23 Jul Who’s Who on Your Video Crew?
Midweek Productions has been on several shoots with clients who are on a set for the first time and we have noticed that there is always one thing they are a bit surprised about: the size of the video crew. With all of the introductions at once, it can be a little confusing who everyone is and why they are there.
We’re a team!
Like a sports team, a video crew consists of different positions that must work together to have a successful shoot. If you have ever stuck around for the credits after a movie or TV show you can see that there are A LOT of titles and people listed. Each position is an important piece to the puzzle that makes a quality video.
So, who the heck is everyone?!
Below are some of the most common titles you might hear thrown around on set.
Producer: The Producer oversees the entire production from start to finish. They work with the client, crew and editors to ensure that all needs are met in terms of the client’s vision, budgeting, scripting, casting, coordinating, direction and outcome.
Assistant Producer (AP): The Assistant Producer acts as an assistant to the producer (easy enough!). They typically deal more with the paperwork like NDA’s, crew deal memos, rentals and they work to coordinate talent and crew.
Production Assistant (PA): The Production Assistants are there to keep the production ship running smoothly in any way they can. They perform a variety of tasks that can include: keeping track of walkies, picking up lunch, running errands, setting up tents or tables, getting coffee, getting release forms, etc.
Director: The Director oversees the creative vision on set. They work directly with on-camera talent and the Director of Photography to come up with shot composition and the feel of the video. They also have a large part in casting, scripting and editing.
Director of Photography (DP): The Director of Photography, or DP, is in charge of the overall visual look of the video. Depending on the needs of the shoot, they may also be the primary camera operator. They work closely with the Director to come up with shot lists and equipment needed. They also coordinate with the crew to ensure proper lighting and set up.
Assistant Camera (AC): The Assistant camera, or 1st AC, is the assistant to the camera operator. They are in charge of measuring and pulling focus during a shoot. They also help to set up and build the camera while also maintaining the camera lenses.
Gaffer: The Gaffer is the head electrician on set, in charge of the lights. They work closely with the DP to come up with a lighting plan for each shot.
Key Grip: The key grip rigs whatever is needed to get the lights in the proper place. They also set up flags, diffusion, etc. They also need to be aware of the scene’s blocking to make sure the gear doesn’t get in the way.
Audio Mixer/Audio Recordist: The Audio Mixer is in charge of recording audio on set. They decide what microphones to use and where to place them. While recording, they monitor and level the audio to ensure the best quality.
Hair and Makeup (HMU): The Hair and Makeup person does just that, works on the talent’s hair and makeup so they look good on camera. They work with the Director to ensure the correct look is coming through, whether they need a natural look or specific characterizations. Depending on the needs of the production, this can also be split into two positions, one focusing on hair and one focusing on makeup.
Talent: The Talent is the person or persons who are on camera. Depending on the production, they can be anyone from professional actors to interview subjects.
These are just some of the positions you may hear as you are on set with us for video projects. These positions can change based on the complexity and the budget of the shoot. If you are interested in learning more about all of the departments and positions in a typical video crew, you can check out Wikipedia to get further descriptions.
Have any other questions for us? We’d love to help! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any topics that you would like covered.