the image data as well.
Director of Photography
The director of photography (D.P.) is in charge of the overall visual look of the film, as seen through the camera. They recommend which cameras and lenses to use for the production. They design the shot’s framing, and the camera movements in conjunction with the director. They are also in charge of the camera crew, lighting design and collaborating with the gaffer.
Photographer / Production Stills
This person takes still photographs and essentially documents the behind-the-scenes making of the production. Often, this person photographs images used for marketing purposes such as movie posters and DVD box art.
Steadicam Owner / Operator
The steadicam is a camera mounting device that utilizes a mechanical arm attached to a body harness to provide extremely smooth hand-held shots. The steadicam operator is responsible for setting up and operating the steadicam during production. Most steadicam operators are very physically fit due to the amount of strength and endurance needed to operate the steadicam.
This person creates the video that essentially documents the behind-the-scenes making of the movie. This video isn’t normally used in the final version of the film. It’s only used for the purposes of documentation.