There’s no “I” in “video production”—there are two, which shows the importance of collaboration. This is especially true on set, where a bunch of experts come together to execute a single shared idea. Chills!
“Cut! Back to one. Annnnnnd: ACTION!”
The crew’s fearless leader. The captain of the ship. The Mel Gibson character screaming, “ALBA GU BRAH!” The director will steer the creative vision, so you can just kick back and relax.
“Did you read the call sheet?”
Whether turning water into wine or your budget into a profit, producers make the shoot go. They coordinate, delegate, schedule, and figure out financing for *gestures wildly* all this.
Production Assistant (PA)
“The director needs a coffee? Copy. The DP needs a stand-in? Copy copy.”
PAs are the heroes who fill in the gaps. Forgot to pick up ice before coming to set? Need a fifth hand carrying sandbags? A shoulder to cry on? Your PA’s got you covered.
Director of Photography (DP)
“Let’s match our light to that interrogation scene from ‘Breaking Bad.’”
DPs drive the overall aesthetic of what’s being recorded. They help dictate composition, lighting, or camera movement. Their Instagram feeds usually double as archives of visual references.
“Don’t eat that, it’s plastic.”
That aspirational AF commercial featuring a fully furnished, mid-century modern living room? It was shot in an otherwise empty studio. And you’d never know, thanks to the set stylist.
Hair & Makeup
“T-minus 15 minutes to prep talent? Challenge accepted.”
The hair and makeup department makes gorgeous on-screen talent even gorgeous-er and keeps everyone looking their shine-free best.
1st Assistant Camera (1st AC)
“Your focus needs more focus.”
The human version of your phone’s auto-focus feature. A 1st AC builds the camera rig and manually adjusts (or pulls) focus while the camera is in motion.
“Let’s double break that M40 through a layer of 216 and half soft frost.”
You want your talent bathed in morning rays. Unfortunately, it’s 4:18 p.m., and the sun is behind a curtain of cloud-cover. Your gaffer generates or shapes light to execute the vision of the DP.
“Do we have eyes on a baby C-stand and stinger? Standby.”
If your film set is a wonderful, logistical landmine, thank a grip. The key grip builds and maintains the complex camera and lighting setups.
“Hold for room tone.”
You could argue film is 25% visuals, 75% audio (and 100% cool). While the majority of your crew shapes the look, the sound department ensures you capture clean audio in an otherwise noisy environment.
“But wait!” You yell. “What about location managers? Food stylists? The person who claps the Hollywood slate thingy?” Rest assured: we’re only scratching the surface of all the bananas-talented people who do their thing and help make stuff move.
And as for the wacky lingo you’ll hear on set? We’ll save that Rosetta Stone lesson for another day.
Have a teamwork-driven weekend, everybody!
—Your ready-to-roll friends at Brokaw