Glossary of Production Terms
There are many job descriptions on any film project and as community representative, you are most likely to encounter the ones listed below. A comprehensive list is available on Media-Match.com.
Best Boy – You may not actually have much interaction with this position, but everyone always wants to know what a Best Boy does! The chief assistant, usually of the gaffer or key grip. In charge of the people and equipment, scheduling the required quantities for each day's work. Men and women in this position are both referred to as Best Boys.
Casting Director – Hires the actors and extras for the film.
Craft Services – On-set snacks and beverages for the cast and crew. Separate from catering, which provides full meals.
Construction Coordinator –Responsible for coordinating construction and details of the set, including furniture, working props, models and miniatures.
Director – Responsible for the overall cinematic vision of the film, orchestrating the performance by the actors and managing all creative elements of the production.
Director of Photography (DP) / Cinematographer – Head of the Camera Department. Responsible for the look of the film; working with Director, Producer, Production Designer, and Visual Effects Supervisor to create visual representation of script; selecting camera, film stock, lenses, lighting style and color scheme; and setting composition of each shot.
Line Producer – See Production Manager for a very similar job description.
Location Scout – Responsible for finding locations for the film during pre-production; and prepares photographs of possible locations for review by the Director and Production Designer.
Location Manager – Responsible for managing the filming locations; acting as the representative of the Production Company for the filming locations; negotiating with property owners on price and type of activity; and securing necessary permits.
Producer – Responsible for overseeing all phases of production for financial and managerial control; working with the Production Company throughout the filmmaking process to ensure that production is completed on time and on budget; and providing the Director with the needed production personnel.
Production Assistant (PA) – the entry-level position on the crew. PAs handle an assortment of odd jobs and errands in the office and on the set. Many individual departments have their own PAs (Office PA, Costume PA, Camera PA, Set PA, etc.)
Production Designer – The “architect” of the physical appearance of the set. Responsible for planning and overseeing the creation of the sets, scenery, set decoration, and other items that appear in front of the camera. The Art Director reports to the Production Designer.
Production Manager / Unit Production Manager (UPM) – Head of the Production Office. Responsible for keeping track of the budget; approving schedules and call sheets; and hiring and firing crew.
Property Master – Responsible for the procurement, placement and maintenance of set props, hand props and action props. Props are items that are used/handled by an actor; set dressing are items that appear on camera but are not used/handled by an actor.
Set Decorator – Head of the Set Dressing Department. Responsible for working with the Production Designer on set design and decoration; overseeing the dressing of the set with appropriate items; and managing the acquisition of set items.
Transportation Coordinator – Head of the Transportation Department. Serves as liaison between other departments and the Transportation Department; and scheduling and coordinating drivers for actors and crew, to and from set.