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Production Personnel: Roles and Responsibilities

Updated on April 19, 2016

Personnel for video production

Let us now know examine the roles and responsibilities of the production personnel.

Executive producer An executive producer is the boss of a production team and supervises one or more producers in charge of various productions. As the administrative head of the team, the EP is appointed normally for a series of programmes on a particular theme. It is the EP's responsibility to oversee funding and production arrangements and keep a check on the ratings of the show.

Director/Producer Depending on the scale of the production, the producer is the one who actually approves a script and commission top-level personnel, supervises production planning, and decides locations. In smaller productions, the producer and director may be the same. The producer/director is also in charge of interpreting and visualising a script and exercising creative control at every stage of the production. The role entails supervising a huge team of scriptwriters, camerapersons, music composers, lighting directors, consume designers, set designers, and property managers. As the creative head of a production, the producer is in charge of the technical and aesthetic aspects of a production. Auditions, casting decisions, and approving rehearsals are among the other responsibilities of a producer. In fact, the producer is responsible for every frame and every bit of audio that is finally seen on the screen. The producer directs everybody on the set before, during, and after the shooting and post production. This is a demanding job and requires a lot of patience, perseverance, and leadership qualities. In short, it is the producer who shouts 'lights, roll camera, action' on the sets.

Scriptwriter The scriptwriter writes the script for the production and is responsible for coming up with creative ideas and translating them into words that will be used in the making of a video. Strong presentation skills and acute awareness of current happenings in society is a must. The scriptwriter may be assisted by a team of researchers in case of non-fiction. An essential requirement of this role is the ability to convey ideas in fresh ways, tailor concepts to suit production requirements, and, more importantly, meet deadlines. In the case of fiction, based on the storyboard and/ or synopsis, the scriptwriter pens the dialogue. Sometimes, the scriptwriter is also required to adapt from existing literary work and write a script for a video. In smaller productions, the scriptwriter is also given the additional responsibility of providing the shooting script. This requires extensive coordination with the producer and production manager.

Production assistant The production assistant assists the producer/director in all his tasks. The PA is in charge of making sure that the script, talent, the production crew, and everything else is in place before the shooting actually begins. Other responsibilities include holding rehearsals, an organization of activities on location, and coordinating. In smaller productions, the PA also readies the crew on location, maintains the director's notes on rates, etc., and checks for continuity when the shooting is in progress. Most productions have more than one production assistant and they coordinate between/among themselves and report to the producer/director. Larger productions also designate some PAs as continuity supervisors.

Production manager Working in close coordination with the producer/director and production assistants, it is the responsibility of the production manager to take care of production and all logistical support for the production within the budget; in other words, to ensure that equipment, transport, talent, crew are in place for the shoot. A stressful job, it means handling a number of administrative responsibilities in term of managing the crew in a production and also hiring equipment and personnel for the post-production stage. The PM normally hires an assistant to take care of finances, but in smaller productions is in charge of paying various crew members, talent, vendors, suppliers, etc. Bigger productions have more than one PM to take care of the different aspects of production. They meet frequently and work in coordination with each other. A PM is required to be diplomatic in situations that require negotiations between different artists and production staff who may be particular about their roles in a production. In some cases, the PM is also involved in the promotion of the video in the market.

Cameraperson The cameraperson works with the lighting director and set designer to get the right mood and picture for the video. A cameraperson composes and captures the mood that the director desires for a shot. She may or may not actually operate the camera in big-budget productions, and in a case of the second would entrust the camera to the camera operator. The camera person is in charge of all the equipment related to the camera- camera supports, lenses, filters, other accessories, and raw stock. In big-budget productions requiring more than one unit, the camera person also supervises camera and personnel requirements.

Set designer A set designer has a no. of people working with her to designs sets. In some cases, the SD may want to make minor changes to an existing location or even erect a complete set to stimulate the actual location. For example, the SD may make minor changes in an existing office or even erect an entire office set to suit the production. The SD takes charge of procuring the right kind of material to erect sets, decides on the place and size of the sets in accordance with script requirements, and directs people in erecting them to the satisfaction of the director, and is also responsible for the furniture used in a production.

Lighting director The lighting director is in charge of rigging up and controlling all the lighting equipment. Working with a number of assistant and electricians, the LD makes sure that the set is well lit up as per the technical and aesthetic requirements of the shot. The LD uses a variety of lights and light filters and works in close coordination with the cameraperson, the set, and the costume designers to create the right mood for the scene.

Make-up artist The make-up artist designs and applies make-up to all artists. The make-up artist is helped, in the case of a bigger production, by assistant makeup artists and hairstylists. The make-up artist is also in charge of developing schemes in case of special requirements. For example, a make-up artist commissioned to work on a science-fiction production will need to work out how each character in the series will look. The work gets complicated when they are required to work with prosthetics. Prosthetics means sculpting, moulding, and creating faces or other parts of the body using silicon and other similar material.

Costume designer The costume designer designs costumes for all talent in a production and also commissions designers on bigger productions. The CD makes notes on the brief of every character in the video, and researchers into what costumes best suit a character. The CD then procures all the material required for the costumes. Working with an entire crew of specialist tailors, the CD produces costumes for a production. Costume assistants then help the characters wear the costumes. They also keep a logbook of \what costumes are required for a particular day's shoot. In some cases, the CD is required to whip up dresses at very short notice. Therefore, the CD takes instructions from the director and works in close coordination with the set designer, the cameraperson, and the lighting director. In smaller productions, the CD is also required to manage the properties.

Choreographer A choreographer is in charge of composing the dance sequences in a production. Working closely with the director, the choreographer's responsibility is to compose dance sequences that reflect the mood of the situation. Often working with a number of assistants, the choreographer is the director-in-charge during the filming of dances in a production, working in close coordination with the director, the music composer, set designer, cameraperson, and lighting director to get best results. Earlier, choreographers were handed over music tracks and asked to compose for the tracks. These days, they are involved right from the composition of music stage. They offer tips and suggestions to the music composer to include elements that would make the dance sequences click.

Properties manager Once the script and characters have been finalized, the properties manager comes into the picture. The PM procures and maintains all the properties required for a production- be it a pen used by an actor portraying an executive or a sword used by a talent acting out the of Tipu Sultan. The PM ensures that the properties required on the set for each character are ready before the shoot and maintains an inventory of the items for stock keeping.

Audio engineer The audio engineer works with a few audio assistant who rig up required cables and microphones on a set where playback and recording is required. She is in charge of overall sound levels, balance, and tonal quality. The audio engineer is also involved in post-production activities during dubbing, mixing of tracks, etc.

Electrical engineer The electrical engineer is in charge of all power requirements for a production and procures as well as manages all the equipment, right from a power generator to cables and connectors. The EE's responsibility is to ensure that there is power on the sets for a smooth production.

Music director Also called the music composer, the music director is in charge of the music requirements for a production and composes original tracks or uses available music with permissions.

Graphics engineer Graphics needed for a video production are designed and created by the graphics engineer, often using a combination of computer software to do so. If the story requires a character to morph into a staff and then into a snake and finally simply vanish into smoke, it is the GE who most likely takes care of this. In complex production, the GE attains great significance where immense graphic work is involved. In such situations, the GE works with a number of assistants. Since it is a highly specialized job, the GE is involved right from the pre-production stage.

Video editor The video editor is the person who operates post-production equipment - the linear and non-linear editing machines. The VE works in close association with the director in making creative decisions in shaping the production. Once the shooting is over, some directions prefer to leave it to the editor to shape the video from the available rushes (unedited source material from a shoot). However, in most cases, the editor takes direction from the director. She is in charge safe-keep of the rushes tapes, directing the logging assistant to make log sheets, and actually editing the video. The VE is also responsible for editing promotional and smart packaging of the programme and break bumpers. In smaller productions, the VE also creates graphics. In larger production involving complex graphic works into the video.

Talent Actors who are playing a role or those who appear in front of the camera as themselves- newscasters, anchorpersons, interviewers, etc.- or personalities like interviewees, audience, contestants, and so on are broadly referred to as talent.

Personnel and their involvement at various production stages

Executive producer
Production assistant
Production manager
Set designer
Lighting director
Make up artist
Costume designer
Properties manager
Audio engineer
Electrical engineer
Music director
Video editor


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    • Subhash Tomar profile image

      Subhash Singh Tomar 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Your Most welcome Sunil.

    • profile image

      sunil 2 years ago

      Useful hub,

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Subhash Tomar profile image

      Subhash Singh Tomar 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Thanks Priyanka.

    • Subhash Tomar profile image

      Subhash Singh Tomar 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Your most welcome..

      Thanks for your valuable comment.

      Please follow.

    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 2 years ago from India

      A useful hub! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Priyanka 2 years ago

      Useful Content.



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