ROLES IN FILM PRODUCTION
Roles in film production are numerous. As the saying goes
“There are so many ingredients that make a soup” – Unknown
Just as there are several ingredients that go into making a soup, there are several professional roles that go into making a film. It would be more pronounced in a large budget movie, commercial or stage play than a lean budget movie, independent (Indy) project, etc.
If you are making a film, consider how you can combine the following roles throughout the filmmaking process. Furthermore, think about how everything integrates to make an overall beautiful film.
These roles include…
Firstly, the producer initiates, coordinates, supervises and controls matters. They could include raising funding, hire key personnel, contracting, and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the process from development to completion of a project. The Producer is majorly in charge of the financial pipeline of the film. The Producer hires and pays for all lines of the production, from Directors, actors, down to the welfare caterers
The Director is responsible for overseeing the creative aspects of a film. This includes technical details of film making (type of cameras, light style, etc.), content control, actor(s) performance(s), shoot location, film plot flow, sound quality, and soundtrack, etc. Majorly, the Director controls the creative angle of the film, can choose roles like the technical team, actors, cinematographer, etc.
Screenwriters (or scriptwriters) are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to the Producers. The Screenwriter crafts the dialogue in the film. Shapes the sequence of events in the film, to ensure that one scene transitions to the next. This ensures a logical story flow in an interesting way. This role is essential to the completion of any film because in essence, if there is no script, there is no movie.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY/CINEMATOGRAPHER
The DOP (or DP) is the head of the camera and lighting technicalities of the film. The DoP is responsible for capturing the script on film or video, which holds the decisions on lighting and framing of scenes in conjunction with the film’s director.
The camera operator operates the camera under the direction of the DoP. Capture the scenes on film. Depending on the camera format being used for filming (e.g., film or digital). Sometimes, the DoP can second-task (or combine) as the camera operator also.
Assembles the various shots into a coherent film. He/She works closely with the Director. Subsequently, after shooting begins, the editor begins to organize the footage and arranges individual shots into one continuous sequence. The editor’s choices about which shots to use, and the order in which to place them, have a profound effect on the appearance of the final film.
The Production Designer is responsible for creating the physical, visual appearance of the film. This includes settings, costumes, props, character, makeup, the buildings, landscapes, and interiors (that provide the physical context for the characters). This person is responsible for acquiring props, decorating sets, and making the setting believable.
The production manager supervises the physical aspects of the production. This includes personnel, technology, budget, and scheduling. The PM is responsible to make sure the filming stays on schedule and within its budget.
The key grip is the chief grip on a set. Also, the head of the set operations department. The key grip works with the DoP to help set up the set and to achieve correct lighting and blocking.
The gaffer is the head of the electrical department, responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan for production. For instance, the gaffer is also the “Chief Lighting Technician”.
VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR
The visual effects supervisor is in charge of the visual effects department. Responsible for compositing images from different sources such as video, film, computer-generated 3-D imagery, 2-D animations, matte paintings, and text.
Responsible for assembling and editing all dialogues, music, sound effects, mixes, musical scores in the soundtrack to create the film final.
Works closely with the Director and Producer to understand requirements. Also, suggests artists for each role, as well as arranging and conducting interviews and auditions. At times, this role is taken up by the Director or Producer themselves.
Stills Photographers usually work on set, recording scenes from the film, and may also be required to set up photographs in the style of the film in a studio environment. These are also sometimes required to create behind-the-scene footage.
Costumes convey a great deal about the film’s time period and the characters who wear them, including their economic status, occupation, and attitude toward themselves. It is the responsibility of the costume supervisor to make ensure the actors wear the required costume.
These are some of the major roles in film production, and their adoption and/or integration is majorly a function of the film budget and production capacity. Hence, next time you see a film, you will have an idea of the several ingredients that make up the final film you are watching.
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