Mystified by the end credits? Still don't know what a best boy is? Welcome to thesubstream.com's Anatomy of a Film Set.
Today's lesson: Production.
Tags:Production in Filmmaking,Anatomy of a Film Set,film crew roles,production department role,role of production,Thesubstream.com,filmmaking,substream,thesubstream
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Hello and welcome to the films lance anatomy of a film set series here on the subscreen.com. You’re currently watching part one of four.
We’re going to be going through the personnel present on a film set and speak briefly about their responsibilities. For the sake of efficiency and clear understanding of how films are made and what's required in their making, certain industry standards exist in order to establish a common vocabulary among film makers. Much of which is derived from sling used by film making pioneers in the early days of the industry. People have been making movies in cloistered weld off studios for a 100-years and the jargon that’s developed is dense and confusing.
Work flow in personnel deployment have evolved over time resulting in an industry of somewhat regulated job titles in departmental hierarchy allowing the second day D from one film to start work another without having to learn a whole new set of rules. First, therefore in most cases, the film crew of one production will contain key personnel common to the crew of another but who are the people that make up a film crew? What do they do and who do they answer to?
In this video series, we will dissect a generic film crew in order to examine the relationships between working parts and their relationship to the whole. We have broken up our film crew into four sections. Productions, art and design, technicians and specialists, today’s video we’ll deal with production.
The production department of a film crew is the brain trust more or less. The idea for the film, the drive behind making it in the first place and the overseeing of the minutia IEAE of the day to day requirements. This all comes from the brain, its production that’s responsible for both making sure the script is up to snuff and also that catering has been booked but who is who inside the brain of a film set?
At the very tippy top of this brain trust is the executive producer. This person is usually more or less a figure head, a god king, a fleshy embodiment of the millions of cash dollars that are being put into an expensive project. But besides theoretically having the ultimate final say, the executive producer is for the most part again usually hands off. They put their faith to the producer who is basically the big boss of a film, the one responsible for assembling both the creative and financial teams. This means that they are in charge of hiring the director who will actually make the film and be ultimately be responsible for the creative direction it takes and the writer whose obviously responsible for the script without which there would be no film at all, usually.
Interestingly its not automatic that a writer will be on set and many have famously been barred from participating in production. Since the director and writer have huge important jobs to do, the producer makes sure that they are given all the support they need to allow their creative vision to come to light. So the producer hires a line producer who is in charge of the managing of the budget, scheduling and other administrative responsibilities and some associate producers who are delegated certain producing tasks as needed like research for example. The line producer puts together a crack team of production managers and coordinators in the office to handle things like booking equipment and crafts service but they also need to make sure things are running smoothly on location when they’re not there.
So the line producer hires a unit manager to represent them on set and a location manager to specifically deal with the logistics of getting a film crew into a school or park or church or where ever the writer has decided to set the film. Meanwhile, the director continues to plan out the scenes and how they like to film them and so eventually the first assistant director is called to break down the script into easily digestible elements. To be interpreted by the various departments required to shoot the film as per the directors vision.
When shooting is underway the first idea is essentially the foreman, the bad guy, the task master. The first ID is the loudest yeller on a film set, but the first ID can't do it alone so he brings on a second ID to worry about making tomorrow’s call sheets and shepherding the actors to where they need to be at any given time. And of course the ID department gets plenty of help from a gaggle of production assistants. Who are there to fill any gaps and get people coffee and pick up garbage. Also please note that a directors assistant is not the same as an assistant director. This living brain is basically the production model for most film sets operating today, the production departments you see here are responsible for hiring additional departmental personnel including crew members responsible for the art and design of the film.
In our next video we’ll take a look at who those people are and how they fit into the anatomy of a film set. Thank you for watching.