There are multiple roles and responsibilities that people take when writing, filming, editing, and producing a film. We have broken down what the different responsibilities include, and what that person does on set:
The Producer is involved throughout all phases of the film making process from development to completion of a project. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls matters such as fund raising, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors.
The Director is responsible for overseeing the creative aspects of a film, including controlling the content and flow of the film’s plot, directing the performances of actors, organizing and selecting the locations in which the film will be shot, and managing technical details such as the positioning of cameras, the use of lighting, and the timing and content of the film’s soundtrack.
The Camera Operator uses the camera at the direction of the Cinematographer, Director of Photography, or the Film Director to capture the scenes on film or video. The First Assistant Camera, 1st AC or focus puller, is responsible for keeping the camera in focus as it is shooting. The 2nd AC operates the clapperboard at the beginning of each take.
The Production Sound Mixer is head of the sound department on set, responsible for recording all sound during filming. The Boom Operator is an assistant to the production sound mixer, responsible for microphone placement and movement during filming.
The Director of Photography, DoP or DP, is the chief of the camera and lighting crew of the film. The DoP makes decisions on lighting and framing of shots in conjunction with the film’s director. Typically, the director tells the DoP how he or she wants a shot to look, and the DoP chooses the correct lens, filter, lighting and composition to achieve the desired aesthetic effect.
Grips are trained lighting and rigging technicians. Their main responsibility is to work closely with the electrical department to put in the non-electrical components of lighting set-ups required for a shot, such as flags, overheads, and bounces.
The Set Decorator is in charge of the decorating of a film set, which includes the furnishings and all the other objects that will be seen in the film. They work closely with the Production Designer and Coordinator and work with the Art Director.
The Costume Designer is responsible for designing, planning, and organizing the construction of the garments down to the fabric, colors, and sizes. The costume designer works closely with the director to understand and interpret “character”, and counsels with the production designer to achieve an overall tone of the film. In large productions, the costume designer will usually have one or more assistant costume designers.
The Editor takes all of the footage and puts it into the timeline you see as you watch the film. There are multiple roles and people who are involved in post production including Assistant Editor, Graphic Designer, and Motion Effects artist.
As productions get bigger, hundreds of crew members need to all work together to create a film. This is a breakdown of the basic responsibilities of the core people necessary to create a professional quality film.