Film Crew Jobs - What Do the People in Movie Credits Actually Do?

What do all these people do on a film set?

Hollywood
Mount Lee, Hollywood Hills, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (David Wall Photo)

You see their names listed in the credits of virtually every movie. But what do the people behind these titles actually do? Here's a glossary of key movie industry jobs:

Art Director

Person who is in charge of and oversees the artists and craftspeople who build the movie sets.

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director is responsible for tracking the progress of the film versus the production schedule.

Also responsible for preparing call sheets.

Associate Producer

The individual who shares the responsibility for creative and business dealings with the Executive Producer.

Background Artist

Background Artists design and/or construct the art used at the rear of a set.

Best Boy

This term is thought to have been borrowed from early sailing crews, who were employed to work the riggings in early movie theatres. Best Boy refers to the second in charge of any group, most commonly the chief assistant to the Gaffer. Females are also known as "Best Boys."

Body Double

Body Doubles are used to take the place of the actor/actress for a specific scene. Normally the Director will choose to use a Body Double when an actor's actual body part isn't quite what is desired for a scene (or if the actor is uncomfortable with showing that body part). Body Doubles are often used for scenes involving nudity or physical prowess.

Boom Operator

Boom Operators are members of the sound crew who operate the boom microphone. The boom microphone is a microphone attached to the end of a long pole. The Boom Operator extends the boom microphone over the actors, out of sight of the camera.

Camera Loader

The Camera Loader operates the clapboard, signaling the beginning of a shot.

Also responsible for the actual loading of the film stock into film magazines.

Casting Director

The Casting Director auditions and helps choose all the speaking role actors in movies, television shows, and plays. Must have a wide knowledge of actors, and be able to match the talent with the role. Also serves as the liason between Directors, actors, and their agents. Responsible for negotiating deals with agents and for obtaining contracts for each hired actor.

Choreographer

Person responsible for planning and directing all dance sequences within a movie or play. Other intricate sequences, like complex action sequences, might also have a choreographer.

Cinematographer

A Cinematographer is a person who has expertise in the art of capturing images either electronically or on film through the use of visual recording devices. Also responsible for the selection and arrangement of lighting. The Director of Photography is the movie's chief Cinematographer.

Color Consultant

A technical advisor who is an expert in film developing and film stock, and who provides advice to cinematographers.

Composer

Composers are musicians whose music appears in a movie's score. Most films have at least one original song written expressly for the score.

Conductor

The person who directs the orchestra's performance of the film's score.

Construction Coordinator

Sometimes referred to as the Construction Foreman or Construction Manager. This person is in charge of all financial responsibilities having to do with construction including tracking, budgeting, and reporting. Also responsible for the physical integrity of the buildings created by the construction crew.

Costume Designer

Person who is directly responsible for designing the costumes in a film.

Costumer

The Costumer is responsible for the on-set handling of the costumes/outfits worn by the actors.

Creator

The author or other primary source behind the creation of the movie, series, or a specific set of characters.

Dialog Coach

The Dialog Coach is responsible for helping an actor's speech pattern fit their character, usually by assisting with pronunciations and accents.

Director

Directors are responsible for the casting, editing, shot selection, shot composition, and script editing of a film. They are the creative source behind a movie, and must communicate to actors on the way a particular shot is to be played. Directors usually have artistic control over all aspects of a film.

Director of Photography

The Director of Photography is the Cinematographer who is responsible for the process of recording a scene as instructed by the Director. Duties include selection of film, cameras, and lenses as well as selecting the lighting. The Director of Photography directs the Gaffer's placement of lighting.

Dolly Grip

A grip specifically responsible for positioning the dolly. The dolly is a small truck that rolls along tracks and carries the camera, camera person, and occasionally the Director.

Editor

A person who edits a movie, by following the Director's instructions. Editors normally work on the visual editing of a film, and are in charge of reconstructing the sequence of events within a film.

Executive Producer

Executive Producers are responsible for the overall production of a film, but are not directly involved in any of the technical aspects. Normally an Executive Producer will handle the business and legal issues relating to filmmaking.

Extra

Extras are people who do not have a speaking role and are usually used for filler in a crowd scene, or as background action. No acting experience is necessary to be an Extra.

Foley Artist

Foley Artists create sound effects.

Foley Artists use a variety of objects to create the sounds of footsteps and other incidental noises in a film.

Gaffer

Though this literally translates to "old man," the Gaffer is in charge of the electrical department.

Greensman

Greensmen provide the foliage and other greenery used as backgrounds on sets.

Grip

Grips are responsible for the maintenance and positioning of equipment on a set.

Key Grip

The Key Grip is in charge of a group of Grips. Key Grips may also by the construction co-ordinator and a back-up for the camera crew. Key Grips and Gaffers work closely together.

Line Producer

Responsible for managing every person and issue associated with a film. Line Producers typically work on one film at a time.

Location Manager

Location Managers are responsible for all aspects of filming while on location, including making arrangements with authorities for permission to shoot.

Matte Artist

A person who creates the artwork used in a movie via a matte shot or optical printing. Matte Artists typically create the background of a shot.

Producer

Producers are in charge of a movie's production in all matters, except for the creative efforts of the Director. The Producer is also responsible for raising funds, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distribution.

Production Assistant

Production Assistants do various odd jobs on movie sets, including stopping traffic, acting as couriers, and fetching items from craft services. PA's are often attached directly to a specific actor or filmmaker.

Production Illustrator

Production Illustrators draw all the storyboards used to make a film.

They are also responsible for any drawings needed during the course of a production.

Production Manager

Responsible for ordering equipment, securing cast and crew accommodations, and other practical matters on the set. Reports directly to the film's Producer.

Property Master

The Property Master is responsible for purchasing/acquiring all the props used during production.

Screenwriter

Screenwriters adapt existing works for production into a movie, or create a new screenplay to be filmed.

Set Decorator

Set Decorators are in charge of decorating movie sets with furnishings, plants, drapery, and anything filmed on an indoor or outdoor set.

Set Designer

Set Designers translate a Production Designer's vision and ideas of the movie into a set which is then used for filming. Set Designers report to the Art Director and are in charge of a Leadman.

Sound Designer

Sound Designers are responsible for creating and designing the audio portion of a movie.

Technical Adviser

Technical Advisers are experts on a specific subject matter, and offer advice on making a film more authentic and true to its subject matter.

Unit Production Manager

Unit Production Managers are executives who are responsible for the administration of a film. UPM's report to a senior Producer, and only work on one film at a time.

Wrangler

Wranglers are directly responsible for all entities on the set who cannot be spoken with. They are responsible for the care and control of items and animals, and must have an expertise in dealing with these particular items or animals.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick

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Murray, Rebecca. "Film Crew Jobs - What Do the People in Movie Credits Actually Do?" ThoughtCo, Mar. 1, 2017, thoughtco.com/what-people-in-movie-credits-actually-do-3966739. Murray, Rebecca. (2017, March 1). Film Crew Jobs - What Do the People in Movie Credits Actually Do? Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-people-in-movie-credits-actually-do-3966739 Murray, Rebecca. "Film Crew Jobs - What Do the People in Movie Credits Actually Do?" ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-people-in-movie-credits-actually-do-3966739 (accessed December 13, 2017).