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production department

can involve one person or many people who are responsible for a circumscribed set of tasks

producing team

someone who must be responsible for the budgeting and the logistical coordination of the project (time, personnel, production resources)


the creative driving force of the film. brings the screenplay to the screen. someone must be the definitive creative decision maker of the movie, the person who makes sure that everyone's efforts are working toward a common and expressive end.

camera department

someone needs to be in charge of lighting and capturing the image on film and video.

art department

someone needs to acquire and manage the costumes and objects used by the actors in the film and to attend to the look of the physical space in which the movie takes place.

sound department

someone must be in charge of recording sound, it it's necessary.

the talent

someone must appear on camera to perform the dramatic roles in the movie.

principal production team

includes those members with substantial responsibility and often direct creative input. they are the heads of various departments and in the professional world these key positions are supported by technical teams with highly specific jobs.

the producer

oversees the logistics of the film from preproduction to distribution, including personnel, scheduling, equipment, locations, and other production resources.

production manager

the producer's right hand during the production process. responsible for the day-to-day operations of the film set.

the assistant director

this is to the director what the production manager is to the producer. this person is responsible for the smooth operation of the set. this usually means communicating the director's instructions to the various technical departments and relating the crew's concerns back to the director.

director of photography

aka the cinematographer. collaborates closely with the director on the visual interpretation of the script and the photographic look of the movie. this involved designing the lighting, choosing film stocks or video format, and devising expressive camera angles, compositions, exposures, and focus

assistant camera (person)

aka A.C. a camera and lens expert. they are responsible for the proper functioning of the camera, which includes setting it up, cleaning the gate, checking and pulling focus, selecting filters and lenses (with the D.P.), etc.

prop master

this person locates and finds the props

costume designer

this person finds or makes all costumes and maintains them for the duration of the film

makeup and hair stylist

in charge of make up and hair

carpenters and painters

construct sets

sound recordist

aka location sound mixer. the head of the sound department and is responsible for recording the best possible quality sound.

boom operator

responsible for the proper use and actual placement of the microphone(s) for optimum quality. sometimes it means planting a microphone on the talent or on the set and other times this means holding a boom pole.

cable wrangler

sets up the cables, holds a second boom when necessary, and wrangles the cable when the boo operator follows a moving shot. usually on bigger shoots.

casting for type

casting someone because they seem naturally right for the part in some way, whether they look the part, or behave just like your character in real life, or have the same profession as your character.


an organized process by which you schedule and work with a number of potential performers to determine their suitability to your film.


an 8x10 photograph on one side and a resume on the other

green room

a waiting place where actors can relax, drink some water, and go over their lines.

cold reading

reading from script pages that actors are given minutes before the audition


second auditions in which you look closely at all of your most promising candidates.

a read through

a reading of the script by the actors with all principal creative people in attendance.

scene work

a detailed examination of specific scenes and aim to refine the interpretation of the drama.


the coordination of the movements of the actors in the scene

on-set rehearsals (on-set run throughs)

rehearsals during the preparation of the actual shooing on location.


those performers who have no lines or important actions in the film, but who populate a scene and give it a sense of realism and authenticity.

talent release

a legal document, signed before the cameras roll, simply stating that the performer gives you the right to use his image and voice in your film.

contact sheet

a simple list of who is involved in the project, what their role is, and their contact information (phone and email).

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