Getting Started In Craft Services Pt. 5: Key Production Players

Production crew

If craft services will be your first time working in production, there are a number a key production crew roles that you should familiarize yourself with before stepping foot on a set.

These are the people you will be serving for days, weeks, or months at a time. In this Part 5 of Getting Started In Craft Services, I’ll share with you a list of key production crew in the world of film, television, and music video.

Production Department

Director – Is the person telling the actors how to play a particular scene in a movie, video, or television show.

Writer – The person(s) who wrote the script for the movie, video, or television program.

Producer – The person(s) responsible for taking the movie, video, or television program from inception to development to production to post production to distribution.

Line Producer – Responsible for managing crew and issues during production. May hire and/or fire below-the-line crew members.

Unit Production Manager (UPM) – Responsible for the administration of a movie, video, or television program. He/she may also hire and fire production crew.

Production Office Coordinator (POC) – The person responsible for running the production office… Order equipment, answer phones, make travel arrangements, field production crew questions, etc.

Production Office Assistant (PA) – Is responsible for carrying out odd jobs around the production office. Office PA’s run errands, answer phones, pick up and drop off equipment, make photocopies and other administrative duties.

Assistant Director Department

First Assistant Director (1st AD) – He/she prepares the shooting schedule and script breakdown. They also manage the daily activities taking place on the set.

Second Assistant Director (2nd AD) – This person usually deals with the paperwork making sure information is distributed to individuals and department heads. They also track the working hours of cast and production crew.

Key Set Production Assistant – Works closely with the 1st and 2nd AD’s ensuring that set production assistants are on their posts and carrying out their duties.

Set Production Assistant – Takes orders from the key set production assistant. Helps all departments with set up and breakdown, drive cast and crew members to and from locations, and manage crowds and background actors.

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Camera Department

Director of Photography (DP) – Is a cinematographer who films a scene in accordance with the director’s vision.

First Assistant Camera (1st AC) – This person sets and adjusts the focus of the camera.

Second Assistant Camera (2nd AC) – Assists the camera operator.

Loader – He/she operates the clapboard at the beginning of a shot. They also load film into film magazines.

Production crew

Sound Department

Sound Mixer – Works with the boom operator in recording the production’s sound.

Boom Operator – Operates the boom microphone.

Electric Department

Gaffer – This person is in charge of the electric department and the execution of the production’s lighting plan.

Best Boy Electric – The gaffer’s assistant.

Electric – Is responsible for the electrical equipment on set.

Grip Department

Key Grip – Works closely with the DP and gaffer to obtain the desired look of the production by diffusing and cutting light sources.

Best Boy Grip – Assists the key grip.

Grip – He/she sets up, adjusts and maintains production equipment on set.

Makeup/Hair Department

Key Makeup – The person responsible for applying makeup on the artists.

Key Hair – The person responsible for the styling of the artist’s hair.

Costume Department

Costume Designer – The person responsible for the design of the clothes worn by the artists.

Assistant Costume Designer – Assists the costume designer.

Art Department

Production Designer – The person who conceptualizes and designs the appearance of movie or television sets.

Set Decoration Department

Set Decorator – Decorates the set with furnishings, curtains, accessories, etc.

Leadman – This person oversees the set dressers.

Set Dresser – Maintains the set per the set decorators orders.

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Property Department

Prop Master – Provides the props e.g. phones, books, guns etc. used on set.

Assistant Prop Master – Assists the prop master.

Locations Department

Location Manager – Obtains permission for the production to shoot in specific locations. Generally, spends little time on set.

Assistant Location Manager – Assists the location manager by managing the department on set.

Location Scout – This person looks for locations where the production can be filmed.

Catering Department

Chef – Cooks breakfast and lunch for cast and production crew.

Chef Assistant – Assists chef and sets up catering serving stations.

Craft Services Department

Key Craft Services – Department head. Manages the overall provision of snacks and beverages to cast and production crew from call time to wrap.

Craft Services Assistant – Assists the key craft in the setting up and the serving of snacks to cast and crew who cannot get to the craft table.

What’s next?

Now that you have a general idea of who’s who on a production, next week I’ll review key production terms you should familiarize yourself with. 

In case you’ve missed the first four parts of the Getting Started In Craft Services series, here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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