Jobs on a Film Set – Who’s Who

Jobs on a Film Set – Who’s Who

[bs_lead]If you want to work in film, but you’re not sure what job you want, knowing who’s who might help.[/bs_lead]

Below are a number of jobs on a film set that you can start your training for at The Performing Arts Conservatory (TPAC). However, making movies is a massive undertaking and there are hundreds of jobs to choose from. Furthermore, this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive. But if you’ve ever wondered who’s who, then this is a good place to start.


Production Management

Production Management covers the day-to-day running of the set. Most of all, they ensure that the schedule is running on time and that the film is still meeting budget. Some roles in the Production Management team include:

  • Production Manager
  • Assistant Production Manager
  • Unit Manager
  • Production Coordinator
  • Set Runner


Directing Team

The main unit on set is the directing unit. Without a directing unit, the film would literally have no direction. Moreover, the Director is in control of all creative aspects of the film, with the rest of the team supporting them:

  • The Director
  • The 1st AD
  • The 2nd AD
  • The 3rd AD
  • Second Unit Director
  • Script Supervisor


Camera Department

The person in charge of lighting, framing, and composition decisions is the Cinematographer, often referred to as the Director of Photography (DOP or DP). The DOP works with the Director to help achieve the Director’s vision. On smaller sets, the DOP will often double as the Camera Operator:

  • DOP/Cinematographer
  • Camera Operator
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • Film Loader/Data Wrangler
  • Camera Production Assistant


Sound Department

The Sound Mixer is responsible for achieving a clear crisp sound to accompany the vision from the camera. Often on smaller sets, the Sound Mixer is also the Boom Operator. The Sound Assistant helps both the Sound Mixer and Boom Operator, and is usually a trainee:

  • Sound Mixer
  • Boom Operator
  • Sound Assistant


Grip Department

The Key Grip is in charge of supervising camera cranes, dollies, lights, platforms and all on set equipment. As with other teams, the rest of the team is there to support the department head:

  • Key Grip
  • Best Boy (Grip)
  • Dolly Grip
  • Grips


Lighting Department

The Gaffer is sometimes referred to as the Chief Lighting Technician and is responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan on set. They work closely with the DOP to make sure everything is lit correctly:

  • Gaffer
  • Best Boy (Lighting)
  • Lighting Technician


Not all sets work the same. The descriptions here are basic and subject to change, depending on the set. Moreover, if you are having difficulty deciding what job you want on a film set, then TPACs Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media is perfect for you. Dabble in all roles until you discover which one suits you best. Most importantly, don’t wait for opportunity because you’re unsure of where you belong. Get some training and experience, and get moving!

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