The production office is referred to the “front office” and includes staff such as the Production Manager, Production Coordinator and their assistants; the accounting staff; the Assistant Directors, sometimes the Locations Manager and Assistants. The following are jobs within the production office:
In charge of planning and monitoring the production and in charge of all the business aspects of the production. Responsible for creating the production schedule and budget and overseeing and monitoring their implementation. Overall in charge of the budget. Involved in all aspects of the production process; managing and coordination personnel and equipment. There may be increased responsibility/higher stakes with high end, increased amount of equipment and more complex requirements. Bigger implications of making mistakes. Job roles can be wider on lower budget productions as there are less people in the team, but good experience can be gained. Work with Producer to balance the creative expectations of the director and creative personnel with the financial resources available. Find geographical base for shoot and production base, set up a production office and oversee the search for filming locations. Put production insurance and other insurances in place. Break down script(s) and devise and manage a production schedule and budget. Draft a schedule and ensure there are contingency plans. Anticipate problems and prevention. Balance creative expectations with financial resources. Ensure good communication with Producer(s) and key crew members including Heads of Department and seek feedback on plans; also ensure good communication between departments. Allocate department budgets and communicate to Heads of Departments how spend should be recorded and forecasted. Hiring of key crew members. Setting up contractual agreements for crew, cast and suppliers. Have good contacts within the industry to facilitate finding suitable suppliers and personnel. Generate good working relationships. Identify training needs of crew. Assess risks, oversee health and safety and put appropriate measures in place. Call upon additional health and safety advice and assistance where required. Ensure necessary files are kept and all contracts are in place. Ensure a health and safety policy is in place and communicated. Approve call sheets and progress reports. Check estimated timings for overall episode or program and highlight if significant variance. Liaise with publicity. May be required to work with 'Albert+' Initiative ensuring the production has taken steps to manage and reduce its environmental impact during the production process. Collate information and requirements from all departments. Ensure data protection and other laws are adhered to by the production. Where there is a completion bond, ensure requirements and stipulations are met. When filming abroad, ensure compliance and with regulations in the country of filming. May be required to manage multi-platform material.
Supervises the physical aspects of the production (not the creative aspects) including personnel, technology, budget and scheduling. It is the production manager’s responsibility to make sure the filming stays on schedule and within its budget. The production manager also helps manage the day-to-day budget by managing operating costs such as salaries, production costs and everyday equipment rental costs.
The information link of the production. Responsible for organising all the logistics from hiring crew, renting equipment, and booking talent. The production coordinator is an integral part of the film production. Provides administrative assistance to the Line Producer, Production Manager, Assistant Coordinator and Production Coordinator. Organising travel, accommodation and supplies. Assist with production paperwork such as contracts, letters, documents and script changes; and in a confidential manner. Maintain a contacts list.
Assist the Production Coordinator with the running of the production department. Role may be wider on a smaller production with less personnel in the production department - broad experience can be gained. The Secretary may be required to drive so it is important to have a driving licence. To step up to this role from Production Runner it is important to observe what a Secretary and Coordinator do in order to know what tasks are involved in these roles.
Assisting the Production Coordinator in the daily operation of the production office. Assisting in the organising of equipment, supplies and personnel. Dissemination of information via schedules, call sheets, progress reports. Transport and logistics of production. Assist with production paperwork such as contracts, letters, documents and script changes; and in a confidential manner. Role may be wider on a smaller production with less personnel in the production department. Broad experience can be gained. Maintain good communication with the various departments.
Supports the production office. Dealing with varied office administrative tasks. Driving is often an essential part of the role. Duties may include picking up kit and equipment, running off scripts on the photocopier etc. Manage office petty cash. Hold a cash float and submit office expenses. This role can be a stepping stone to roles in other departments. It is important to have a clean driving licence.
Assists the First Assistant Director with set operations. Production assistants, referred to as “pa’s”. Also assists in the production office with general tasks.
The main gist of the role involves communication with cast agents, producers and crew, organising and booking flights through a dedicated Film Travel Agent. The same goes for accommodation, which must fit the criteria and budget on a per person basis.
The Script Department act as a liaison between scriptwriters and the production team. They collaborate with Producers and Directors, to achieve the best possible editorial outcome and deliver scripts on time, in the specified format, and to the agreed length. They brief, critique and assist writers from script commission to delivery - all the time ensuring that the script can be produced on budget and to the specifications of the original brief.
Report to the Development Producer and will work closely with Executive Producers, Producers and Writers to ensure that commissioned scripts are of a high standard, conform to the editorial brief and are within financial constraints of a production. An ideal candidate is someone who can be flexible as work hours can be long and unpredictable. In addition to this you may have to work towards tight deadlines and therefore must have an ability to work well under pressure.
This may be considered a training role, which will lead on to a script editing job. An element of training is normally offered with an assistant role, e.g., shadowing editors on certain scripts and delivering briefings to writers under supervision from the editors or series editors. An assistant script editor’s role may include reading many scripts checking for errors, assisting with script delivery and generating story ideas.
Also known as “continuity person” keeps track of what parts of the script have been filmed and makes notes of any deviations between what was filmed and what appeared in the script.
Conduit between Director and Crew. Assist Director and Production Manager. Being the Director's right hand person, taking responsibility for a few important practicalities so that the Director is free to concentrate on the creative process. Breaking down the script, leading recess and production meetings, working with the Director and various key personnel and departments to determine the shooting schedule and how long each scene will take to film. Ensure all heads of department are informed and give input into the schedule and are involved in resolving technical problems. Drawing up the shooting schedule allowing for options and contingencies. Identify potential delays to the schedule and issues potentially affecting the budget.
Alert Production Manager and Line Producer and suggest solutions. Maintain a good, disciplined and safe working environment and identify potential health and safety issues and communicate to cast and crew. Manage the shooting day as well as looking ahead. High end drama productions can mean more equipment, more stunts, special effects, visual effects, etc. for the First Assistant Director to consider. Gaining experience whilst a Third Assistant Director or Second Assistant Director in second unit 'firsting' can assist the move to this role. It is possible to move from Third to First Director, though knowing the job of Second Assistant is very important.
Being the First Assistant Director's right hand person. Based mainly in an office or at unit base, preparing and drawing up the call sheet - a document with daily filming logistics distributed to cast and crew. Communicating schedule changes and other information effectively. Assist the First Assistant Director in communications between the set or location and the production office including timings and filming progress. Provide clear and accurate information to the production office in regard to progress on set. Overseeing the cast, ensuring that the principal actors are in makeup, in wardrobe or standing by on the set at the correct times. A sensitive position as often torn between needs of cast and the needs of the production. Assist with coordination of action vehicles. Coordinate day to day activities of the unit base and arrange transport between unit base and location. Estimate and agree types and numbers of supporting artists. Complete supporting artist release forms. Liaise with caterers in regard to numbers and requirements. In terms of getting into the role of Second Assistant Director experience as a Base Runner can be advantageous for the transition from third to second assistant director. Shadowing a Second Assistant Director is particularly useful as there is a big difference in role between that of Third and Second Assistant Director.
Supporting the First and Second Assistant Directors on set or location in making sure things run smoothly on set. Liaising with both in regard to movement of artists, ensuring they are in the right place at the right time. Directing background artists and vehicles appearing in the background of the shot, especially in large crowd scenes. Conveying messages and relaying information to crew on set or location, usually by radio link. Coordination of Floor Runners. To get into a Third Assistant Director role it is useful as a Floor Runner to observe and learn about the filming process and what each person does; ask questions as Floor Runner. It can also be helpful to gain experience whilst a Floor Runner in thirding second unit shoots.
Assisting the Assistant Directors with on-set operations including ensuring cast and crew and people are ready for each set up. This also involves looking after the needs of the cast and, to a certain extent, crew as well. Assist in coordination of background artists. Helping to keep the set clean and tidy. Distributing call sheets and other paperwork. The role of Floor Runner can be physically intensive.
Assisting with the backlot of the unit base, going to and from set running errands and assisting AD’s.
This involves chaperoning the SA’s to and from set. Also ensuring all SA’s are where they should be at the correct times.
Good casting is crucial to making characters credible on screen and is fundamentally important to a film/TV programme’s success. If you are considering a job in casting, you must have a wide knowledge of cinema and actors.
This job is based in pre-production, Casting Directors work close to the Producers and Directors to assemble a suitable cast. Once the parts are cast, the Casting Director negotiates fees and contracts for the actors, and acts as a liaison between the Director, the Actors and their Agents. Negotiation and organisational skills are crucial for this role as arranging fees for actors and making appropriate terms and conditions is vital.
This person compiles and maintains the firm’s database of information on clients and performers. The electronic or paper system will include data on every production cast by the company, including details about the production company, directorial staff, and billing. The casting assistant is responsible for conducting any necessary research concerning a new client and new show. Vital information must include period, style, theme, information on past productions of the show, previous cast and directorial team, etc. Some Casting Directors may own a library of resources for numerous shows, including librettos, musical scores, DVDs, and cast recordings. It would be an assistant’s job to catalogue and maintain this collection.
The casting consultant will perform a script breakdown which involves separating the script into the different roles. Once they have identified the roles, they will then create the briefs to send to Talent Agents. The Casting Consultant may be given authority to select talent directly or work with the director to select talent for the roles. Usually, the Casting Consultant receives many suggestions from the Talent Agents and it is up to the casting consultant to narrow those suggestions down to the ones that will work best for the production.
A production's financial resources must be meticulously managed and controlled by skilled Accountants. In the film & TV industry their role is particularly critical, as large sums of money need to be accumulated and spent within a relatively short period of time, and ongoing changes to budgets occur throughout development, pre-production, production and post-production.
Guardian of the money on a production providing clear and accurate information and impartial advice. Assist in producing budgets including final production budget meeting objectives of the production. Ensure sufficient allocation of funds to cover exchange rate differences where foreign currency is involved. Set up systems and use an appropriate and compatible computer-based package to run accounts, make payments and record expenditure. Record financial information and prepare production accounts whilst recognising the difference between production and corporate accounts. Monitor analyse and forecast production costs. Scrutinise financial reports to ensure expenditure is within budget; highlight significant variances to Line Producer. Provide expenditure reports; usually weekly cost statements. Also provide cash flows and sometimes hot cost reports and finance plans. Maintain an effective flow of cash and foreign currency. Run payroll for production personnel. Consideration of relevant tax incentive schemes and production funding. Work with Line Producer in assembling insurance claims if required. When working abroad the Production Accountant must understand cultural differences and adapt to different accounting systems, finding work arounds if necessary.
Assistant Accountants help with the day to day running of the account’s office for a production. The First Assistant Accountant is the Production Accountant's right-hand person. Usually, they are responsible for maintaining records of invoices, payments and transactions, preparing accounts payable, invoices and purchase orders, petty cash including floats and receipts and payroll in line with Inland Revenue and other relevant Government regulations. On lower budget production more experience is required as the First Assistant Accountant will be doing more including probably payroll internally; whereas it can be that a bigger production and larger department means less responsibility. Assistant Accountants also process payments and keep filing and invoice monitoring systems up to date. Ensure adequate petty cash provision and store cash correctly in line with production insurance. Collate information from various departments including purchase orders. If filming abroad needs to be streetwise especially if carrying cash.
Assistant Accountants help with the day to day running of the account’s office for a production. Duties include use of specialised film and TV accounts system carrying out data entry, filing, petty cash, etc. Assist the Production Accountant in monitoring production costs. The role will vary depending on size of department and scale of production. If filming abroad needs to be streetwise especially if carrying cash. A willingness to take on extra tasks, not just inputting, will assist movement up the grades. Some assistants may wish to stay as such but to move up it is important to get involved in more e.g. reconciliations. Though payroll might be outsourced on a production it is still important that the assistant understands the principles/tax and National Insurance rules, etc.
Assist Production Accountant and Assistant Accountants in ensuring accurate accounting. Make and record payments, process documents for goods and services received. Deal with cash transactions such as petty cash. Administrative duties. Keep accurate files and records and back up data. If filming abroad needs to be streetwise especially if carrying cash. It will help to have a knowledge of filming terminology when looking to enter the Accounts Department. A strong accounting background (may be from different industry) can mean speedier data processing which is helpful in a busy accounts office. Showing trustworthiness, initiative and interest can help progression. Noting the names of Production Accountants in end credits of TV dramas then making approaches can help get an in. Starting as a Production Runner or Floor Runner gaining production experience and showing reliability can lead to a move into Accounts. Experience of working in post-production can help understanding of what mistakes can be made in production and how they can be fixed. Learning the key accounts software packages in advance can help advancement as well as learning about HMRC payroll guidance for TV drama and basic tax compliance and VAT, what can be claimed and what can’t, is helpful.
Assist Production Accounts department; input petty cash, filing. It will help to have a knowledge of filming terminology when looking to enter the Accounts Department. Previous experience as a Production Runner or Floor Runner can provide useful knowledge and experience of production.
Process in-coming payroll, which includes breaking of timecards in accordance with all applicable laws and agreements. Accountable and responsible for quality service in assisting and servicing clients regarding payroll production, tax-related issues, answering pertinent questions, and problem-solving in compliance with company policy and procedure. Proficient knowledge and utilisation of payroll database system. Maintaining accurate and acceptable files on each client/show, in accordance with company policy and procedure. Maintain the client relationship as it related to the weekly processing of the client’s payroll. This includes responding to questions and resolving payroll issues.
The art department is responsible for the overall look of the film. In a major film it can include hundreds of people. Generally, there are several sub-departments including an Art Director and Set Designers; the Set Decoration; the Props Master; construction headed by the Construction Coordinator; scenic headed by the key Scenic Artist and Special Effects.
Works directly with the Director and Producer to select the settings and style to visually tell the story. Begins work in pre-production working with the Director, Producer and Director of Photography to establish the visual feel and aesthetic needs of the project. Works with the Costume Designer, Hair and Make-up Stylists, Special Effects Director and Location Manager to establish a unified visual appearance to the film.
The main role of this job is to help the Production Designer in any way possible. To achieve the overall look, they will coordinate with the Art Department, Costume Department, Makeup Department, and Other Departments. A production designer assistant’s main role is to aid the Production Designer in any way possible.
Directly overseas artists and craftspeople such as Set Designers, Graphic Artists and Illustrators who assist in the development of the production design.
The art department coordinator acts as the administrator of the crew; he or she is under the supervision of the Art Director. The coordinator assists this person in the business matters of the department, as well as the smooth operation of pre-production, principal photography, and wrap-up. Tasks will include managing all department communications concerning scheduling, such as informing pertinent staff of design meetings, delivery deadlines, and related events.
A Draftsman or Architect who realises the structures or interior spaces called for by the Production Designer. Art directors are responsible for the visual style and images in film and television productions. They create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.
Work at the entry level, providing support to the art director within their company or agency. This job involves commissioning artwork, problem-solving issues as they arise, and providing administrative support. Assistant art directors should be creative and organised with excellent communication skills to act as a liaison between the Art Director and other departments or clients.
This role requires you to support the Art Director through the creative production process, ensuring that all design requirements are met for each episode. You may also have to take responsibility for the smooth running of a shoot day in terms of scenery, dressing and continuity of props.
Also Known as CAD, draughts-people use specialist computer software to produce plans and technical drawings for a wide range of products and components. The work involves building up accurate on-screen drawings that can be viewed from different angles and in two or three dimensions. This can be especially useful to the Director when seeing how his/her creative vision can come to life.
Design the opening titles, captions and credits for film and TV productions. They may spend a great deal of time researching or creating specific fonts which accurately reflect the film's genre or period. They also contribute to creative decisions such as the choice of colour, and whether to include animation or special effects. They usually start work near the end of the editing process, when they meet with the Director and Editor to discuss the themes and ideas in the film that will influence the creation of the opening titles, graphic captions within the film, the end cards and end roller
Set Decorators provide anything that furnishes a film set, excluding structural elements. They may have to provide a range of items, from lumps of sugar and tea spoons, to newspapers, furniture and drapes, to cars, carriages, or even cats and dogs. There are two types of props: action props, or all props that are described in the shooting script; and dressing props, or items that help to bring characters to life or to give a certain atmosphere and sense of period to a place. Small details often tell the audience the most about characters in feature films: the pictures hanging on the walls of their homes; the contents of their fridge or bathroom cabinet; their books; the treasured objects kept in a box hidden in the desk drawer. All these details are created by the imagination and creative flair of Set Decorators, who research, prepare and oversee the dressing of every set and adapted location on a feature film. Many Set Decorators work on commercials, where they are known as Stylists, as well as on films. They work on a freelance basis with a few Set Designers who usually specifically request them. The hours are long, and the job can involve long periods working away from home.
In charge of decorating the film set including furnishings and all other objects that will be seen in the film. They work closely with the Production Designer and coordinates with the Art Director.
Helps the set decorator in the process of furnishing sets. This may involve collecting materials for the set decorator, helping tidy up afterwards, ensuring the set matches with the Art Designer and Directors idea.
Works for the Set Decorator. They are responsible for locating and purchasing or renting the set dressing which can include action vehicles.
The Properties Department is responsible for the creation, operation and maintenance of all props used on feature films. The term 'props' refers to any moveable item, which is meant - the furniture, drapes, flooring, etc., used to dress sets, items which are used or held by Actors, objects central to the action in a scene, replica items made of soft materials, props which may move or illuminate. props also include weapons, such as guns and knives, and greenery and foliage including trees and plants.
Is responsible for the procurement or production, inventory, care and maintenance of all props associated with productions, ensuring that they are all available on time, and with budgetary requirements. They also ensure that selected props suit the film style and overall design, and that they reflect the production’s time period and culture.
A storeman is essential to any set that holds stock or large quantities of equipment. The actual duties assigned differ between productions, but in general, it is the role of the storeman to be responsible for managing all functions of stock and equipment. They ensure that stock levels do not run out and all equipment that is required is available on set.
The position of the Charge Hand reports directly to the Props Setting and Construction Manager. You will be expected to successfully deliver the safe and efficient running of the working Prop Crews, whilst monitoring and responding to fluctuating schedule changes. You will ensure all crew are managed within their working environment to uphold Health and Safety and will have a close working relationship with the Props Setting & Construction Manager, Prop Store Manager & Designers ensuring good communication is maintained between all areas of the department.
Responsible for the care and continuity supervision of the various props in a scene. They must respond to the requests of Actors, Directors and other personnel, and are responsible for explaining how individual props work to the Actors and Directors.
Responsible for the placement of all furniture, drapery, carpeting and all accessories you might find on any particular set. Most of the work of the dressers is accomplished before the crew arrives and after they have left the set. Generally, one or more dressers remain on the set during filming.
Concept artists analyse source material and work on illustrations that are both striking and accurate to be presented to the Producer, Director, and Effects Supervisors.
A qualified electrician who is responsible for the wiring and rigging of any lighting which is seen on screen. This can include creating lights according to the Production Designer’s requirements. They also test all lights and electrical equipment needed on set.
Someone who collects and drops off props to and from locations and hire houses. They also assist the Storeman.
Builds the props that are used for the film. Props builders are often technicians skilled in construction, plastics casting, machining and electronics.
A Prop Fabrication Manager oversees the team of Prop Fabricators. They oversee all techniques and methods used to create the specialised models and props according to the Production Designers requirements.
They make all the props and models needed for the productions using a range of specialised techniques such as moulding, fiber-glassing, sculpting and wood working.
They source and buy all the materials needed to make the models and props.
The construction department is responsible for the physical building of sets and scenery. Construction work closely with Art Directors and other Designers to produce a set that’s within the budget as well as an environment that is safe for those working within it.
Construction managers are a part of the building process from the very beginning, working closely with architects and engineers to go over plans and blueprints. Some aspects of the job may be: making timetables for the project, determining material and labour costs, negotiating with and hiring subcontractor and workers and scheduling workers on site.
Overseas the construction of all the sets. The coordinator orders materials schedule the work and supervises the (often sizeable) crew of Carpenters, Painters and Laborers.
Buyers are crucial in ensuring that the construction contract maintains profitable, and that the most cost-effective materials are used to lower outlays. In the construction industry construction buyers play a key role in the overall profitability of a project, due to fluctuations in the cost of raw materials required.
Works closely with the Set Designer in accomplishing all texture and painted effects for the production. They are usually briefed by the Production Designer to then produce one or several scenic works for a set e.g. backdrop of a city. They must adhere to strict health and safety guidelines, carry out their tasks in a safe work environment, and clean up and dispose of any waste in their work area.
Helps bring the Production Designers vision into a reality. Standby Painter- During the shoot to alter the colour and aesthetic of a
set, sign writing and to touch up any damage that may arise. They could also be required to paint/stain any of the items that the Standby Carpenter produces.
Stagehands must perform many behind-the-scenes labours in settings where performances take place. Examples include building, placing, and changing sets; setting up sound systems, lighting, and props; and completing miscellaneous duties related to the production they are working on.
The foreman of a “gang” of Carpenters and Laborers.
Reporting to the Head Carpenter, they build, install and remove wooden structures on film sets and locations, and make wooden props, furniture and scenic equipment. The role requires extensive carpentry experience and creative skills, as well as the ability to work to deadlines, and under pressure.
Is on set during shooting to facilitate any small to medium alterations to sets as and when required throughout the day. Duties can include removing doors, windows or any other element of set, altering or removal of set flattage where required to change appearance of a scene and assisting with preparation and levelling of floor area for camera track.
Manufacture a wide range of items ranging from period pieces like hinges and flambeaux (flame torches) right through to large metal-based structures that are required. They cut grind and weld metals (mainly mild steel).
Scaffold builders are responsible for building and taking down scaffolds and temporary structures for sets. Before building scaffolds, they are responsible for cleaning and preparing construction sites (sets), including removing debris and dangerous materials. They then unload the scaffolding materials from a truck into the studios.
They are responsible for rigging special harnesses to attached wires which in turn are run through a series of “blocks” (pulleys) to a control area where a wire rigger raises, lowers or traverses an Actor wearing the harness.
The Camera Department work with extremely delicate, expensive equipment and are amongst the most highly skilled practitioners on any film crew. Although the hours are long, and some foreign travel may be required, involving long periods spent away from base, the work is highly creative and very rewarding.
Is the head of all technical departments on a film crew and is responsible for establishing how the script is translated into visual images based on the Director’s request.
Works closely with the DOP to determine the composition for each shot as instructed by the Director. The primary job of the camera operator is to make smooth pan and tilt moves in order to maintain the composition of the subject and the keeps the action within the frame lines.
Knows and understands all professional motion picture camera equipment and accessories currently used in the industry. 1st A.C. Reads the script so that they are aware of the story and recommends any special equipment that may be needed to carry out specific shots and is responsible for the overall care and maintenance of all camera equipment during production.
Before production, 2nd A.C. Must obtain a supply of empty cans, black bags, camera reports, and cores from the lab or asks the production manager to arrange for these supplies, prepares a list of expendables with the 1st A.C, also preps camera package along with the 1st A.C.
The camera production assistant/trainee helps the camera crew with any necessary duty. They are on set to learn by assisting every position within the camera department.
The digital imaging technician is responsible for image quality control, on-set colour correction, and managing a production’s workflow. The DIT manages all data and file distribution. They receive the camera’s memory cards and immediately dump and backup footage. They then send uncompressed files to the Editors and make compressed file dailies for the Director. DITs have a deep technical knowledge of all things digital like cameras, codecs, laptops, etc.
Video playback provides a point of reference for, and a method of monitoring, everything that is shot by the Camera Crew and recorded by the Production Sound Mixer. Video assist is used by Directors (and other relevant crew members such as Script Supervisors), who watch the video monitor during each take. If playback facilities are available, Video playback is used to review shots. On the first day of principal photography, VPOs arrive on set at the same time as the camera crew and test their equipment in preparation for the first set up. VPOs must be able to concentrate for long periods, and be extremely alert, in order to monitor all the action, and to maintain the equipment throughout the shoot.
As the dailies operator, you will work closely with the Editorial Team and the Production team to run the dailies sessions for several TV series and feature film projects.
Loads and unloads all film magazines during filming, properly labels all loaded film magazines and cans of exposed film and short ends, prepares exposed film for delivery to the lab and delivers it to the production company representative at the end of each shooting day, and provides all the necessary tools and accessories.
Recording all sound on set or on location is the work of the Production Sound Crew which includes Production Sound Mixers, Boom Operators, and Sound Assistants; on bigger productions, Sound Trainees may also be employed. Although film is considered a primarily visual medium, much of the storytelling and emotional resonance of a script is conveyed through dialogue.
Responsible for the difficult job of ensuring that dialogue recorded during filming is suitably clear. Although much of the storytelling and the emotional impact of a script are conveyed through dialogue, most film sets are challenging environments for Mixers because there are often unwanted noises to deal with, or the required camera shots hamper the placing of microphones.
Assists the Production Sound Recordist and operate the boom microphone, which is either hand-held on a long arm or dolly mounted (on a moving platform). If radio or clip microphones are required, Boom Operators position them correctly around the set or location, or on actors’ clothing. Boom Operators are responsible for positioning microphones so that Sound Mixers can capture the best quality dialogue and sound effects. If this is done well, a great deal of money can be saved by not having to re-record (post-sync) the dialogue at a later stage. Boom Operators are also responsible for all the sound equipment, ensuring that it is in good working order, and carrying out minor repairs when necessary.
Sound Assistants are the third members of the Production Sound Crew and provide general back up and support to the Production Sound Recordist and the Boom Operator. They are responsible for checking all stock, microphones and batteries and making sure that the sound department runs as smoothly as possible.
The Lighting department plays a crucial role in most film crews. Although some productions may make use of daylight, for the most part it is necessary to use artificial light to achieve the visual image required. The different members of the Lighting crew are responsible, together with others such as the Camera crew or Designer, for the look and feel of the images that are captured on the screen. They set up a wide range of lighting equipment to achieve a variety of moods, atmospheres and effects, as well as helping to make the actors, performers and participants look right for their roles. All members of the Lighting department are trained to work safely with electricity, and all its obvious potential dangers, once trained, may take up specialist roles within the lighting team.
Head of the electrical department (sometimes called the chief lighting technician). Works closely with the DOP and overseas the work of the assistants.
Assistant to the Gaffer. Generally responsible for the daily running of the lighting, hiring and scheduling of the crew; coordinating the rigging crews (depending upon the size of the production).
The rigging gaffer is a member of the electrics or lighting department and works under the direction of the Gaffer and the DP. He or she has a crew of set lighting technicians and set wiremen, including a best boy, and is generally responsible for pre-lighting on set.
Works under the direction of the Best Boy will pre-rig and rig lights according to the production requirements.
Grips are the lighting and rigging technicians. They function as a cross between a mechanic and a construction worker on the set. A grip’s job responsibilities include: working closely with the Camera Department especially if the camera is mounted onto a dolly or crane; work closely with the electrical department to put in lighting set ups necessary for a shot. Grips do not actually work on the lighting (they are not technically electricians) but handle all other necessary equipment; responsible for all “rigging” on the set including lighting equipment rigged over actors and crew, working with pulleys, steel cables; responsible for all safety on the set as it relates to the equipment they work with. Equipment responsible for all “rigging” on the set including lighting equipment rigged over actors and crew, working with pulleys, steel cables; responsible for all safety on the set as it relates to the equipment they work with.
The foreman of the grip department. Overseas the work and responsibilities of all of the grips on the set.
Assists the Key Grip but assumes more responsibility for the hiring and scheduling of the crew; overseas the rental of the equipment on the set.
Operates the camera dollies or camera cranes.
The Make-up and Hair departments may be combined, with a Make-up and Hair Designer in charge; or they may be separate with a Chief Make-up Artist and a Chief Hairdresser controlling their respective sections. On larger film productions two or more units may work simultaneously, with Chiefs overseeing hair and/or make-up on each unit and the Designer in overall control.
Responsible for the design, application and continuity of makeup and hair for a production. In a high end production there is more chance of more complex makeup and hair e.g. prosthetics etc. Have meetings with Director and other key personnel to establish what's required then disseminate the information to the team. Creating historically accurate looks and where necessary change structure of the face with prosthetics. Work closely with other departments including Costume and Lighting. Scheduling artist fittings. Work closely with actors and respond to the different ways in which actors prepare before going on camera. Managing a safe working environment. Managing department members. Understand script and budget requirements. Keep track of costs and provide expenditure reports as well as forecasting costs.
Lead makeup artist; usually responsible for hair and makeup of lead artists. In a high-end production there is more chance of more complex makeup and hair, e.g. prosthetics, etc. Make mood boards particularly on period productions with research and pictures. Communicating the Makeup Designer's ideas to artists and daily staff and ensuring continuity. Breaking down scripts to establish hair and makeup requirements. Booking additional daily labour. Attend cast makeup fittings. Sourcing hair and makeup products. Will have communications with the Director and suggest ideas or tweaks. Understanding production schedule and ability to schedule cast fittings plus makeup artists' work schedules.
Plays a hugely important role in the overall appearance of the talent. The goal of the make-up artist is to make everyone on screen look as good as possible. He/she works closely with the director and production team to create the look that is required for the various parts of the movie/TV programme. The make-up artist also uses their skills to minimize the potential negative effects of the harsh lighting.
Create makeup and hairstyles, basic prosthetics and special effects for artists to meet artistic and production requirements; may include bruising, burns, scars working with various materials. Makeup and hair checks and continuity. Script breakdown to establish hair and makeup requirements. Hair and makeup of more senior members of the cast. Sourcing hair and makeup products. May work with Makeup Supervisor in creating mood boards from research and pictures. May assist with sourcing additional daily labour.
Supports and observe senior staff and learn on the job. Learn about makeup equipment and the set up on a truck etc. as well as basic continuity. Start to look at scripts. Maintain kit and working files. This might include cleaning brushes, sterilising etc. May assist with hair and makeup for featured background artists or perhaps male members of the cast. Assist with photographs and makeup continuity sheets. In aiming to take a role of Makeup Trainee it is important to dress appropriately as clean and tidy presentation is important being so close to artists. Experience in different types of TV production, for example factual or entertainment, can be important for drama. Valuable experience can also be gained from other areas of hair and makeup for example photographic, editorial, fashion, sports, kids or music videos.
The costume department is responsible for finding, creating or hiring the costumes for every character on screen. To work in costume, you must have a deep understanding and interest in fashion and clothing history, design and trends in order to make a film or TV show both believable and visually interesting. It is incredibly important for the actors to feel not only physically comfortable in the costumes they wear but emotionally connected to the character by donning that costume. Sometimes the costume department will have to come up with creative solutions to technical issues, for example, concealing a bag of special effects fake blood, or hiding a battery pack for microphones. The department is led by a costume designer who oversees assistants, supervisors, dressers and trainees or runners.
Is the head of the costume department and must work with other departments to create the look and feel of a production, based on the Director's brief. They are in charge of designing, creating and hiring costumes for actors and background extras. They must be able to express creative views and have input into the design of the film or TV show. This can include research, arranging fittings and working with cast members to help them feel comfortable in their characters.
Oversees the day-to-day use of the wardrobe on set and plan for coming days or weeks. This includes organising schedules and transport and checking continuity. They may be required to organise and arrange costume hire and petty cash purchases. A very important role of the costume supervisor is to oversee the washing and repair of the costumes, as they are often heavily used through the day and star to wear and tear.
Present always on set to monitor the quality and continuity of the costumes before and during takes. They may be the only member of the costume team on set during shooting, so they hold a lot of responsibility.
This is an Office Management role which requires a range of administrative skills. They are often in charge of buying and shipping, keeping a record of purchase logs and accounts administration. They can also be responsible for the hiring of costumes and coordinating between Makers and other departments.
They work out and about, sourcing fabrics and trims for the costume department. They send samples to the Costume Designer to choose from then buy the appropriate fabrics as needed.
The Principle Cutter works closely with Costume Designer to create the patterns for each costume. They then cut the fabric and mark it up for the Costume Maker to make the costume. They also run the Costume Workroom and train people how to make the costumes.
They make the costumes using a range of different sewing skills. Head of Dye Room/Key Textile Artist - They work closely with the Designer to create the final stage of the costume through breakdown and aging. They use a range of techniques such as dyeing, painting and abrasion. They can also paint, screen print and dye fabric before the costumes are even made.
Assists the Head of Dye Room in the breakdown and age costumes ready for fittings and/ or shooting. This may involve dyeing, painting, spraying and/or mechanical abrasion.
They oversee ensuring all costumes and accessories are prepared and ready for the day’s shooting. They organise all costumes on the truck and ensure costume continuity.
They dress the main Actors and are on set to ensure their character’s costume continuity as well as being ready in case anything needs changing or adjusting.
Assists the costume department and personnel and dress background artists. They may also make costume purchase returns.
They make sure all fabrics are washed and prepared as well as ensuring the smooth running of all necessary workroom equipment. They also assist in the making of costumes.
The Locations Department’s primary role is to identify and find ideal locations for a film shoot, reporting to the Producer, Director and Production Designer. It also involves negotiating with each location’s owners about several issues, such as the cost and terms of the hire, crew and vehicle access, parking, noise reduction, and what official permissions may be required. Once filming has begun, Location Managers oversee managing all aspects of shooting in each location and ensuring that every location is handed back to its owners in a satisfactory condition after the shoot. On larger productions, Location Managers may supervise Assistant Location Managers and/or Location Scouts, each of whom support and assist the Location Manager in finding the ideal location, and in all matters relating to its use for filming.
Is responsible for making all the practical arrangements necessary for filming on location. Duties include but are not limited to: creating and entering into location contract agreements, creating parking plans for working vehicles, identifying and arranging for power and water sources, working with affected residents, property owners, and businesses.
Location Manager's representative on set. Managing get in and get out of the filming unit. Set up and run the unit base and the location including technical and crew parking arrangements, vehicle power supplies, fresh water supplies, heating/cooling, trackway if necessary and facilities etc. at the unit base and location. Drawing up movement orders. Liaising between the film crew and the location owners. Letter dropping and keeping residents or landlords happy during filming. Making sure the location shoot runs smoothly, dealing with rubbish collection.
Location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking and commercial photography. Location scouts work directly with Producers and The Director have decided what general scenery is required to meet the creative needs of the project outside of the studio space the search for compatible locations begins. Locations are selected both in terms of the “look” they offer but also the feasibility and ease of filming at the location. Access to a power source, parking, etc are all important factors the location scout must take into consideration.
Facilities management focusses upon the efficient and effective delivery of support services for the running of the production that it serves which encompasses, make up trucks, stars trucks, honey wagons and all other associated support vehicles needed for a production.
Is responsible for coordinating the physical workplace, they are also responsible for a tremendous amount of property and equipment that’s rented out to production companies on a per project basis.
Assist the Facilities Manager and ensure is responsible for the unit base of the production. Grip Van – The van that carries and supplies all the equipment for the grip team.
The van that carries and supplies all the equipment for the camera team.
The Transport Department provides crucial support to a film production. Even the lowest budget feature is likely to require at least one person to oversee the transport of cast, crew and equipment to the location of the film shoot. In the case of a very big budget film produced outside the UK, such as a James Bond feature, the demands placed on the Transport Department are huge: equipment must be packed and shipped to multiple locations in the UK or overseas; travel permits must be sorted out; complex itineraries for the hundreds of cast and crew must be arranged; and support vehicles such as mobile production offices, artist caravans and mobile toilets, must be hired. Given the time constraints of a film shoot, everything and everybody must arrive at exactly the right time.
These are the vehicles used to transport cast and crew to and from location shooting or base shooting.
The person who drives the unit cars to and from location and is responsible for cast and crew arriving on set at the correct times.
Film crews work long hours and need to eat well. On sets or locations, the standard daily meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus tea or snacks if the crew are required to work late into the evening. Catering is provided by specialist companies who drive catering trucks packed with food and a range of equipment including ovens, extraction fans, fridges, gas and water, to each Unit Base. On big films, these trucks can be 35ft in length and weigh up to 8 tons. Catering companies vary in size; the biggest have as many as 20 trucks, employ hundreds of staff and have their own garage maintaining their vehicles. The smallest comprise of one or two individuals who prepare the menus, buy, cook and serve the food, make teas and coffees, clean and drive the truck to and from locations. Catering companies are hired by Production Managers who put the work out to tender according to the catering budget agreed with the Producer. Catering companies prepare quotes and supply sample menus, and if their tender is accepted, provide catering for the production. On big films, the Catering Crew typically involves Unit Leaders, Location Chefs, Salad Persons and Dish Washers. As in all jobs in the catering profession, the work is hard, and hours can be long.
Cooks the meals according to the previously approved menus, ensuring that any special dietary requirements are catered for. Is responsible for the preparation and presentation of all cold platters, fruit, salads, sandwiches and afternoon teas. Catering crews work every day of the shoot, finishing when the film wraps (is completed). Chefs must have experience of location catering and know how to run well organised kitchens, and cook and cater for large numbers, while adhering to strict budgets.
Assist the Head Chef in the preparation, planning and execution of all menus, helps with service, preparing vegetables and salads, dish washing and cleaning duties. They also manage the large tea urns and coffee pots which are required throughout the day.
Film and TV productions often require long hours in challenging locations working to a fast turnaround. By having proper H&S procedures in place, you are playing your part in keeping everyone you work with safe.
Works at the forefront of production ensuring all H&S conditions are adhered to. Will monitor delicate and complex filming situations and write risk and method statements. Will liaise with all departments and production heads to ensure the running of a safe production environment.
Set Medics are fully qualified medics who are on standby on set to ensure the safety of cast and crew. They may need to offer medical assistance if for example, a stunt goes wrong. They may also need to offer quick access to nearby emergency facilities.
Someone who ensures that the TV Production is fully insured. This may cover a variety of issues.
Unit Publicists (UPs) provide a vital conduit between Producers, Cast, Crew and the Media during shoots. By generating publicity, they help Sales Agents to sell films and to create public interest.
Social Media Publicists utilise tools such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to help promote and generate buzz for TV Shows.
Post Production Supervisors are responsible for the post production process, during which they maintain clarity of information and good channels of communication between the Producer, Editor, Supervising Sound Editor, the Facilities Companies (such as film labs, CGI studios and negative cutters) and the Production Accountant.
TV editors ensure footage is accurate and compelling. TV editors oversee the Camera, Lighting, Design, and Sound Crew members in order to produce a polished final product. For the program to air at its set time, TV Editors are responsible for meeting multiple daily production deadlines.
An assistant Film/TV Editor maintains a balanced and structured environment in the editing room. The assistant editor is responsible for operating the editing technology as well as interacting with various people on the filmmaking staff, particularly the Camera, Film Lab and Sound Department.
SFX supervisors are primarily responsible for planning and creating all the SFX elements of shoot during pre-production. Visual effects encompass everything from artificial weather and environments like rain, fog, smoke, and other atmospheric aspects to mechanical and electrical effects.
SFX Production Managers are responsible for the SFX elements on set as they happen live. This will involve visual effects ranging from fog to electrical effects.
A Standby SFX is responsible for the creation and production of the Special Effects as they happen live on set.
Creature Effects specialises in the manufacture and application of prosthetics, special makeup effects and creatures for film and television.
A Puppet Master is the person who brings the team together and is the overall link with the Director. They work closely with the Director on the performance of the puppeteers and their creatures.
They are the performers of the puppets.
The Animation Director is the principal interaction with the Director and Visual Effects team. They dictate the character and movement of the CGI characters by directing the puppeteers.
They are the ‘go to’ for technical information about the characters or animals that need to be created by the Model Makers.
They are the ‘go to’ for the puppeteers’ questions on their performance and they also organise the puppeteer team.
A Senior Model Maker is the person who leads the build technique and budgets of the workshop to produce the puppets. They work closely with the Puppeteer to produce the exact puppets needed for the performance.
A Model Maker works closely with the Senior Model Maker and Puppeteers to construct the puppets and models.
They assist the Model Makers and learn the techniques needed to construct the puppets. They are also responsible for sourcing and buying the materials needed for the construction of puppets.
The role of the Visual Arts Director is to oversee, usually in coordination with a Set Designer, the visible images that will be seen in the final product. Whether a studio is being used to film interior scenes or “on location” sets are being constructed utilising actual streets and buildings (or, in the case of Westerns, desert and other remote exterior locales), the job of the Visual Arts.
The Visual Effects Producer is at the heart of a production. They are required to manage all aspects of a show, typically involving: the initial visual effects breakdown and bid, planning and scheduling of facility resources, managing the visual effects team and monitoring their work during the post-production process.
The VFX Production Manager is in charge of organising the production of the films visual effects while working in close collaboration with the VFX Supervisor and Technical Leads assigned to the project. He/she is also responsible for the supervision and management of the entire production team (Coordinators, Technical Leads, Supervisors, Artists). Finally, he/she must monitor the projects budget and overall planning while ensuring that production runs smoothly.
Works with the VFX Producer and is responsible for the artists working on a specific sequence. Takes daily notes, distributes information to team members, and updates the wall board and schedules. Also responsible for coordinating FTP and shipping.
A visual effects editor, also known as VFX editor, is the person who is overseeing, and responsible for all the visual effects in a production. The visual effects editor must have excellent communication skills, as the job requires the VFX editor to communicate effectively between VFX staff and the editors.
The Data Wrangler is the person on set who is responsible for making sure that raw footage from the camera is transferred to the Editor without any data loss or corruption. On a film or television production utilizing digital cameras that are not tape based, they manage the transfer of data from a camera to a computer and/or hard drive. As footage is passed from shoot to post, the Data Wrangler keeps a log of who has received what and tracks all copies of the footage.
Utilise a variety of industry standard graphical applications, scripting languages and operating systems. They may support projects by gathering artist requirements, designing solutions and coding small-scale tools using established employer workflow requirements.
The Pre-vis Artist reports to the Pre-vis Lead/Pre-vis Supervisor/Assistant Production Manager. His/her number one priority is to create a dynamic cinematic vision for the film/TV Programme that supports the narrative, adheres to production assumptions and executes it in a manner inspiring the crew. They work closely with the Director(s) to translate their vision (as represented by the storyboards) into a 3D environment. He/she must provide creative solutions to aesthetic problems.
Generates the previsualization of the film and refining the final camera movements, in accordance with the established storytelling guidelines, working closely with the Layout Leads.
Big studio productions usually hire several concept artists to design specific elements, such as fantasy creatures. Concept artists may analyse source material and work on illustrations that are both striking and accurate to be presented to the Producer, Director, and Effects Supervisors. Many concept artists start their careers as Graphic Artists or Illustrators before moving into the screen industries.
Assist the Concept Artist develop designs and work towards deadlines. This will include activities such as assisting Lead Creatives with creative proposals: Image sourcing and making boards & take control of alternative creative concept within the main deck if directed.
A VR Assistants role involves editing and reviewing any VR footage used for filming. This may require a VR assistant to work closely with the Director to help bring his/her creative vision to life.
Main purpose is to manage staff and oversee the daily tasks of the studio, Studio Managers must be able to manage people and time. Their responsibilities will include maintenance of the studios, managing the security of the studios, etc.
The role of a studio assistant is to provide support during filming, on location filming and during post production. The job involves keeping track of shoots, assisting the DOP, coordinating travel to and from location and base.
Animation Supervisor is responsible for the work delivered by the Animation department on a project. He/she establishes, in collaboration with the Department Supervisor, the working methods of his/her team, considering the requirements of the pipeline, both technical/methodological, present and future. He/she supervises, guides and develops his/her team and acts as mentor of his/her specialty.
A stunt coordinator, usually an experienced stunt performer, is hired by a TV, film or theatre director or production company for stunt casting that is to arrange the casting (stunt players and stunt doubles) and performance of stunts for a film or TV programme. Stunt coordinators often work very closely with the Director to achieve the vision of the production. Because most stunts seen on television and in movies are deemed very dangerous, the stunt coordinator is most importantly responsible for the safety of all the staff and crew when stunts are being performed.
A Stunt Person is an individual (man or woman) who replaces an actor during a dangerous or extremely athletic scene. They replace the Actor because they are more skilled at performing the task safely than the actor who may not be able to perform the task at all. A stunt person is usually very athletic, fit and strong. Their work is extremely dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening. The risk of getting hurt is high - extreme safety measures are always put in place.
Is responsible for planning the fight sequences in conjunction with specialist performers and establishing safety precautions during rehearsals to minimise the risk of impacts between performers or between performers and the surrounding sets / rehearsal equipment.
Is responsible for the design of the rigging system, including checking the suitability of fixing structures, selecting and maintaining the rigging equipment that is attached to structures in order to move performers as part of the rehearsal or filming sequence. Responsibilities also include the selection of riggers to carry out the installation and rigging of truss, pulleys, wires and specialist equipment such as rams and counterbalance systems. Supervision of the method of work is a key consideration to establish that current best practice is used during all aspects of the rigging process.
Is responsible for designing and erecting scaffold tube and fitting structures to the necessary requirements as established by the SC and HoD Stunt Rigger. Where structures require a design due to the load or complexity of the scaffolding arrangements the HoD Rigger Scaffolder and HoD Stunt Rigger are responsible for notifying the SC so that the appropriate arrangements can be made to have the design approved by a structural engineer.