Learning the crew roles in a film production

Flying battens
Producing a film or video requires a skilled team of professionals.

An awareness  of crew roles  is helpful in achieving a successful result for film, television or video. It assists in bringing the project in on time and budget. The size of the production will determine what crew roles are needed. A production can be executed with just camera man and talent. The camera operator sets the audio levels and does the monitoring. He has the lighting configuration in place and directs the production. The next step is the editing in post production. In a basic presentation where talent is speaking to the camera, this may also be a simple procedure.

It is possible for a production crew of any size to achieve a professional result at a minimum cost if the team are multi skilled. In the early stages of training, students are required to assess the various crew roles and perform each role in a production. With this experience and the access to equipment, the creative process can begin. It requires planning, which involves marking up the script and  producing a shot list. These are the two  basic requirements of a director no matter how small or large the production is.

The Director –  what role does he perform

  • Marking up the script
  • Assembles a shot list and camera card for the cinematographers
  • Chooses the cast
  • Gives instruction to crew and cast
  • Schedules the shooting timetable

Some directors choose to appear in their own films while others write the screen play, edit or shoot their film. Multi- tasking  roles can lead to errors that may be inadvertantly  overlooked. It requires an experienced director with good communication skills to perform duel rolls. Non verbal communication is just as important as this sends signals such as confidence or inability. If your just starting out as a director, keep a professional distance from your crew. You don’t need to have fun on a production, you need to maintain control. To much fun often leads to a noisy and raucous environment. Its difficult to concentrate, and loose sight of the objective. Celebrate  a successfull production with fun, but get the result first.

 Tips on Directing

  1. Confidence: This comes from planning and familiarity of crew roles.
  2. Visualise the outcome: Viewing the work of others inspires creation
  3. Do some acting: Helps connect and communicate
  4. Listen: But don’t get to involved in a discussion that could lead to an argument
  5. Get a producer or a Directors assistant
  6. Associate in a film community
  7. Write a short script : Learning to type is an enormous help!
    Dr. Who
    Dr. Who started over 50 years ago, a time travel epic for television

    Directors have the good fortune of working  closely with different characters and personalities. They can block the movement of actors and camera to achieve shots and scenes that will cut together well. They oversee the flow of the program bringing all creative elements together in a meaningful and creative way.

Superwoman & Johnny Depp
Directors have the good fortune of working with many different characters

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