Film Crew Positions: Ultimate Guide to Everyone on a Film Set

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Unlike many other art forms filmmaking needs a film crew of collaborators to bring the art to life. A film’s success or failure depends on the ability of the film crew to make good decisions.

If you are new to filmmaking, you might find it helpful to take some time to learn about the roles of the various members of a film crew and how they can contribute to making a successful film. This article will briefly discuss the film crew positions in a typical production.

Please note: We have added a couple of ridiculous easter eggs for the film and tv professionals in the audience. Enjoy!   

Table of Content (click to jump to the department of your choice)

Above the Line vs Below the Line

“Above the line” film crew positions are usually found at the very top of a production hierarchy chart. Above the line crew members are those who carry the most creative or financial responsibility for a given project, and they usually work all the way from pre-production to post.

They are the ones who make major decisions and are often directly responsible for securing financing.

Most of the crew on a film set is “below the line.” Their job descriptions are varied from department to department. This large collection of film set jobs would be broken down into separate departments. A film crew hierarchy is contained within each of the individual departments and starts with a department head.

Above the Line Crew

Film Director

The term “director” usually refers to someone who directs actors on stage, in a movie, on television, or even on video games. However, the director of a film also directs the other people involved in the production. This includes casting, scriptwriting, and even the special effects and music in the film.

Many directors like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher are consider “Auteurs.” Auteur Theory is a way of looking at films that state that the director is the “author” of a film.

Film Producer

film Producer is often the person responsible for making sure all the details fall into place for the production of a movie. One key thing to know is that the majority of projects have multiple producers.  Another key thing to know is that there are different types of producers. 

Some focus predominantly on securing funding and/or distribution and/or attaching special assets early on in the development process, in the independent world, while some focus on story and creative aspects of the project, while some focus on specific stages of filmmaking such as development or post production.

This can include, but is not limited to setting the tone of the production (ie. what tone should the production be set at), picking a director, and finding a cast and crew.

producer also handles casting (finding the actors and actresses, usually in conjunction with the director), organizing the budget, and hiring the staff needed to make a film happen. A film producer is usually the one who hires all the different professionals needed to put a movie together. More commonly, they hire the department heads, who in turn bring the rest of the crew on board.

They make sure that everything’s going according to plan. They might also work closely with directors and screenwriters, especially where certain decisions pertain to cost. They typically have final say on any decisions affecting the final output of the film, for example the final edit, unless someone like the director is contractually entitled to this.

There are many types of producers. Some producers only deal with financing of the film, others are development/creative and some producers are connectors and only fine money and/or talent.

Executive Producer

The person who sources and secures the financing for a film production is called the executive producer. Ensuring there is enough money for the project is the executive producer’s top priority.

Below the Line Crew – Production

Line Producer

During preproduction, often it is the line producer who generates the full production (sometimes called a line item) budget, as well as breaking down the script and generating a preliminary shooting schedule. The line producer is responsible for ensuring that the movie is shot according to the production schedule and budget.

On the production side, the line producer’s main task is to make sure that the movie is delivered on time and under budget. If it doesn’t meet these goals, he or she will make sure to change things up until the filming is completed.

It’s not a creative role. Typically, it’s all about project management. The line producer hires most of the “below the line” talent and craftspeople. Sometimes they are required to get approval from the producer and/or director for choices in department heads. The best ones makes the budget and makes sure the project doesn’t go over.

Unit Production Manager (UPM)

On very low budget movies, this position is often combined with that of line producer. A UPM or unit production manager manages the day-to-day operations of the film production team (film crew) and ensures that they are well supported and equipped to complete their tasks.

In other words, a UPM ensures the safety of cast and crew during production and ensures that the final footage meets expectations. More often than not, this is done in conjunction with one or more of the producers. The job requires great attention to detail.

A unit production manager might also ensure that safety rules are followed during filming. This is because it is vital that the safety of actors and crew is the number one priority, especially when shooting on location.

Production Coordinator

In lower budget production, this role is often combined with UPM. Production Coordinators are essential for making sure that all the little things happen on a set or in a movie studio. They keep everything in sync and organized on a film set. They ensure that there’s enough food and drinks on set. They check in with various departments to avoid and/or solve minor to medium level problems.

They ensure that the actors are prepared and managed. They make sure everyone is where they need to be before they begin filming each day on set.

Assistant Production Coordinator

The Assistant Production Coordinator is involved in all aspects of production, from solving problems on the set and distributing scripts to taking care of the logistics of everything on set.

Set Accountant

The Set Accountant monitors the film production’s finances, making sure that he or she keep tracks of expenses that the production stays on budget. It requires specialized knowledge of how the various departments of a production function on their own, both physically and financially.

Office Production Assistant

Office production assistants duties typically include: assisting with answering phones, filing paperwork, and data entry; organizing lunches, dinners, and transportation reservations; photocopying; general office administration; and distributing production paperwork.

Assistant Directors

1st Assistant Director

A 1st Assistant Director (first or 1st AD) is one of many crew members responsible for keeping the set running smoothly. They are debatably the most important crew position that handles this. A 1st AD coordinates various functions on set with the rest of the crew.

They manage the day-to-day operations of the film production, from scheduling cast, crew, and equipment to coordinating with certain department heads as it pertains to shoot scheduling. They are typically in charge of safety on set and supervising the shooting of each take.

2nd Assistant Director

A second assistant director creates daily call sheets from the production schedule. The “second” also serves as the “backstage manager”.  They liaise with actors, put them through their make-up and wardrobe and relieve the “first” of these duties. They report to the 1st AD.

2nd 2nd Assistant Director

The 2nd 2nd AD (often referred to as the 3rd AD outside the U.S.) is the primary assistant to the first assistant director, and is responsible for coordinating the work of all the background actors, certain crew, production assistants and sometimes talent.

Key Production Assistant

This is the lead production assistant on production. Many times they will help the first assistant director and line producer coordinate the other production assistants on a film set.

Production Assistants

A production assistant (PA) helps keep the cast, crew and production staff of a film or television project organized and on track.

This can include: setting up aspects of the set, taking out trash, helping cast and crew find their stations, running errands for various departments, making sure that there are enough food and drinks available, and most importantly, taking care of the actors and crew.

Production Assistants, while critical to a well run set, are not involved in any decision making of any kind for the film.  It is often considered the lowest rung on the production ladder and hierarchy.  Having said that, it is still important. For someone without formal departmental training, this is a perfect starter position for someone who wants a career in film production.


Having qualified technicians handle equipment helps keep everyone safe.


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Location Manager

The location manager is responsible for managing shooting locations to be used in a film. This can (occasionally include scouting for locations) include dealing with permits, settling location contracts, coordinating with other departments, and more.

Location managers are also responsible for making sure that the production company, the cast, and the crew all have the best experience possible on set. If the location manager is not properly prepared and knowledgeable, the entire production may fail to meet the director’s vision for the film.

Location Scouts

The location scout’s job is to find the perfect place to shoot. He or she will study the space, read the script, and make sure there are no major obstacles in the way. The location scout will most likely meet with the director and producers beforehand to determine if the space will work for their needs.

The location scout should also have a keen eye for cost. Because the location scout will be doing a lot of scouting for free, he or she must be able to find good locations for a fee that fits within the production budget. On low budget productions, this position may be absorbed by one or more of the producers.


Transportation Captain

The Transport Captains in your film transport the cast and crew from one location to another by private cars, mini-buses or coaches. If you’re a low-budget film, you may only have one Transport Captain who makes sure that everyone arrives on time.

Transportation Coordinator

All transportation needs for the production will be coordinated by the transportation coordination person. Transporting equipment and crew to the filming locations as well as to any other necessary areas relative to the shoot is included in this.

Picture Car Coordinator

The picture car coordinator is responsible for everything relating to the usage, repair, modification, and movement of vehicles on the set. They are also responsible for ensuring that the cars are always kept in good shape, so that unforeseen accidents will not interrupt the rigid schedule of movie production.

However, this position often only exists are very large budget films.  Otherwise this job may be handled by either the head of transportation department, a member of the art department, or a producer.


Production Sound Mixer

A production sound mixer typically works with audio engineers and directors to ensure that the soundtrack of a film production is in sync and properly balanced.

Depending on the type of film being made, this could involve working with sound engineers on location, working with a studio to produce the sounds in post-production, or any combination thereof. Often in low budget production, the mixer manages all sound recording on the set, and any on site real time mixing.  They also typically manage any wireless personal microphones.

Boom Operator

Boom operators work in conjunction with the production sound mixer. The boom operator holds a microphone on a pole and that microphone is often the primary source of audio. The Boom operator is also responsible for yelling ACTION into the boom mic before each take…we are just joking on that last one that would be insane = )

Sound Utility

The sound utility assists the sound department and acts as a liaison between the department and set to problem-solve any issues that arise in the production that could jeopardize sound quality. This position is far more common on larger budget productions.

They support the production sound mixer and boom operators by setting up and maintaining audio hardware, keeping the set quiet for capture, and helping resolve any audio problems that might come up.


Script Supervisor

A script supervisor is primarily responsible for making sure the script dialog and shots are adhered to, notating each take, as well as notating improvisations by the actors. Their log is often passed to the editor to make editing the film significantly easier.

On a lower budget set, they are in charge of the continuity of the motion picture including wardrobe, props, set dressing, hair, makeup and the actions of the actors during a scene. However, on medium and larger budget productions, a separate person performs these functions.

Camera Department

Director of Photography

director of photography (Cinematographer, DP, DOP) is responsible for establishing the visual look of the movie. They are typically the one who will be in charge of the camera, and will set the camera’s lighting, as well as use different lenses to capture the images, film stock (if you are shooting film), camera selection, shot selection, camera operation and other elements.

Generally they tell production the cost of the camera and lighting packages that will be needed to shoot the production. It is important to note that their decision making power is still usually superceded by the director and sometimes the producer(s). 

Camera Operator

The camera operator is in charge of capturing the film’s footage as dictated by the script, director, and cinematographer. They shoot what’s happening. On lower budget film productions the cinematographer will be his or her own cameraman. The person responsible for creating the look of a film is also known as the director of photography.

1st Assistant Camera (aka: Focus Puller)

The first assistant camera (also called the 1st assistant camera, 1st AC, first AC, or focus puller) has one main job: to keep the right subject in focus throughout each scene.

Many people just think 1st AC’s just pull focus but that is just the tip of the iceberg. They are thinking ahead 25 steps to ensure that the department runs smoothly while their hand is on the focus wheel keeping the shot in focus.

2nd Assistant Camera

The second assistant camera (2nd AC) or clapper loader is a member of a film crew whose main function is to load film magazines (if you are shooting on film), loading hard drive or cards for recording on digital film cameras, operate the slate, creating camera reports, and keep records and paperwork. 2nd ACs are needed in every production; they are essential to every single project.

Steadicam Operator

A Steadicam operator, is responsible for setting up and operating a Steadicam camera system for recording a live-action video or animation sequence. This includes:

  • Setting up the Steadicam rig
  • Testing and calibrating the Steadicam rig

Steadicam operators are responsible for monitoring the cameras during filming but the 1st AC is responsible on making sure the camera remains in working order, while also helping the director achieve his or her vision. The job requires strong communication skills and the ability to multitask, as well as the ability to make quick decisions and work in a dynamic environment. A comfortable pair of shoes is also a must.

They answer directly to the director of photography.

Drone Operator

Any person or organisation who rents or owns a drone is a drone operator. If you are also the person who actually flies the drones, you can be both a drone operator and a remote pilot.

DIT/Media Management

A Digital Imaging Technician or DIT is the person on the camera department crew who works with the director of photography to make sure that the camera settings, signal integrity, on-set preliminary color correction and other image manipulation are perfect.

They often create LUTs with the director of photography so the colorist has a starting point when the project gets to color grading. A DIT is the liaison between production and post production teams on feature films, handling data management from set to editorial suite.

Still Photographer

The still photographer contributes daily to the filming process by creating set stills, while the on set still photographer creates photographs for the promotion of a film. All the details of the cast wardrobe, appearance and background are recorded by the photographer with these.


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Grip Department

Key Grip

The key grip is the person in charge of the grip crew on a film or television production. The men and women are in charge of positioning the production’s nonelectrical lighting gear. The people who position this equipment are also under their supervision.

He’s also responsible for all the keys on a film set…again just kidding on that last one. = )

Best Boy Grip

A best boy is the first assistant to the grip crew or the lighting department and usually fills a number of roles on a television or film set. The best boys take care of everything in the grip department to ensure a seamless production and works directly with the gaffer and the director of photography.

The best boy grip’s most important job is handling payroll for the grip department. They do the timecards and make sure everyone is getting paid what they are due. The best boy grip is the point of contact for all the other departments.

Dolly Grip

The dolly grip is used to operate the camera dolly. This technician places, levels, and moves the dolly track, then pushes and pulls the dolly while the camera operator and camera assistant ride.

Rigging Grip

Rigging Grips (aka Riggers), are a type of Grip. They assist with sets up, production moves, and setting up and dismantling sets, equipment, and scenery.

Electrical Department


A Gaffer is in charge of running the crew and overseeing all the lighting equipment. The Chief Lighting Technician, also known as the Gaffer, works directly with the cinematographer to provide the lights and electricity needed for a given set-up.

To execute the lighting plan for a production, the gaffer has to run a team of lighting technicians.

Best Boy Electric

The Best Boy Electric is the head assistant to the gaffer. While managing and scheduling the rest of the electricians and lighting technicians, they are the second in charge, typically watching over the electric truck and rentals. The best boy electric’s most important job is handling payroll for the electrical department.

They do the timecards and make sure everyone is getting paid what they are due. The best boy electric is the point of contact for all the other departments.

Rigging Electricians

Rigging electricians are a separate crew who work in advance of and after the shooting crew. They pre-rig stages and locations with cable and lighting equipment, along with the rigging grips, so the shooting crew spends more time shooting and less time waiting for lighting. They will also wrap locations and stages after the shooting crew is done.

Set Electricians

Set electricians will set up and focus lights for each shot of the shooting day. They will provide power to other departments as needed during the shoot day.

Shop Electricians

Shop Electricians work with the art and set dressing departments and construction crews to wire up lights and equipment that are part of the set. They also provide work lights and portable generators at locations that are being prepped.

Basecamp Electricians

Base Camp electricians provide power for campers and other vehicles away from set.

Generator Operator

Generator Operators (aka: Genny Operator) are responsible for loading the generator, transporting it to the location of the film shoot, and ensuring that it is operational before production begins.

Art Department

Production Designer

A production designer is responsible for the art direction, design and execution of visual elements on a film production. A Production Designer’s primary job is to create environments and design key props and set dressing that help tell the story and advance the plot in the most cinematic way possible.

He or she needs to work closely with certain other departments to ensure that the visual elements they’ve created are consistent with the rest of the film. This may include wardrobe, make-up, special make-up effects, and digital effects departments, and sometimes even the location scout.

A production designer must be organized and detail oriented, as well as able to multi-task in a fast paced world of film production. They must also be a creative problem solver, able to think outside of the box.


  • Collaborate with the Director and Producer to determine what type of sets and props will be needed.
  • Work with the Art Director and Set Decorator to decide how to best design the set and make sure it is completed in time for filming.
  • Create and oversee the construction of sets and props that are part of the story being told.

Art Director

Art Directors are responsible for executing the vision and instructions of the production designer on the set. This person helps set the tone for each shot and scene. She is in charge of the visual palette (color palette, lighting, etc.) and shapes the shots in such a way that they fit into the overall flow of the story and the overall feel of the film. They are, in many ways, a production designer’s second in command.

The director may assign specific tasks to the art director, but it’s ultimately up to them to interpret those instructions and create something unique. They also have to balance their style with that of other departments, like costume designers, sound editors, and ultimately answer to production designers.

Art Department Coordinator

The art department coordinator is a position on the production crew that is in charge of overseeing the entire art department. They are concerned with the execution of visual artistry on set. They monitor the budget for the department, keep everything in order, and make sure information flows smoothly between fields.

Construction Coordinator

Construction Managers are in charge of the construction of sets and stages for film productions. From initial planning through to the final coat of paint on the finished sets, they coordinate the entire process of set building.


The Production Carpenter builds, installs, and removes wooden structures on the film set and location. The design and creative vision of the producer and the director are carried out by several members of the construction team.

Key Scenic

The key scenic is an artist, supervisor, and organizer who are responsible for making the surroundings and sets of a film look realistic within the world that’s being established on screen. This often is in the form of paint and texturing of surfaces. Sometimes it includes sculptural elements and even molding and casting.

Scenic Artists

The scenic artist is in charge of laying out, painting, sculpting, priming, detailing, and the rest of backdrops and hard scenic items.

Set Decorator

Set decorators add interest to the drama by creating the background of the action and explaining the context. While prop masters deal with the placing of objects an actor holds, set decorators are concerned with the walls, floors, vehicles, and furniture.

Set decoration is a multi-disciplinary art form. A set decorator must be well versed in the technical aspects of production, lighting, camera movement, and be able to interface with Special Effects department where relevant.


A leadman is a set decoration department member who is in charge of the props and swing gang. The set dressing and removal is done by the swing gang.

Set Dressers

Before rolling the camera, the set dressers arranged objects on the film set. They are working under the direction of a Production Designer and the Set Decorator. Placing furniture, hanging pictures, and putting out decorative items are done by the set dressers.


A greensman (aka: greensperson, nurseryman, greenskeeper) is responsible for taking care of anything “green” or natural used in the production of the film. Plants, bushes, trees, flowers, etc.

Art Department Production Assistants

The assistant to the art director helps the entire art department. In many ways they are like standard production assistants by support the art department exclusively. 

Their responsibilities can be everything from running paperwork back and forth, to retrieving props and set decoration items from and returning props and set decoration items to rental houses, to any general departmental errands during preproduction, production, and the earliest stages of post production as it pertains to the art department.


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Property Master

Property Masters are responsible for all props in the production, including acquiring them, keeping them organized and making sure they’re used safely. The props master reports to the production designer, and leads a team of prop makers or props-department runners.

Assistant Property Master

The assistant property masters help the prop masters with anything on set. Once a scene is wrapped, they make sure the correct props are prepared, are on hand for the shoot, and are archives.

Prop Maker

Any props that aren’t bought in, or hired, are made by prop makers in the properties department of feature films. A wide variety of materials, techniques and tools is used by prop makers.

Prop Assistants

The prop assistant aids the assistant props master where needed. An outside props person may be assigned to purchase props and an inside props person may be assigned to oversee the use and maintenance of props. They report to the prop master.

Food Stylists

A food stylist is a person who prepares food for photography, video, film and even live events. The best promotional pictures and video of a dish can be achieved with the help of a food stylist, who has an artistic and technical background.

Animal Wranglers

The animal wrangler ensures that animals or other hazardous animals don’t interfere with filming. He or she may handle and train animals for on-screen roles in movies or television shows.

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer

Costume designers design and create the wardrobe, both in terms of style and functionality, which gives the actors the outfits they wear on screen. 

The main responsibility of a costume designer is to create the look of a character, whether it is a superhero, an action hero or a villain, a princess, a pirate, a cowboy, a police officer or a nurse.

He or she can dress a character in any color, and they can be of any ethnicity. The designer’s goal is to create a look that reflects the character’s role and personality. Sometimes the costume designer must work in conjunction with the make-up designer to help create a seamless character design.

Assistant Costume Designer

The assistant costume designers help the costume designers with looks for actors They plan, create, organize, and help maintain clothing.

Key Costumers

The costume designer’s artistic vision is maintained by the key costumer, who is responsible for managing personnel and on-set activities. He or she should be aware of the needs of each scene and the evolution of the costumes.

Set Costumers

Set costumers keep track of the costumes so that they don’t get damaged or dirty when they are unloaded. After each use for dirt, tears and other problems, they establish guidelines for actors to check their costumes, and where to put them.

Wardrobe Supervisor

The wardrobe supervisor is responsible for all the costumes. In consultation with the production manager, costume designer, and sometimes the director, the wardrobe supervisor can help coordinate and assign dressers to specific performers.


In addition to supporting the filmmaker’s vision through their work, seamstresses, tailors, stitchers, and sewers help actors move around comfortably in their clothes. Alterations to outfits are one of their responsibilities.

Agers and Dyers

These technicians are responsible for taking freshly made costumes and adjusting them, through distressing, and painting, to look (lived in).  Sometimes this work is very subtle (a chip on a button, fray of a thread, a little wrinkling) and sometimes it can be extreme (massive dirt and sweat, tearing and heavy fraying).


If show demands do not require a separate buyer, the duties are does basic shopping, buying, and returns, assists with research and phoning, can do costume breakdown and aging, can do laundry, ironing, sewing skills and costume maintenance, may assist with fittings and alterations.

Hair and Makeup

Hair Department Head

A hair department head designs all of the hairstyles for the show and manages a team of hairdressers that help with the implementation and maintenance of the design vision for the principal cast, background actors, stunt performers, photo doubles, and any other hairstyle that will appear on camera.

The hair designer works with the director to discuss the story and characters’ needs. The hair designer is also responsible for sourcing or creating all of the wigs that appear in the show, and their design is closely tied to the hairstyles that are being worn.

This can be seen in the fact that it takes the longest amount of time for a hairstyle to be designed, and that the hairstyles are very detailed and unique to each character.

Makeup Department Head

The head of the makeup department is NOT to be confused with the key makeup artist, who is in fact the makeup department second in command. It is the Department Head who oversees the makeup design for the entire production and ensures continuity throughout filming.

For special or hard to produce looks, they will often apply makeup to lead and other principal actors.

Special Makeup Effects

Makeup and prosthetics are used by special makeup effects artists to recreate wounds, defects, and supernatural features. Basic film makeup can be combined with knowledge of advanced makeup techniques for more dramatic effects.

The makeup effects artist usually works in conjunction with the hair stylist, standard makeup artist, the special effects coordinator and/or costume designer. Makeup Effects artists are also responsible for proper skin care before and after removal of special cosmetic products and prosthetics.


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Stunt Coordinator

Stunt coordinators are responsible for making sure that actors perform their stunts safely and without injury. They work closely with the stunt team and the director to ensure that the stunt work looks good on screen.

The more stunts an actor has to do, the more likely it is for something to go wrong. Because of this, stunt coordinators must have excellent communication skills and knowledge of how to handle actors who get injured on set.

Stunts are often dangerous and require careful planning. They can be as simple as a person jumping from a moving car or as complicated as a person being shot by an arrow or bullet.

It’s important for stunt coordinators to know what their actors can and cannot do, and how to safely work with them in order to keep the production going smoothly.

Stunt Performer

A stuntman performs stunts to be used in a film or television show. Car crashes, falls from great height, drags behind a horse, and explosions are some of the stunts that are seen in films and television.

Stunt performers are often referred to as stuntmen or stuntwomen although the gender-neutral term stunt performer may be used.

Stunt Rigger

The ropes and pulleys that allow stunt doubles and actors to fly off cliffs or under speeding cars without actually falling or getting run over are designed and implemented by stunt riggers. They set up hoists, scaffolding, lifts, and booms needed on film and television sets.

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Supervisor

Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisors are in charge of supervising all visual effects shots on a film project. All of the VFX artists that work in the process are managed by the VFX Supervisor. They make a decision on what is needed for every shot of the film.

The visual effects supervisors and the visual effects artists sometimes create previsualization materials to help plan everything from specific VFX shots to digital elements like digitally rendered creatures or full backgrounds.

Afterward, they discuss the details of each shot and present the final VFX materials to the director, producer and other members of the filmmaking team. In a movie scene, VFX supervisors have the ability to tell the VFX artists what kind of effects to use for any given shot.

VFX Coordinator

The VFX Coordinator organizes all the VFX for the show. This includes: Working on all aspects of the visual effects in the post-production process – Being able to understand the workflows for the visual effects – Managing schedules and resources – Scheduling and managing shots – Coordinating visual effects – Assisting with the post-production workflow of the film.

Special Effects (Practical Effects)

Special Effects Coordinator

The Director wants explosions, natural disasters, or general destruction on the set of a movie or television show, and that’s where the Special Effects coordinators come in. Special effects can include everything from a gas explosion in a movie to a car crash in a movie.

These are one form practical effect, however these days it is more and more common to included special makeup effects under the header of the term “practical effects.”

The special effects coordinator is responsible for coordinating the work of several other departments, which may include make-up, stunts, costume, and art departments, to create the desired result.

This includes everything from hiring the right people to get the job done, to making sure the equipment and materials are in place when they need them to be.

Special Effects Foreman

The Special Effects Foreman (aka: SFX Forman) is the supervisor of the mechanical effects used to create non-digital optical illusions. He or she is responsible for overseeing the creation and execution of special effects on films.

The SFX Foreman is in charge of all special effects created in the visual effects industry. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that all aspects of the effects are well executed and delivered on time.

Special Effects Technicians

Special effects technicians assist the SFX supervisor and foreman in executing all necessary wind, rain, explosions, fire, and other special effects.


The transport, storage, and safe use of all weaponry and firearms on film sets are the responsibility of armorers. Unless a licensed armorer is present, it is not permissible to use firearms on set.
The weapons master, also known as the armorer, weapons specialist, weapons handler, weapons wrangler, or weapons coordinators, is a film crew specialist that works with the property master, director, actors, stunt coordinators and script supervisor.
If you are looking for safe and realistic alternative to blank firing movie guns we recommend airlift guns or using digital VFX.


This is a specific branch of Special Effects. A Pyrotechnician is responsible for designing and orchestrating all the explosions in the movies. The work that goes into setting off explosions that end up on the big screen is much more methodical than the explosions themselves.

The explosion of fireworks is a delicate process, requiring precision, skill and a lot of practice. And while there are plenty of ways to create explosions, there are very few ways to create the explosions that you see on the big screen.

Catering and Food Services

Production Caterer

The production caterer is responsible for providing the crew with healthy foods in order to keep them happy and satisfied so they can do their job without interruption. Otherwise, if the production crew has to work very long hours, they will not be able to eat or have to leave the set to go to restaurants or to get food brought to the set.

In order to deliver the right food for the shoot, the production caterer needs to have a deep understanding of the shooting schedule, as well as a good working knowledge of the production budget.

The production caterer should be knowledgeable about the film’s script, production team, production schedule, and other logistical details that are critical to the success of the shoot.

Key Craft Services

Craft services (aka: Crafty) is a film production position tasked with providing snacks and drinks to all crew members of a film set. Craft service typically provides a spread of coffee, water, and prepackaged snacks at a designated food and drink area.
The best thing about craft service is that it provides an outlet for film crews to eat, rest, and refresh throughout the duration of a long day of filming.

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Set Medic

A set medic is someone who provides emergency medical assistance to people on TV or film productions. You work as a set medic on set. You have responsibilities for waiting on medical issues during shooting.

Advising the production team on safety issues is one of the other duties. When working as a set medic, you travel a lot. They work in water, at heights, in studios, or anywhere a production takes place.

Intimacy Coordinator

The well-being of actors who participate in sex scenes or other intimate scenes in theater, film and television production is ensured by an Intimacy Coordinator. When nudity/hyper exposed work, simulating sex acts, and intimate physical contact are needed on set the Intimacy Coordinator acts as an liaison between the actors or performers and the production.

Covid Compliance Officer (CCO)

A Covid Compliance Officer works directly with the production to make sure the protocols and guidelines are followed. A CCO is either a stand alone position or supported by a covid compliance supervisor on longer productions of 1-2 weeks when more planning is needed.

Enforcement of Covid Compliance is served by these individuals. The Health and Safety Department usually supports CCO’s on longer shoots. Covid Compliance Officers (CCO’s) will work with Production/Production Management (PM), Production Assistant (PA), and Production Supervisor (PS) to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are followed by the cast and crew.

CCO’s will be in constant contact with Production during the shoot to make sure that COVID-19 protocols are being followed and enforced. If you want to learn more on filming durning COVID check out our webinar: How to Shoot a Feature Film in a COVID World.

Honey Wagon Operator

The Honey Wagon Operator is in charge of the “honey wagon.” The honeywagon is a trailer that has a number of staircases leading off of it. There will be staircases to restrooms that the cast and crew use. They will usually will not be clearly labeled “mens and women” rest rooms. This is probably to discourage non-production crew from using them.

Some of the staircases lead to small dressing rooms for the actors. One of the staircases may lead to a room that PAs and ADs operate out of.


IFH 114: The Six Stages of Character Development with Michael Hauge

This week we have a returning guest, screenwriting guru Michael Hauge. In this episode, he discussed The Six Stages of Character Development. A very eye-opening episode.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 2:00
So today guys, I've got a special treat for you. We're going to discuss what it takes to get really good characters and I've got a friend of the show Michael Hauge, he is going to be discussing the six stages of character development. And a lot of people are confused about characters, and how to develop each character making really amazing characters like a Walter White from breaking bad. Or Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs, or whatever any any great character you can think of in history. They all started with some development. And of course actors bring a lot of panache to the character. But it all starts with what's on the page. So he's going to go over those six stages for you. And this is part of this is a kind of a sneak preview of the course that Michael and I released called screenwriting and story blueprint, the heroes two journeys, which also includes another mega star in the screenwriting world, Chris volger, the writer of a writer's journey, based on Joseph Campbell's work, and the course is pretty pretty amazing. If you guys want to get about 25% off, head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash story blueprint, that's indie film hustle.com Ford slash story blueprint and it'll take you right there, you'll have 25% off the the course and it's awesome. It's a really good course about three hours on really understanding character, story, structure and everything. And it goes from two different perspectives Michael Hague's perspective, and Chris Volkers perspective, and how they meet in the middle and have different ideas about story, and it's really wonderful to watch. And they were really awesome. And as you know, both of them have been guests on the show, and I will leave links to their podcast episodes, to show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/114. So without any further ado, enjoy Michael Hauge.

Michael Hauge 4:27
And that brings us back to this six stage structure. Now I used to think that character arc just occurred in its own sweet time, wherever it was. And I think if you read my book, I sort of refer to it that way. I say there's a structure to the plot, but not to the character arc and I was wrong. I think there's a very clear structure to the arc for the character. Because each of the six stages I gave you before correspond to a stage of the hero's inner journey.

Even though through the movie, there is a constant tug of war between identity and essence, there is also an That's why they call it an arc. It's a gradual transition or transformation. So in the setup, remember that first 10% this is where your hero exists completely and totally within her identity. Shrek is just an ogre, who keeps people away. Rows is just a woman who exists in all of this protective wealth. Mitch mcdeere is just a guy who is going after money. He says, Daddy, did you ever believe that I'd be able to make this kind of money. And she says sure, because of course, she sees his so we're going to get back to her in a second, then an opportunity at 10% is presented to the hero. And for the next 15% of the film, in that new situation, not only are they getting used to the new situation, your hero is going to get a glimpse, a peek at what life would be like living in his essence. So not only does rose start getting acclimated to the Titanic, starts to get a sense of what the other thing might be cuz she sees jack making these passionate drawings. And she looks in any catches are looking and she looks away. And she has this beautiful art that nobody else understands. But she it touches her. And in Shrek, it's it's there's this very pointed moment. Which also is, to me a very subtle form of it, it'd be interesting to see if Chris agrees, because I haven't talked to him about this. But it seems like there's a very subtle but obvious sense in which trek is refusing the call. Because he steps out. And he says, All I want is privacy living in his identity. And then what's the opportunity, all these fairy tale creatures, and he says, Oh, no. And he says, I want you, I want to get you off my land are going to do whatever it takes to get you back. And he thinks they're going to just run away. And instead they all applaud. And somebody comes up and drapes a robot over him, there must be some name for a royal robe. It's like he's been crowned you're our hero. And he, he like shakes his head and immediately shrugs it off. He's getting a glimpse of what it would be like to be accepted. But he wants nothing to do with it. He just wants to be in his identity. But he's still getting a picture of it. Then what happens? stage three goes into in, or that leads him into the new situation. Same thing happens when he goes to Lord for quad. It's preceded by him fighting off the soldiers who come after him. And it's like a mock wrestling match like a WWE f match. And when it's done, there's this scene just for a joke where he's going like this, he says thank you, thank you. I'll be here till Thursday. And it's just sort of a but it's also look at this. Now he's starting to accept the possibility of being a hero, getting more of a glimpse. And then of course, at the one quarter mark, Lord farquaad says, okay, you want your land back, here's your goal, rescue the princess, bring her back to me. That's the outer motivation. That's the visible goal. And it happens precisely at the 25%. So now what happens for the next stage, the hero is straddling the fence or straddling something, one foot into essence, one foot back, not fully committed. He's still talking about onions and layers, and he just wants to go in and get the princess take her back and be done with it. But he is starting to pursue something that is going to make him more of a leader more popular, more accepted. That's good. And he's starting to get closer to donkey, which takes risk because he's never really had a friend before. And then at the midpoint, he gets the princess they come down the hill precisely at the midpoint, what happens he takes off his helmet and tries there's that wonderful moment when he smiles that sort of toothless smile, trying to look his best. Okay, and now he realizes Wait a minute, I'm starting to fall for it. And that's the point of no return. Especially because the scene that follows it this also runs parallel for the princess but the princess has been talking in this artificial language. Now aren't my prince and Duff thou want to save me and you thou must carry me and give me a kiss and all this malarkey. And that's her living in her identity.

She is the opening shot of the princess is her in a tower a perfect image. Have identity, because towers are both protective. And their prisons. Exactly the same opening in Shakespeare in Love opens in a castle. So she's perfectly protected. She's, you know, there and safe and apparently well fed and stuff, but she can't leave. She's stuck. And of course her identity is she is defined by others because she's defined by fairytales. She knows all the rules, you know, you've got to carry me away, and then you got to give me a kiss. And he says, You've had a lot of time to think about this, haven't you? Because he's saying, this is your identity, but he sees her as something more. And then later when they have the Robin Hood encounter, and she shows that Charlie's Angels parody kick, he starts to respect her as something more than this hothouse flower that he's rescuing. And they start to fall in love. So that's the point of no return, he starts pursuing her until he overhears her. He gets too frightened when he hears her talking about ogres as too ugly, and you can't have a relationship with an ogre. He doesn't know she's talking about herself, because she's also retreating at that point to her identity. But that's when major setback typical for a romantic comedy, which is what this is, the two people will separate at that point. In Sleepless in Seattle, right at the three quarter mark, Annie, the Meg Ryan character declares, I'm back I'm going back to Walter Sleepless in Seattle is history. And of course, then the audience thinks that all is lost. Because what's happened is on the inner level, once the character passes the point of no return, they fully commit to living in their essence, trek is going to open up and risk doing that. And now the outside world starts coming in the conflict in the first half of Act Two, and someone was asking about that, that first half the conflict comes from obstacles inherent in the goal, the moat and the dragon and all the things we knew he was going to encounter. But now what happens is the other worlds coming in, he doesn't think she can love him. Lord farquaad comes in and takes her away. And so the hero retreats, the hero gets finally so frightened of risking this new thing that they make one last try retreating to their identity. And that really is the major setback at the end of Act Two. So they run away. And they go back, it's when she remember, she jumps on the lifeboat. Go, it's the the lifeboat for the rich. She's gonna make one last stab at being rescued in Titanic by her identity. And then she says what all heroes must then say, in stage five. And that is, wait a minute. This sucks. This may have worked for me at the beginning. But I've had a glimpse, I've had a taste of who I truly am. This doesn't work for me anymore. I can't do this, I have to go after who I truly am. I have to be myself. And I certainly have to find my destiny, which in a love story is the other person. And so that's the final push. It's saying I don't care what it takes, I will risk death. Because I already I already experienced it. My identity is already dead. I can I can do this. And they take every last ounce of courage they have until they reach the climax. And the climax is the moment not only of achieving that visible goal, it's the moment of fully realizing the character's essence. And that takes us into the aftermath. The aftermath is the part of the story where we say, Okay,

this is now the new life, the hero is going to live having fully realized who they truly are. And so at the end of Shrek, we see him leaving the swamp that was his protection and leaving behind the fairytale creatures. Because the fairy tale creatures were her identity. This is a this is really a movie about getting rid of the fairy tale definition of the way you should be or the way life is and defining themselves. So they ride off into the sunset. And they're fully living their essence or when he says at the end of the firm. Okay, we're we're going back to Boston. It was interesting when Chris was talking about the elixir because sometimes it's very subtle, but I think the elixir in that movie is the law. He's saying we're going right back where we started, which is I mean, there's a circular pattern if you ever saw one. But now he's going back to the law because he says when he's talking to Ed Harris, in that movie, the FBI guy, and he says, here's the tape of our conversation where you tried to bribe me really forced me to do this. He says, You know, I could you I could get a lot for this or something like that. He says, Why are you giving it back? Just because it's against the law. And then he says, You know what you did. He says, You made me remember the lies that four years of law school didn't do that. But you made me remember the law, meaning you put me in touch with who I truly am, which is someone who stands up for what's right. And then when Abby comes back, there's that wonderful line, where he says, Did I lose you? And she says, How could you lose me, I have loved you, since the moment I knew you. And before I loved you, I loved the promise of you. And you have now fulfilled that promise. That's what brings two people together, she says, I see, I have always known who you truly are, you just had to step up into it. And you've done that. So now you cannot lose me. Because that's who I was always in love with. Not the guy who was scared of the trailer park, who had forgotten the law, the guy who lived his essence. And so the elixir that they take back is he has found his ideals. And now he's going to go back and be a lawyer that stands up for what's right, and go serve the law, our society, whatever, in a different way at the end of the story. And one last thing before I open it for questions, which you may or may not want to hear, but as I said, at the top, this is very much about real life. Everyone in this room has a visible goal might be slightly different. But you either want to finish a script. Or you want to get an agent, where you want to finish your novel or you want to get it published, you want to get your movie produced, you want to finish your film, or you have some brass ring you're after. Because you long at a deeper level to be a part of making movies. And you are pursuing that goal, because it's part of your learning. That's the good news. But here's what I got to tell you. We all pay lip service to what we long for. There's a part of all of us that we frequently we always have to go back and revisit that you can say, Yeah, I want to make it in Hollywood. But what you also have to ask is how would you fill in the blank, I'll do whatever it takes to sell my script. Just don't ask me to blank. I did this as an exercise in a classroom in Switzer with one of my students. And I said, Would you be willing to go through this process? So she got up in front of the room? And she said, The thing is, I can't figure out why I can't sell my script. She says I've written a number of scripts. And I said, Well, have you read books on screenwriting? Yeah, I've read, you know, books I've taken classes will do have a regular regimen. Now I write every day. And I said, God, it sounds like you're doing everything you can do. And she said, Oh, yeah, because when I grew up, I was taught, if you want something done, you do it yourself. So I turned into the sort of shrink slash asshole that I sometimes am prone to be. And I say, let me ask because she was making an identity statement. Oh, this is who I am. This is how I was raised. And so I said, let me ask you some, when was the last time you phoned somebody and ask them to help you sell your script? And you could practically see or melt? It was like the Wicked Witch of the West? No, no, no. Because when you touch somebody whose identity it is, you've like, slapped him upside the head.

And she said, because that's what her wound was, she was raised to believe you can't ask for help. And I said, let me ask you something. And I said, why not? And she just got very frightened at the prospect. But I said, let me ask you some Why do you want to be a screenwriter? She said, Oh, because I love it. I just love movies. And I love taking that story and turn into that. And I said, If I could promise you, you would have that experience every day of your life. Would you be willing to risk calling people and asking for help? And she said, Sure. Because that's the solution. You've got to get in touch with what your inner conflict, you've got to get in touch with your identity. But the answer is find your lung and live in that space risk going into that space, because that's what heroes do. They want so badly to get that the finally it's worth the danger and worth the risk of of die of letting who they thought they were die and resurrecting something much more.

Alex Ferrari 19:25
So I hope you got a lot out of that. That little snippet of the course by Michael Hauge and Chris volger. I mean, I've been a big fan of Michael and Chris's, since I was in college actually. And I was I jumped to the chance of working with them on this project and really excited to share this information with you but it's a lot of great valuable stuff that you just heard. And the course is also a lot of cool stuff as well. So again, if you want to get access to the course head over to indie film hustle.com forward slash, story blueprint. And guys, that's it for this Episode man I really hope you got something out of that one I got a lot of cool stuff coming up in the coming weeks as you've noticed on the on the blog I've been posting a ton of content and I'm going to be hopefully doing one a day. five five pieces of content a week is my new goal. So to podcast possibly three and as well as cool articles and since this is a screenwriting episode I want to let you guys know if you haven't already known, I created a post that has all of the 2017 oskin contending screenplays available for download. I've got screenplays by MAC Max Landis, Victor Frankenstein, Zootopia, Secret Life of Pets, the Coen Brothers Hail Caesar, the amazing film Captain fantastic Bridget Jones baby, and a ton of other amazing screenplays that you can download. And it is for a limited time the studio's put these up, only for a while. So up until basically the Oscars and after that they get pulled down most of them will get pulled down. So if I were you I would go there and you can legally download them for educational purposes only. At indie film hustle.com forward slash 2017 screenplays, that's indie film hustle comm forward slash 2017 screenplays, it is absolutely free. You can download as much as you like. And as a bonus I also added about 70 other screenplays from the best of 2016 2015 2014 and 2013. So we've got American Hustle there. Dallas Buyers Club, kill your darlings Nebraska Hitchcock, beasts of the Southern wild Desa time ton of different Brooklyn Bridge of Spies, The Big Short Beasts of No Nation. Straight out of Compton, a ton of great articles I mean, she's got a ton of great screenplays that you can download and learn from it's an I would always advise you to read as many screenplays as you can see, you can see how other screenwriters craft their stories. So it's a little bit of a bonus a little bit of a fun thing for you guys, but I think it'll be very, very helpful in your screenwriting endeavors. And guys, if you can't please have an filmmaking podcast.com and leave me a good review on iTunes. It really helps to show out a lot and gets the message of what we're doing here at indie film hustle out to the world. So thank you guys. And as always keep that hustle going, keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.



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