Film Crew and Movie Jobs The key to making a great film is the proper hiring of the crew

. Each position is vital to an organized and productive set, so that creativity can happen. Filmmaking is the greatest form of collaboration, and you are only as strong as your weakest link. As Robert Altman says, "90% of the Director's job is making sure the right film crew and cast is hired." HIRING YOUR CREW Rules of the Trade - Hiring the Best Crew You Can PRODUCTION MANAGER (PM) Organizes, budgets, schedules and prepares the entire film production for the film crew. Main responsibility is to blueprint the entire shoot by breaking down the shooting schedule, while coordinating the budget so that the goals of the Producer and Director fit within their means. Duty is to finish the production �on time� and �on budget.� PRODUCTION COORDINATOR/PRODUCTION SECRETARY Assists the Production Manager in the organizational tasks of the production office. Facilitates the flow of production documents to the appropriate production teams. Main liaison for the entire film crew. FIRST AND SECOND ASSISTANT DIRECTORS (1st AD, 2nd AD) In pre-production, the 1st AD assists the PM in organizing film crew, breaking down the script, and preparing the production board and shooting schedules. In production, the 1st AD assists the Director with on-set production details and coordinates and supervises activities of cast and crew. 1st ADs also run the Production MEETINGS. The 2nd AD serves as helper to the 1st AD. They are in charge of preparing daily call sheets, handling extras requisitions and other required documents. They also prepare the daily production report at the end of each shooting day, distributing scripts and changes to cast and crew, distributing extras� vouchers, communicating advance scheduling to cast and crew, aiding in scouting and managing locations, and facilitating transportation of equipment and personnel. They always coordinate with the production staff so that everyone, including cast and crew, are ready at the beginning of the day. SCRIPT SUPERVISOR A Script Supervisor (or continuity person) is the Editor's representative on set. Films are shot out of sequence, and one of the Script Supervisor's primary functions is to ensure that visual (and audio) continuity is maintained. This means advising the Director and key crew on everything from the props to wardrobe to dialogue to eyelines, and any of the other factors that will affect an edit. In pre-production they coordinate with all concerned departments in advance to plan for any potential continuity issues, and they work after wrap to create a detailed as-read lined script with notes for the editor. Their primary function in the larger sense is to save the production money and time through communication, organization and troubleshooting. DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Creates the visual mood of the film. They are in charge of the camera department and give instructions to the grip and gaffer. In pre-production will break down the script with the Director and design individual scenes, including set-ups, lighting and camera requirements at the set or on location. FOCUS PULLER (also known as 1st Assistant Camera) Responsible for keeping the camera�s focus during a shoot. Measures the distance between the camera and the main object and dissects the proper stops that require focus. Perhaps one

Of a on-set film crew of many. The accountant pays outstanding balances. in collaboration with the director. props and wardrobe after production. the Sound Mixer/Recordist and the Boom Operator.of the most important positions on set because this extremely difficult job needs to be done precisely or else the film will be out of focus. The Dolly Grip is in charge of the tracks. the lights and the generator. Is in charge of issuing the crew�s. paychecks. GRIP PERSONNEL They work under the instructions of the Director of Photography. as per the gaffer instructions of the Director of Photography. Creates the environment of the film. GAFFER AND ELECTRICIANS In charge of all electrical equipment. PRODUCTION DESIGNER (ART DIRECTOR) Responsible for the overall look of the film. ASSISTANT CAMERA OPERATOR Responsible for handling all camera equipment and the camera van. loading film into magazines and the camera. are processed by the Production Accountant. and perhaps the actors'. mounting and construction of all camera and lighting support equipment. set builders. Once the scene is blocked. once approved by the Production Manager. who is authorized to release funds or issue checks. SOUND CREW Two on-set positions. Examines all expenses and evaluates their appropriateness. SET DRESSER Responsible for renting or purchasing all materials needed to dress a set or location to give it the required look. dolly and supporting equipment. and under the supervision of the Key Grip. the Wardrobe Person is in charge of all wardrobe rentals and purchases. properly storing film. makeup and hair stylists to make that happen. PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT All funds needed for rentals or purchases. The most . Responsible for the rigging. only 2 positions center on the art of sound. boxes and flags. Works with the props. Location Manager. which are invoiced after completion of principal photography. the Director of Photography instructs the Grip and Gaffer on how to set up their equipment to achieve the appropriate mood. costume. including the surrounding area sounds and the actors' dialogue. Collaborates with the Production Designer on the overall costume design for each cast member. making sure the camera is in perfect working the visual art and craft of cinematic storytelling. WARDROBE Besides designing and sewing the wardrobe for cast members. PROPERTY MASTER In charge of all props needed during each scene of production. Continuity to the above like oa production manager ( art director) Production Design . are responsible for grabbing the on-set location sound for editing. Each department is responsible for wrapping and properly returning rented equipment.the domain of the art director . including stands. filling out the slate with the correct information and transporting exposed film safely to the lab.

CLICK HERE for Notes on Storyboarding Art Director -Runs the show during production -Responsible for dealing with vendors and the logistics of getting materials to and from the set . -Support staff includes the buyer. construction crew. They create a cohesive pictorial scheme that directly informs and supports the story and its point of view SETTINGS ARE NOT MERELY BACKDROPS FOR THE ACTION.important job that no one outside teh industry knows about The art director renders the screenplay in visual metaphors. -A working metaphor. atmospheric and emotional image of what you want to visually project -What emotional impact does the story have? -How does the environment of the narrative reflect the character? -What is the psychological nature of the story? -How can the atmosphere of the architecture and physicality of the settings contribute to telling the story visually? -What is the art director's attitude toward the story? -What is the art director's point of view? THE PRODUCTION DESIGNER'S VISUALIZATION TEAM THE ART DEPARTMENT -Nucleus of the Art Department staff consists of the art director. CREATING A WORLD WITH ITS OWN INNER LOGIC AND TRUTH IS. a color palette. set decorator and property master followed by a support staff. scenic artist. greensman. painters. set designer. makeup and hairstyles. BUT SYMBOLIC EXTENSIONS OF THE THEME AND CHARACTERIZATIONS REAL ISN'T ALWAYS BEST FOR THE FILM. architectural and period specifics. carpenter and location scout. FINDING THE LOOK OF THE FILM -The looks of a film comes out of the content and the director's conception of the story. set dresser. construction coordinator. draftsman. location manager. location designs and sets. production illustrator. It also coordinates the costumes. a specific psychological.

style. floor coverings. appliances and audiovisual equipment. wall hangings andwindow treatments -Make a list of what decor elements are necessary for each location in the script -They include paint. paintings. support and develop the cinematic narrative and fit into the overall design plan . Props -Items handled by the Actors are designated as props -They are gathered. wallpaper. descriptions or drawings and then oversees construction of the set Set Decoration -Begins after the set has been built or after a real location has been selected -The set consists of the walls. doorways and doors -The decoration includes rugs. story. furniture. place and time period to serve the director's point of view -The on-set hairdresser is invaluable to cut. mood and atmosphere.Set Designer -Responsible for designing and supervising the construction of sets -Drafts blueprints based on concepts. newpapers. color. photographs. furniture. lipstick and eyeliner will read on film -Makeup and hair impact the look and personality of the character and help establish period. ceiling.-The script will indicate specific props necessary for the story and representation of the characters -Every visual element should complement. books. windows. creates and administers the proper hairstyles for the characters. set and maintain the hairstyles -Wigs. rouge. hairpieces and hair extensions can transform an actor into a character -Make sure the actors are willing to change their hair before hiring them -The makeup artist on a movie must understand how the tools of foundation. designed or purchased by the PROPERTY MASTER who is responsible for their placement and care during the shooting phase of a film Hair and Makeup -The hair crew researches. floor. magazines.

To created impossible shots and to augment. magazine covers. change and enhance Constuction Coordinator -Responsible for the building of sets. prop paintings. a deal is struck with the owner or managers of the property Costume Designer -Creates or selects the clothing to be worn by the actors -Color and texture concept will be established and agreed with the Production Designer and Director -Most Art Directors will let the Costume Designers work from their own inspiration based on their interpretation of the story and characters -Different Actors will look good in certain costumes Scenic Artist -Art department specialist who creates all painted backgrounds. book jackets and murals indicated by the story Production Illustrators -Artists who pain or draw a conception of the Production Designers ideas for a set -A full color description of sets and character's look can sell a film Draftsman -Makes technical drawingsthat detail a plan to build a set . signage. follows the working drawings drafting of the art department and supervises the construction crew -The set is built around the idea that cameras will be shot around it so therefore wild walls can be moved around for a specific shot Construction Crew -The construction crew is made up of many artisans -Carpenters and painters are the key to a great set Location Scout/Manager -Searches for the places indicated in the script -Takes still photos and shoots video to aid in the search process -Once location is selected. any illustrative material.-The Property Master includes items that will give the film distinction Special Effects -Digital technology has made a tremendous impact on production desinging. -CGI is employed for budgetary and logistical reasons.

through the environment -Interpreting the director's intent -Details and details within details -Ask what is needed for each scene RESEARCHING IS A TIME FOR DISCOVERY An art director should have a romance with color. the physical action and dialog -The Production Designer breaks down the script into individual components determining the days in the shooting schedule each scene and each shot is to be photographed The Pschological Nature of Production Design -Environments can have a metaphysical impact on how the audience perceives the story and the characters -How do you want the viewer to feel? -The atmospheric qualities of the sets.-LIke drafting for architecture Set Dresser -Works under the supervision of the set decorator and is responsible for laying the decor on set -Have a great sense of style The Production Designer supervises the entire design team. location and environments are essential in establishing a mood and projecting an emotional feeling about the world surrounding the film -Takes an idea and translates it visually to communicate or comment upon the themes of the story -A visual metaphor may act on the subconscious level. A Production Designer must carefully plan and budget so the film gets the look it deserves -The blueprint for the production process included detailed information concerning use of the camera. Continuation for the story boards link �History of Storyboards� . presenting subtle layers of poetic imagery that can impart ideas. Art and commerce go hand in hand in moviemaking. concepts and significance in the narrative RESEARCHING The art director must be specific and precise in a number of areas: -Authenticity -Emotional truth of the story and the characters.

had similar backgrounds and found the process a natural one. renowned for his precise directorial style. effects. Alfred Hitchcock would also pick up the pencil and use the storyboarding process to solidify his vision for most if not all of his feature films. This was the perfect synthesis between the director as storyteller. Hughes. Hitchcock had become a sharp draftsman and visualist. This is arguably where the first sequential storyboards were used in motion pictures. Others too. Some might say the boards themselves were works of art. action. a blue print for the film before-it-was-filmed. Having studied art and illustration. as much for himself. cost concerns. the advent of sound in film. singular artistic impressions. But from this point on the storyboard was to become an integral part of a great many film director�s vernacular and process. sketches. As an example. producer. Scenes involving the recreation of the glorious air battles that were fought over the skies of WWI Europe. Ridley . And Hugh�s Hell�s Angels was a unique situation that demanded its precise arrangement and balance between story. as for his entire production crew. he needed to lay his master plan out clearly.During the filming of his legendary movie �Hell�s Angels�. the use of multicolor. for his own clarity and hierarchy of needs. thus allowing him to draw many of his own storyboards to a high degree of refinement. and beginning his film career working as an Art Director. the script. years later. Of course. director. if anything was the master of the long-term plan and in order to succeed with bringing this. and the final film. screen direction. how to shoot one of the most dynamic and outrageously dangerous scenes in cinematic history. and aviator Howard Hughes was faced with addressing the first multi-million dollar budget in film history. and most importantly to his mind. teamwork and safety to be clearly stated (safety fell tragically short of the mark as three stunt pilots died and Hughes himself flew the final sequences when others refused). production designs and illustrations for film were in full use but none so far had been developed into framed continuous order. up until this time. and his vision to the screen.

the truly first storyboard artist where working away in the caves of Lascaux. which informs much of the images and angles found in all of his films.: money and time) by avoiding�re-shooting. perhaps illustrates the full circle of storyboarding and the degree to which the process can be taken. mad aesthetic. can save much gnashing of teeth and heartache (i. then director. Or worse. Most . In the arena of animation. Hisstoryboards were to become so synonymous with his filmmaking that they would affectionately be known and referred to by his crew as the �Ridley-O-Grams�.Scott: art school. Director Brad Bird. His drawing style uses a loose. After years of training as a storyboard artist at Disney. the change of day. �writing is re-writing�. It gets better. schooled through the Disney process of storytelling through character. not least of which. �Storyboarding is re-storyboarding�. Brad Bird echoes that sentiment within his own variation. Terry Gilliam was also an illustrator and animator and hisstoryboards can be found attached to almost all of the DVDs of his films today. allowing the story to evolve before them. illustration. around characters. comical technique. the hunt. both highly creative and successful films. sequence or film you originally envisioned.e. Bird�s feature film debut as writer-director was The Iron Giant and later the hit film The Incredibles. scene. art director. all in order to visualize things as they where or things as they where to be. migration. Painting their story in graphic terms on the rock walls in a sequence of events. As some screenwriters say. France during the Upper Paleolithic Period. And for the live action film director�the context of this article�re-storyboarding. not achieving the shot. the film Brazil. as part of �the making of� or extras features. perfect to convey his whimsical. On a final note to this brief history of storyboarding: To my mind. The process of boarding for the latter actually became the writing process whereby the story meetings and pitch sessions were used to find the film through drawing it as they went.

as simply as�. But in an aspect ratio. you are manipulating time by condensing the communication process to a pictorial simplification of a multitude of complicated factors. or hire a storyboard artist. . therefore.a cave drawing. This can�t be further from the truth in my estimation. detailed boards regardless of your skill level and that is not cost effective unless you have money with which to buy the time you need. �we have invented nothing!� �They Could Draw. in many cases. But since this is an article written for the independent filmmaker/director I will make the assumption that there is little to no budget with which to hire a professional board artist. When you storyboard. And they can be expensive! Therefore you�ll be relying on your own skills and many might feel that in order to storyboard you have to maintain a comic book artist or illustrator�s skills in order to do it effectively. and quite amazingly. Seems like a soundtrack to me! When Pablo Picasso first laid eyes on these cave walls and their drawings he said.recently. This can be achieved. they were either chanting or singing while drawing or perhaps even while viewing the cave art. But I Can�t!� I�ve talked about some heavy hitters and big films no doubt. Where it is true that a little graphic hand-eye skill can be helpful. It takes time to draw highly refined. science made an additional discovery: the actual locations of the paintings themselves were all at points of highest acoustical effect within he cave system suggesting. it really relates to time.

two and three-point perspective. speaking to a now-Alist camera operator. What I do. you can draw anything�. I would also suggest find a place that offers quick-sketching life drawing (short poses 1 to five minute posses) to develop speed and intuition. Simple. the S-curve and the perceived straight line. Glenn Vilppu. He continued. we were discussing storyboards. ideas and thoughts about the film you�re making. has a stellar series of books and DVDs online. I worked as a camera assistant myself for a number of years and once.For example. the films Cinematography. And this can only make the film better. His (storyboards) were stick figures. When the boards are picture-perfect. The Disney life-drawing instructor. But. Martin Scorsese drew his own boards for Taxi Driver. �If you can draw the human form. �What Can I Achieve With Storyboards� . There is also this to discuss. He meant the circle. Just enough and not too much. Michael Chapman (who equally needs little introduction) was quoted as saying that they were the best boards with which to work. That was a manic production schedule. leaves room for the other collaborators to feel free to have their own feelings. They told the story and got out of the way. If you�re still not convinced (there must be some �auteurs� out there) I would suggest taking a life drawing course. My life-drawing instructor said to me. And the very basic of perspective drawing: One. to the point. Literally. He said this. He had worked with incredibly well drawn comic booklike storyboards before and wasn�t sold by their wow factor. where does my interpretation fit in? � I thought he made quite a valid point. I think his method and materials are an excellent starting point. �I�m an filmmaker too. �the human body has every form in nature that you can draw�.

Special effects.1. A storyboard artist works very closely with a director and during periods of great pressure. but by design. Screen direction (a very little talked about or acknowledge subject) 9. 5. forged strong bonds with directors. But I would say. . Cost effective. Stunts and special equipment planning 10. 13. etc 11. Or �doing the homework. 12. 6. Develop a style by �in camera� edits as opposed to adhering to standard coverage. Sales tool for funding. at times. you can take advantage of �happy accidents� during filming and stay within the necessities of the scene. Artistic and aesthetic vision remains consistent. Show by doing: convince yourself and others of the soundness of your concepts and ideas. Simple inspiration. Perceive possible continuity problems before they happen 3. Communication between departments 4. CGI.� 7. get new ones. The freedom to experiment without causing the producer to stroke-outCLICK HERE for Notes on Film Directing SHOTS �A Thought For The Storyboard Artists� Those 14 advantages above are just a few off the top of my head. beyond the obvious technical advantages that a storyboard artist brings to a production there are also the intangible factors. 8. 14. accurate planning 2. Storyboards can be a way for Directors to �rehearse� themselves. In my experience as a storyboard artist I have. in a word directly to potential storyboard artists. The �what if� factor for all creative heads. Or inconsistent. By having a plan. If that doesn�t work.

It�s a very supportive and therefore privileged place to be in film. draws a film frame to illustrate an idea. From the floor up. they are responsible. Use symbols for camera. have your location and sets at the ready. Either with digital photos. You will discover the language of production and be able to infuse your work with the controlling factors of filmmaking. it is about being malleable. 2. The storyboard happens with the last frame. reclusive artist. This is all you need to get started. In the end. Develop an overhead view (like an architects diagram) of your blocking and staging. and you can get to drawing faster and that builds skill. Even if your boards don�t improve from this artistically. Rather. �Let The Games Begin� Almost every director. But to develop shooting boards. The other suggestion would be to find a way to work for a while on set. sketches or overhead plan-view.most especially on tighter budgeted films. Producers will also feel more inclined to hire you given that your boards won�t be flights of fancy but will reflect the concerns for which. . a brilliant but strange. The good storyboard artist is not the person who comes out of their basement. the one finishing their idea. ones that you can take to the floor and film. 1. at some point. Furthermore. Location. your communication with directors certainly will. you need to have lined up certain basic elements. receptive and a medium for someone else�s expression of creativity and vision. Storyboards are just one step in many that bring the necessary cohesion of like-minds to focus on a picture. imposing their habits. character and elements. in the end. nuances and maybe film knowledge. The in between is the telling. is drawn. Only then can you say you�ve �collaborated� on a film as a board artist and I would suggest that the boards themselves�regardless of draftsmanship�should reflect that successfully.

Draw your camera angles. Then you can begin by drawing rough sketches (later to finish) or draw the frames of what you have seen your cameras capture. To end. 7. You simply draw. as directors. Plan view. 6. Each can explain the other. I�m going to show you the bumps and bruises in order show process as well and try and illustrate some of the ideas and points I�ve been writing about. Art. The Following storyboards are from various productions on which I�ve worked. let your mind wander over the pictures you have. Add footnotes to help explain either of these two elements. 4. whatever it takes to create a series of frames that expresses your story but also your dramatic intent. This is just the start. By combining both storyboards and over-head plans of camera movement etc�on the same page�you will be able to fill out in broad terms a clear series of images that will help to explain your intentions. You now have three elements with which to explain your ideas: Frames. a wide variety of tricks -of-the-trades (blue penciling. the story you see as the script takes it affect. you learning by doing. By understanding the geographic and architectural constraints you�ll be establishing your boards within a dramatic context and you wouldn�t have to resort to a series of talking heads.3. Photography. should clarity wane. which are time savers and other approaches. To dive further into the process there are dozens of trade books and DVD extra features to watch. duplicating etc). but the fundamentals are really quite basic. the diagrams and drawings. Find inspiration from all around you. 8. The effectiveness of your storyboards occurs when others see the same story. 5. But like anything. there are dozens of other approaches. Draw this as though watching an ant colony. This is rehearsal. magazines. comics. Before you draw a single frame. photocopying. 9. Notes 10. .

I�d like to paraphrase Alfred Hitchcock: You have a frame. screenwriter and professional storyboard artist currently living in Toronto. Close your eyes and fill it. Canada. Contact: taylormadefilms@gmail. Matthew Taylor is an independent film The Following is a Set of boards drawn for a Car Crash on a Film .





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