Find out what roles are necessary to filmmaking.
Filmmaking Jobs Defined
There are, however, many people who dream of having their name mentioned in the credits of a major motion picture. No matter how small your role, there’s a feeling of accomplishment seeing your name on the big screen.
If you’re currently outside the film industry, trying to figure out your first steps to getting experience in filmmaking jobs, a little more explanation of the various roles can be helpful.
Decoding Filmmaking Jobs
Producer: Runs the business end of a film project, from finding a script to hiring to finances.
Associate Producer: Assists the producer and communicates with both the production and postproduction crew.
Production Manager: Manages the many business aspects of a production, from getting the right equipment to arranging housing for the cast and crew.
Production Assistant: Handles a variety of small tasks necessary for daily operations on the set.
Postproduction Supervisor: Coordinates the processes and workers involved in finishing the movie after filming has wrapped.
Line Producer: Handles the budget for a film project.
Director: Directs all creative elements of a film, from helping hire actors to choosing locations, and making sure that his/her vision is successfully communicated to the crew.
Assistant Director / First Assistant Director – Helps the director by planning the filming timeline and managing the set, the extras and more.
Location Manager – Scouts locations and obtains permits for filming in those locations.
Art Director – Designs and oversees set construction.
Set Designer – Responsible for executing the construction of the set according to the art director’s instructions.
Cinematographer / Director of Photography: Carries out the director’s vision for the look of a film. Plans and supervises others to achieve the right camera shots, lighting and set design.
Camera Operator: Follows the action with the camera, according to instructions from the director and cinematographer.
Dolly Grip: Sets up the dolly track and operates the dolly, allowing the camera and camera crew to move smoothly as they capture the action.
Key Grip: The head grip in charge of setting up equipment to enable the camera crew to capture the right shots.
Gaffer: Sets up the lighting on set.
Best Boy: The primary assistant to either the gaffer or the key grip.
Production Sound Mixer: Records all production dialogue and other production sounds at optimal levels. May also mix the various tracks for dailies.
Boom Operator: Holds the microphone boom near the action to capture the dialog.
Foley Artist: Creates sound effects that can’t be captured during filming.
Editor: Works with the director to produce the final cut of a film that both flows well and captures the director’s vision for the project.
Negative Cutter: Cuts the actual negative of the film as directed by the editor, director and others.
Take the First Step Toward a Filmmaking Job
In a filmmaking job, as in any occupation, pursuing a degree can be a good step toward achieving your career goals. Film school can give you the skills you’ll need for a wide variety of filmmaking jobs—whether you have your eye set on a director role, a cinematographer job, or any of the supporting positions needed to produce a feature length film.