Ever watched the credits at the end of a movie and wondered what all of those people do?
Well, here’s your answer. Below is a simplified list with a real world description for most of those positions.
There are many people who are involved in the production department on a movie and I have only listed a few here. These are the only ones you will need on your size budget and for your independent movie.
If you are lucky enough to have these for your film, these are some of the most important people there are out there because these are the investors in your film. Executive Producers are above the line.
This is the person in charge of the overall shooting and post production of the film. They are the ones that take the job from concept to completion and have a creative say in the project. The Producer is above the line.
This is the person on the set who is in charge for the overall vision for the film. The Director distributes his vision to the Producer, Director of Photography, Production Designer and the head of the other departments to make sure that this vision is carried out. The Director is also above the line.
This is the guy in charge of the money. They are considered the head of production on the set and usually hire the key members of your crew. They cut all the deals and are the one responsible for every line item in the budget. This person will also know all of the union rules and regulations that you may need to abide by on set.
This is the right hand person to the line producer and is in charge of handling any task handed down by the line producer. The Production Manager is also in charge of the people in the production office. On your shoot the line producer will probably also be the PM as well as maybe even the producer.
This is the person in the office of a movie production who is in charge of all the paperwork. They make sure that all the invoices, release forms, schedules and anything else funneling through the office is handles correctly. On a larger film, a production secretary would help with some of these jobs, but on your size film, a production coordinator will do this.
Production Assistant or PA
A good PA is the hardest working person on a movie set. This is the entry level job to filmmaking and requires the longest hours. They arrive before anyone else, leave after everyone else and do any job that is required to assist the movie. It is not unusual for PA’s to put in 15 hour or longer days.