Depending on the type of project and budget, this may change a little… or drastically. For example, it’s not uncommon for the Director of Photography (DP)/Cinematographer to also serve as a camera operator and lighting director. This is not the ideal situation, because of the additional responsibilities placed on smaller crews, but this often becomes reality with budget constraints.
Now, not every video is a feature film. However, when the budget allows for a bigger crew on set, productions tend to run smoother and faster – creating a better end product. While roles and responsibilities typically change from project to project, the list below describes each role for the ones I’ve worked on.
Derek Potts / Producer
The producer is the initial contact for the project. They talk with the client to arrange the high-level goals and expectations. It’s their responsibility to assemble the production team. The director typically comes first. From there, they put together the necessary crew members. The producer usually stays involved throughout the project lifecycle: pre-production, production and post-production.
Shawn Welling / Director
The director is typically the most involved person on and off set. They assist with assembling the right crew to get the job done. They make adjustments to the script to keep the video on budget and on time. They oversee all parts of the production. Questions get funneled up to them.
And, when dealing with talent, the director should be the only one directing them. They oversee technical details as well, such as camera position, use of lighting and anything that effects the final product.
Duncan Johnson / Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer
A DP and cinematographer are usually the same. Some insist that the cinematographer title only gets used when the DP is also the camera operator. Either way, the DP is in charge of the lighting as well as the camera. In some cases they work along side the lighting director At 522, we tend to let the DP and lighting director work side by side to achieve the desired results.
The DP is responsible for getting the exact look the director envisions. He’s in charge of assembling the proper equipment to get the job done. This includes camera, rigs, lenses, filters, lights etc.
Duncan Johnson / Digital Imaging Technician (DIT)
A DIT is trained with the specific camera that is on set. They know how to manipulate color profiles to help execute the specific look needed. Often a DIT manages the media – and are also responsible for backing up cards. For most of our shoots, the DP/cinematographer serve as the DIT.Bo Brinkman / Line Producer
Jen Barbieto / 1st AD
The 1st AD is mainly responsible for scheduling on set. He wrangles talent, keeps the crew on time, and assists the director and producer. In some cases, the 1st AD also checks off the shot list, assuring lines are read as intended and the correct props are in the proper place.
Bo Brinkman / Line Producer
THE LINE PRODUCER FUNCTIONS LIKE A CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER IN RUNNING THE PRODUCTION COMPANY. DURING PRE-PRODUCTION, RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE SUPERVISING THE ASSEMBLY OF THE SHOOTING COMPANY, RECRUITMENT OF KEY PERSONNEL AND SERVICES, AND PRODUCTION ORGANIZATION FOR HOW TO SHOOT THE SCRIPT AND TRANSFORM IT INTO A MOVIE. THE LINE PRODUCER PLANS START DATES FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING, AND MONITORS THE BUDGET IN THE LEAD UP TO PICTURE. FILM PRODUCTION GENERALLY FOLLOWS A RIGOROUS SCHEDULE. THE LINE PRODUCER FACILITATES CASTING, LOCATION SCOUTING, SET BUILDING AND DECORATING, OFFICES AND STAGES, WARDROBE, PROPS, STUNTS, PHYSICAL AND VISUAL EFFECTS, CAMERA, LIGHTING, RIGGING, TRANSPORTATION, CAST, CREW AND UNION RELATIONS, TRAVEL, CAST AND CREW ACCOMMODATION, CONTRACTING OF LEGAL PERMISSIONS AND AGREEMENTS, SAFETY AND RISK MANAGEMENT, PREP AND SHOOTING SCHEDULE. IN SHORT, THE LINE PRODUCER OVERSEES THE JOINT PLANNING, NEGOTIATIONS, IMPLEMENTATION AND ACCOUNTING FOR PRODUCTION. HE IS THE KEY PROBLEM SOLVER/DECISION MAKER OF THE FILM ON SET UNLESS THE DIRECTOR IS INVOLVED.
Stedi Camera Operator
THE CAMERA OPERATOR OPERATES THE CAMERA. PRETTY STRAIGHT FORWARD, RIGHT? WELL ON THIS FILM NOT SO MUCH AS 80 PERCENT IS SHOT WITH A STEDI CAM RIG.