Who’s Your Crew: The Complete Guide to Team Roles on Video Production Sets
Jun 19, 2017
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Who’s Your Crew: The Complete Guide to Team Roles on Video Production Sets


Confused by all the people who are running around the set of your commercial? We don’t blame you. Even with smaller productions, there are a ton of jobs being performed on any given production shoot day. From producers to gaffers to production assistants, we’ve got your end-all guide to the various roles on video production sets. Read on for our guide to team roles on video production sets!

 

  • Executive Producer: The Executive Producer oversees the creative process of a production, but isn’t necessarily involved in the execution of this creative on a day-to-day basis. They sign off on every step of the production and approve everything that appears on camera. They determine the commercial’s overall look, feel, and mood.
  • Producer: A producer is the initial point of contact for a video. They may be involved with contacting the clients and discussing goals and budgeting. They also begin putting together the production team, starting with the director and ending with crew. The producer will be involved in all stages of the project from pre-production to production to post-production.
  • Line producer: The line producer handles the budget, especially tracking expenses throughout the production (This can be handled by producers on smaller sets)
  • Director: The director is in charge of bringing the script to life on-screen the day of the shoot. They work with all levels of talent and crew to make the production happen. Their main job is to get the best performance out of the talent on camera, as directed by the Executive Producer.
  • Assistant Director (AD): This person is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of set. The role of an assistant director on a film includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set.
  • Scriptwriter: The scriptwriter writes the script for the commercial. This will include both the audio and visual elements of the production.
  • Production Designer: The production designer works with the executive producer and producer to decide how a set should look visually. They establish the visual aesthetic of a project.
  • Director of Photography (DP): The DP is responsible for setting up camera, lighting and audio to reflect what is listed on the shot list. They’re also the head of all the technical departments.
  • Camera Operators: Camera Operators determine the composition for shots with the assistance of the DP, executive producer, and director. They then film the shots according to script.
  • 1st AC: First assistant camera must have a specialized knowledge of all the camera equipment and accessories on set. They also oversee the camera equipment during productions. The 1st AC will pull focus for the camera operators.
  • 2nd AC: Assists 1st AC and also is in charge of running the slate on set.
  • Script supervisor: The script supervisor keeps track of what scenes have already been filmed, and take notes on any deviations between what was written in the script and what ended up being filmed. They may also be tasked with noting the timing of each read.
  • Art Director: Oversees everyone in the art department i.e. the artists, set builders, craftspeople, and art PA’s to keep the production design in line with the chosen look
  • Gaffer: A gaffer is the head of the lighting department and will work closely with the DP while overseeing the rest of the lighting department.
  • Grip: These are the lighting and rigging technicians of a set. While they will not deal with the actual lighting, they’re responsible for the rigging and setup of the lights.
  • Best boy: Assists the gaffer. Can be in charge of the daily running of the lighting crew and helps coordinate schedules and the rigging crew.
  • Electrician: Electricians deal with the lighting and power on sets. They discuss with the gaffer what lighting should look like and set it up accordingly.
  • Who’s Your Crew: The Complete Guide to Team Roles on Video Production SetsDigital Intermediate Technician (DIT): Arguably one of the most important jobs on set, the DIT transfers data from camera cards to hard drives. They’re in charge of data backup and making sure all the footage from the day is safe.
  • Boom Technician: You’ll easily recognize this person since they’ll be holding a giant pole with a microphone attached to it (that typically looks like a giant duster). The boom operator is in charge of getting the microphone as close to the sound source as possible without the boom or its shadow appearing in the shot.
  • Audio Technician: This person records the audio and manages audio levels while rolling.
  • Makeup Team: Works with the production team to create the looks required for the talent on set. They must also do makeup that is suited for the harsh lighting. The makeup team can consist of a singular makeup artist or a whole team of artists and assistants, depending on the size of the production.
  • Hair Team: Creates the hairstyles for the talent on set. Can be a singular hair stylist or a team of stylists and assistants, depending on the size of the production.
  • Talent: Anyone who appears on camera. It doesn’t matter if they speak or not; if they’re on camera, they’re talent!
  • Prop Master: This person is in charge of finding and managing all the props that will be used on set. They refer to the shot list and make sure all necessary props are on-screen at all times.
  • Production Assistants: PA’s, as they’re more commonly known, assist with any and all set operations. They may do any general tasks asked of them by any of the department heads. PA’s are the extra hands on set. Whether they’re doing runs, tearing down the set, or setting up crafty, PA’s are one of he most essential roles on set.
  • Craft Services: These people keep the “hanger” (hunger-induced anger) away by managing the food and beverages on set. This can refer to the area where the food is set up as well as the crew running it.
  • Floor Director (Studio set): This is the director on the studio floor, and relays instructions and direction to crew, cast, and guests from the producer and director in the control room. The floor director is in constant contact with the director in the control room.
  • Technical Director (Studio set): Technical directors operate the switchboard that controls what images appear on-screen for a live show or a line cut.
  • Prompter Operator (Studio set): This person is in charge of the operating the prompter, the machine that feeds the script onto screens, to remind talent of their lines. The prompter operator makes sure the machine is running smoothly and in time with the script.
  • Wardrobe: Wardrobe dresses the talent to fit their roles and the overall aesthetic of the commercial.

 


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