Roles of the Film Production Team
The Director is the person responsible in leading the actors in a movie set. The director works directly with the performances of the actors and has control over the film’s overall creative look and composition. The director can also be compared with an author of a book novel because he/she leads the primary vision and direction of the film. Furthermore, the director not only leads the performance of the actors, but also plays a large role in casting the actors who would be most suitable to play every character in the film; in setting appropriate locations; in revising the script according to the overall direction of the film; and in editing the final video while considering consistencies in tone throughout the film. In addition, among all film making crews apart from the actors, the director also represents the crew by answering interview questions about the film. However, although the director serves as the center of film production, the director’s work is linked with other staffs and is being supported by other people who help get the job done in producing a good film.
The Producer is hired by an executive producer who is usually the financer of the whole production. The producer is the person in-charge of managing the entire production of the film from start to finish. The producer organizes the entire production and ensures that everything is made correctly and the film making goes smoothly. Producers run the logistics for the whole production which includes ensuring that the script progresses and finances are properly managed throughout the production. This means that the filmmaking process is handled by the producer who makes sure that the production is working on schedule and within the prescribed budget. Apart from managing administrative tasks, producers are also in-charge of final distribution plans for the film. This means that without the producer, films cannot be made. The number producers in a film depends on the scale of production; but even though there may be more than one producers, each producer has his/her own field of expertise wherein one may be in charge of crew selection, another in managing the finances etc.
The Writer can be distinguished from the screen writer or script writer by identifying the purpose of the written piece. Specifically, the writer, as opposed to the script writer, writes the story and not the script itself. In definition, the story can be defined as “an account of imaginary or real events” as referring to both fiction and factual stories. The writer writes the story by following and including the elements of a story, like plot, characters, setting etc. Story plots may also include sub-plots and may be organized using chapters. The story that writers are supposed to write should be able to illicit by itself, the imagination of the readers. On the contrary, a script has to be understood as “the written text of a play, film, or broadcast” and by itself, plays only a small part in the creation of the media. In relation to film making, several films were based or were adapted from novels and the writer of these novels were included as part of the film’s acknowledgement. Some writers who had their novels turned into famous films are J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter series; Mario Puzo for The Godfather; Stephenie Meyer for the Twilight series; J.R.R. Tolkien for the Lord of the Rings series, and many more.
The Art Director who works in conjuncture the director in bringing out the setting of the film. The art director also works with other people on the art department such as the production designer, the set designer, the props master and others who work at the setting, landscape, the background and any props needed for the film. Specifically, the art director is responsible for designing and constructing the film’s set and assist the production designer in constructing the overall look and feel of the movie using the set. Sometimes, the art director is in-charge of bringing out the brand look of the film being made to make it look and feel different from the rest of film pieces. In relation to this, the art director must be able to create a unique film set as envisioned by the director of the film while considering other elements as well.
The Director of photography is also known as the cinematographer or simply the DP. The director of photographydirector of photography is in-charge of the overall visual look of the film as captured by the camera. This means that the director of photography is also responsible for a lot of technical things related to the manipulation of camera, including lighting, camera movements etc. to capture the film’s mood, look and feel as instructed by the director. The director of photography also has the say of what camera and lenses to use for every shot and they provide input on camera angles and framing as well. The choice of camera and camera system during the production depends entirely on the style of work being done on a particular film. Apart from this, as mentioned earlier, the director of photography is responsible for all lighting decisions and light quality including elements such as the shape, intensity, position and color of the lights. However, the work of the director of photography depends entirely on leading of the director, who is the center of the film production.
The Script writer for whether a film, commercial, or documentary film is the person responsible for writing the script in the entire movie. The main role of the script writer is to carefully craft the lines or dialogues, even the narration in the entire film. This is the main difference of the script writer to the writer or the story writer – writing specifically for the film being produced. This means that the script writer is basically in-charge of the film’s storyline, including the transition of scenes, the climax of the story, the character creation, the setting of the scene’s mood and basically everything that deals with every story element specifically in the film that is being created. The script writer works in close coordination with the entire film crew, especially the director. Although the director leads the creation of the film, the script writer creates the storyline that best fits with the direction that the director is leading the team. The script writer must also ensure that every line comes out naturally considering the personality of the character, the setting where dialogues will be said. As mentioned earlier, screen writing is also a type of storytelling applied in the format of screenplays. It is distinguished from a story that writers write in a sense that script writers write in a way that could make lines natural as possible. This means that the script is solely used for the lines and narrations in the screenplay. It also does not act alone in bringing out the film’s overall tone, mood and feel as films also consider other elements performed by other film crews like the setting, the costume, the makeup of the actors etc.
The Cameraman or otherwise known as the camera operator is the one who physically controls and operates the camera. In smaller productions, the director of photography as defined earlier, also acts as the cameraman. But in larger productions, several camera operators may be hired. The cameraman works under the director of photography in filming the shots and in camera movements. Besides operating the camera, other tasks are given to other roles like the camera assistant, who loads and unloads film rolls in the camera. The camera assistant also helps set up and build the camera on set and of course take care of the cameras’ lenses by cleaning them regularly. But as mentioned earlier, for smaller productions, cameramen may also be in-charged of doing these.
The Editor is the one who is responsible for organizing the scenes and footages of the scenes after each sequence. The editor arranges individual shots to make a continuous sequence of shots, which eventually serves as the film itself. During film making, of course, several shots should be made if necessary to get the perfect shot for a particular scene. Therefore, it is the role of the editor to choose which particular shot from a dozen of shots should be chosen. Although it is not primarily the editor who does this, but the editor helps the film crew in, not only selecting the perfect shot, but in arranging these chosen shots cohesively in hundreds of feet of film rolls. The role of the editor is very crucial because the editor’s choice of shots and how well the editor places them has a profound effect on the overall appearance of the final film or movie.
Maquilleur is the French term for makeup artist. In a film production, the makeup artist creates the look of the actors in consideration with several elements. The maquilleur or the makeup artist must consider the final look according to the director’s desires. Apart from the instruction of the director, the maquilleur must also consider the time period of the film, the setting and the sequence of the film being captured. There are times when, for example, the actor got cut in the previous scene, the makeup artist should also consider putting wound effects on the actor in consideration to the previous scene. Apart from these, the maquilleur also considers the characterization of the role being played. If needed and depending on the film, a separate makeup artist may specifically create the special effect makeups of the actors and actresses. Effects done with makeup may include blood and gore effects, aging effects and other prosthetics depending entirely on the above mentioned elements.
Regisseur is also referred to as the assistant director in a film production. Contrary to the title given to an assistant director, his/her role in the film set is not related with directing the performances. In some instances, however, the assistant director helps the director in cuing background characters to compliment the main performance of the actors. Nevertheless, the role of the assistant director is to break down the script and manage the schedules of shootings. Basically, the assistant director manages the day-to-day administrative tasks of the production. Aside from shooting schedule, the assistant director also helps manage the scheduling of the actors, crew, and the equipment needed for the shoot on a particular day. The assistant director keeps the production on track by managing the everyday production schedule and assisting the director in cuing the background characters in a movie set.