Accounting Clerk

Accounting Clerk is an entry level position. Clerks mainly post entries and help with filing.

First Assistant Production Accountant

A First Assistant Production Accountant assists the Head Production Accountant, handling all petty cash, posting and cost reports. He/she assists with invoices and creditor payments.

First, Second, and Second Second Accountants

First, Second, and Second Second Accountants all work to assist the Head Production Accountant.

Payroll Accountant

Payroll Accountant works specifically with payroll companies, entering in all necessary financial data to get people paid. These accountants must be aware of contractual obligations with the film unions and guilds as well as federal and local requirements. On larger productions Payroll Accountants may hire Payroll Clerks to assist them.


Production Accountant/Head Accountant

The Production Accountant (Head Accountant) is responsible for all accounting aspects for the production. He/she sets up bank accounts, accounting systems and pays all bills. The Head Production Accountant will meet often with the Line Producer

Acting Coaches

Definition: Acting Coaches assist Actors much like a sports coach would support an athlete, particularly for specialized roles. It may be per the Actor’s request, depending on their contract.

Assistants to Actor(s)

Definition: Assistants to Actor(s) may be employed by the Actor(s) to take care of daily personal tasks while on a production and may travel from film to film with that person if requested.


Definition: A Choreographer may be hired to create any dance or movement for the project and to instruct the Actors how to perform it.

Dialect Coaches

Definition: Dialect Coaches assist Actors with concealing or creating an accent, as required by the project.

Historical Researchers

Definition: Historical Researchers may be required for the script regarding facts relevant to the film.

Teacher/Tutor/Studio Teachers

Definition: Teacher/Tutor/Studio Teachers provide on-set schooling to minors. Typically the minimum requirement is a teaching certificate from the state in which a child resides. Note that “Studio Teacher” is a term specifically for Californians in this position and who have been certified as such by that state. Nonetheless, all Teachers/Tutors must be aware of and follow safety rules for minors per state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, the number of hours worked in a day and appropriate length of rest periods. Tutors/Teachers will initially report any issues to the 2nd AD and Line Producer. It is important for on-set Tutors/Teachers in New Mexico to be aware that any production who employs a person under the age of 18 as an Actor or Performer in the entertainment industry must obtain a pre-authorization certificate issued by the Department of Workforce Solutions prior to the start of work.

Technical Advisors

Definition: Technical Advisors are employed as needed for expertise and advice in specific technical areas to maintain the integrity of the story and lend credibility to the project. Examples include doctors, veterans, police officers and historians.


Definition: A Translator translates for any Actor who is working outside their first language. They will also work with a Director.


Definition: A Tutor/Teacher can verify permits are in place for these minors with the Casting Director. (Visit “permits and procedures” under “production resources” at for rules and certificates.)

Animal Wrangler

Definition: An Animal Wrangler cares for all animals on the set, particularly those that directly interact with any Actors. This person provides the training for the animals to coax “performances” from them and may have additional Animal Trainers on hand. They must be highly aware of the safety of all animals as well as cast and crew.

Livestock Coordinator

Definition: A Livestock Coordinator arranges all livestock to be used on a production and oversees their care. These animals may not necessarily perform.

Art Department Coordinator (ADC)

Art Department Coordinator (ADC) handles the coordination of the art departments and requires extensive organizational and administrative skills. The ADC is the communication liaison for the Art Director and all the art department Heads. Duties may also include researching, scheduling deliveries/pick-ups and assisting with the logistics of rentals.

Art Director

The Art Director is right under the Production Designer and assists the art department with all administrative work. He/she collaborates with the Set Designer and is the liaison with all the above mentioned departments. The Art Director assists in overseeing the artists and crew building the sets.

Construction Coordinator

Definition: The Construction Coordinator is the head of the construction department. His/her main focus is working with the Production Designer and Art Director, and ordering materials as needed. They also are in charge of hiring and scheduling of construction crew.


Definition: Greensman is responsible for all plant material to be used on film. Larger departments may have a Head Greens.


Definition: Painters are responsible for the painting and aging of set walls and signs, on and off the set.

Production Designer

Definition: The Production Designer has the key role that oversees the overall look of the film, working directly with the Producer and Director. He/she produces sketches and illustrations for scenery, designs sets, props and set dressing, including (yet not limited to) small scale models. This position heads the art department which includes the “sub” departments of set decoration, construction, greens, paints, props, hair, make-up and costumes – all the tangibles that make-up the scenes to match the script. Production Designers will often go on scouts with the Director and Producer. The Production Designer will even interface with the Location Manager and the Special Effects Coordinator.


Definition: Propmaker is a crafts-person who performs the actual building of sets with skills similar to those of a carpenter. Other positions may include a Toolman, Plasterer (dry wall and/or adobe), Mason, Welder, Sheet Metal Fabricator and Utility Technician or Labor.

Propmaker Foreman

Definition: Propmaker Foreman supervises the construction crew in all aspects of building sets – the carpentry. They may be referred to as the Gang Boss; or additional Gang Bosses will be hired who will work under the Foreman. There also may be other Foreman hired for Labor, Greens, Painters and Toolmen.

Scenic Artists

Definition: Scenic Artists handle creating and printing of scenic backdrops during pre-production.

Story Board Artist

Definition: A Story Board Artist creates visuals of the script. Often with amendments by the Production Designer, these visuals are given to the Set Designers and Draftsmen to create technical set designs, mock-ups and models. These visual instructions are then given to all art department Heads/Keys to create all of the scenery encompassed in principal photography.

Camera Operator

Definition: The Camera Operator works directly with the DP and runs the actual operation of the camera during shooting and certifies that correct technical requirements are met. They require having experience in First and Second Assistant Camera positions.

Director of Photography

Definition: The Director of Photography (DP) sets the photographic style of the motion picture. The DP upon consultation with the Director composes all shots including lens selection, camera position, filters, and dollies. He/she directs the lighting, instructs the lab in the processing of the film, and participates in post-production in-color timing and video transfer. The DP hires the Camera Operator(s) as well as the Gaffer/Chief Lighting Technician and Key Grip.

First Assistant Camera Person(1st Ac or Focus puller)

Definition: The First Assistant Camera Person (1st AC or Focus Puller) is responsible for checking, preparing, and cleaning the camera, all lenses, filters and magazines. This is a very technical position as he/she must maintain the correct focus and exposure. After each shot or camera set-up, the gate is checked for dust and scratches. They keep the shot lists as well. The 1st AC, similar to that of a Best position, also hires additional camera crew.

Second Assistant Camera Person (2nd AC or Camera Loader)

Definition: The Second Assistant Camera Person (2nd AC) and Camera Loader are one in the same; however, sometimes there may be a Camera Trainee/PA or a Film Loader available on set to assist. The 2nd AC is in charge of the inventory of film and oversees the undeveloped negative. They are responsible for loading and unloading magazines, labeling all film cans and preparing cans for the lab. The 2nd AC maintains all records and paperwork for the camera department. They will write camera department reports, sometimes referred to as dope sheets that list all completed shots per the script. They also mark and operate the slate (clapper) signaling the beginning of a shot. The 2nd AC also marks actors and props to assist with the distance and focus of a shot throughout a scene. The extent of the responsibilities depends upon the type of project and available crew. (Note: this position is referred to as the Clapper Loader in other parts of the world such as in the UK and in commonwealth countries).

Still Photographer

Definition: A Still Photographer may be tasked with taking Polaroid’s for continuity, but their main function is to take all non-motion/non-television pictures which may be used for publicity or display in advertising the project. They are the only person on a set with permission to do so.


Video Assists

Definition: Video Assists (or Assistants) are not a part of the camera department; however they are responsible for cabling and set up of video monitors for the Director and camera department, particularly when it is difficult to watch the scene up-close on the set. It is used to help determine if another take is required. The scenes can be recorded for playback but are not saved for editing, release or distribution.

Extras Casting Director

Definition: The Extras Casting Director hires all extras to work on a production in the background. He/She works with the Second Assistant Director (2nd AD) as the latter person directs the Extras. The Extras Casting Director may work with the Publicist to get local media involved for an extras casting call and may solicit help from local talent agencies to set up large open casting calls (i.e. people needed to fill a stadium or bar). Depending on the needs and size of the project, the Extras Casting Director may have the budget to hire an Extras Casting Associate and/or a Casting Assistant (PA). Sometimes a Set PA can be utilized to wrangle Extras/Background per the 2nd AD. Note: currently Background Actors are not covered by SAG contracts in New Mexico.

Script Supervisor

Definition: The Script Supervisor is responsible for overall script continuity and requires a detailed memory. He/she tracks and reports master time daily. These daily reports include script shots, scene numbers, set-ups, company calls, first shots, meal times, and wrap. The Script Supervisor completes script breakdown and prepares daily notes for the Editor. There is typically only one Script Supervisor hired unless there is a second unit shooting simultaneously.

Assistant Directors (First and Second)

Definition: The Assistant Directors prepare the breakdown of extras, stunts, vehicles, special effects and multi-camera days. The 1st AD assists the Director with production details, including coordinating and supervising cast and crew activities. He/she also prepares the daily schedules for Actors/Talent and determines cast/crew call times. The Second Assistant Director (2nd AD) is tasked with assisting the First Assistant Director in all of their duties. ). Per the 1st AD, the 2nd AD directs background action and supervises crowd control while managing the actors on the set. Together the Assistant Directors arrange rehearsal and still photos sessions. This position also assists the 1st AD in preparing the breakdown of Extras, stunts, vehicles, effects and multi-camera days.


Definition: The Director leads the production of the project and participates in all the creative aspects. The Director works with the Executive Producer (independent or studio) and oversees the camera, art and casting departments as well as his/her Assistant Directors. The Director also manages and consults with the Director of Photography (DP), the Gaffer, the Stunt Coordinator, the Special Effects Coordinator, and the Script Supervisor. The Director hires the Production Designer; may request that specific crew members be hired; selects the First Assistant Director (1st AD) and the Script Supervisor; casts the Principal Talent; and approves filming locations (as budget or Producer allows). The Director must also agree upon wardrobe, sets and special props. He/she gives one of the authorizations for final budget sign-off. The Studio or Executive Producer may or may not have the final say over the choice of a Director.

First Assistant Director

Definition: The First Assistant Director (1st AD) is tasked with assisting the Director. The 1st AD prepares the shooting schedule, assists in pre-production tasks, and oversees all on-set details for the Director including workflow, call times, background action and the safety of stunts. In other words, he or she is the liaison between the Director and the rest of the production. The 1st AD enforces safety guidelines and holds safety meetings.

Second Assistant Director

Definition: The 2nd AD creates the daily call sheet and completes the daily production report. He or she supervises the daily wrap, meal breaks, and talent while acting as a liaison among the Line Producer, UPM, Production Office Coordinator and the First Assistant Director (1st AD). The 2nd AD distributes all essential paperwork and general information, arranges for physical exams for cast and performer’s with special needs, procures cast head shots for stunt and photo doubles, issues work calls (with the Casting Director), orders Stand-Ins and Extras, and makes sure cast members that are minors secure necessary work permits. The 2nd AD secures extras’ releases and ensures there are signed SAG contracts on set. They may also supervise any Directors Guild of America (DGA) trainees or interns. (Visit for additional details.)

Second Second Assistant Director

Definition: The Second Second Assistant Director assists the 2nd AD. They may be called upon to aid in any of their supervisor’s duties. This person is basically a Set Production Assistant (PA) assigned to the 2nd AD and may also be called a Key Set PA.

Set Production Assistants

Definition: Set Production Assistants (PAs) are in charge of “lock-ups” on location to keep the public (and crew) away from the action and out of shots. They run errands for cast and crew (primarily on set) and may accompany Principal Talent from trailers to the set. They often assist in wrangling Extras and give general crowd control per the 2nd AD. In New Mexico, these positions, not including Set PAs, are most often under the jurisdiction of the DGA per contractual obligations with productions.

Best Boy Grip / BB Rigging Grip

Definition: The Best Boy Grip and BB Rigging Grip are in charge of grip department after the Keys/Chiefs. Like most second positions, they are responsible for timesheets, ordering and tracking equipment. They also hire the Grips and Rigging Grips. These hires may be scheduled as “day players” which means they only work as extra help on certain days as required by shooting schedule. Grips and Rigging Grips are responsible for the movement of all grip equipment including the rigging of lighting pipes.

Dolly Grip

Definition: The Dolly Grip is responsible for setting up dolly track, maintaining and operating camera dollies. The dolly is a small truck that rolls along tracks and carries the camera, camera person, and occasionally the Director. A camera dolly is a specialized piece of film equipment designed to create smooth camera movements. The camera is mounted to the dolly and the Camera Operator and First Assistant Camera usually ride on it to operate the camera. The Dolly Grip operates this equipment and is the point technician trained and responsible for its use.

Key Grip

Definition: The Key Grip is the head of the grip department and is responsible for diffusion, camera movement and rigging. However, a Key Rigging Grip may also be hired as Riggers are often working before or after the Camera Crew and Grips. Grips work closely with the camera department – more so than the Rigging Grips, especially if the camera is mounted to a dolly, crane or has another unusual position. The Key Grip oversees these specialty Grips. He/she also works closely with the electrical department to put in the lighting set-ups necessary for a shot.

Position: Assistant Location Manager/ Location Assistants

Definition: The Assistant Location Manager and their Location Assistants aide the Location Manager with his/her duties. The number hired varies per the budget and the number of locations needed for the project. They are responsible for protecting all rented property from damage by the company; setting up and tearing down any resources rented for location (i.e. tents, heaters, air conditioning); cleaning up locations on completion of shooting; disposing of trash (along with Craft Service Assistants; creating and setting up road signs to direct crew to location and also removing signs upon completion of shooting.

Location Manager

Definition: The Location Manager is the head of the locations department and is responsible for locating, coordinating and managing locations. This includes negotiating contracts with property owners and filing permits with city, state and federal agencies where necessary. The Location Manager also hires and schedules resources needed on location (i.e. tents, heaters, toilets and air conditioning). The Location Manager creates the maps and directions for use by the crew to travel to filming locations. They are responsible for hiring and supervising Assistant Locations personnel and handle time cards for the department.

Location Production Assistants

Definition: Location Productions Assistants aide the Location Assistants in all of their tasks, essentially work as Production Assistants (PAs) assigned to the locations department.

Location Scouts

Definition: Location Scouts are specialists in their geographic area who possess vast knowledge of all potential locations fitting a wide variety of needs. These people maintain high quality photo files of the various locations and are able to research new locations quickly by using their connections with local business and property owners as well as government agencies.

Assistant Hair Stylist

Definition: An Assistant Hair Stylist assists the Key Hair Stylist. Crew must know styles of the script’s era and track continuity of scenes.

Assistant Make-up Artist

Definition: An Assistant Make-up Artist assists the Key Make-up Artist. Key Make-up Artists and their Assistants know a variety of techniques, including air-brush systems and can often create bruises, black-eyes and even tattoos. Crew must know who to apply make-up for
the era of the script and must track continuity of scenes.


Definition: Costumers handle the processing of all costumes as they arrive and are shipped back to rental houses. They inventory all costumes and make alterations as required. Polaroid’s assist with tracking continuity especially when there are a number of Extras required for multiple scenes.


Costumer Designer

Definition: The Costume Designer produces designs and sketches for all costumes and oversees the acquisition of all costumes and accessories.

Extra Assistant Make-up Artists

Definition: Extra Assistant Make-up Artists may also be scheduled as day-players depending upon the number of Extras scheduled on a given shoot day.

Extra Hair Assistant

Definition: Extra Assistant Hair Stylists may be scheduled as day-players depending upon the number of Extras scheduled on a given shoot day.

Key Hair Stylist

Definition: The Key Hair Stylist handles all hair styling for Actors including coloring and wigs.

Key Make-up Artist

Definition: The Key Make-up Artist handles the make-up for all Actors, including cosmetics, facial hair and prosthetics.

Key Set Costumer/Key Costumer

Definition: The Key Set Costumer and the Key Costumers lead the costume crew and direct the action of the Set Costumers and Costumers.

Seamstresses/ Tailors

Definition: Seamstresses/Tailors make alterations to wardrobe and work as needed. They typically do not work consistently on a production. Per the Wardrobe Supervisor, a Buyer/Stylist purchases any items that will be used “off the rack” for Extras and Actors – that is straight from clothing stores.

Set Costumers

Definition: Set Costumers prepare and assist with the costuming of the Actors during shooting on the set.

Special Effects Make-up Artist:

Definition: A Special Effects Make-up Artist for specialty work and may work with the effects department


Definition: The Caterer hired by production feeds the cast and crew two meals per day. Less often a production may have “French Hours” which basically means there are no set meal times and the crew has to find time to go to the catering tent to eat. A courtesy first meal is available before work begins unless a production has a Non-Deductible Breakfast (NDB) clause. (NDBs typically affect the crew of one or two departments who are on a pre-call, that is they are called in hours before the regular call time and before the rest of the crew arrives.) Caterers must supply a varied menu so that special diets are accommodated. They have elaborate mobile kitchens and may be inspected by the state for propane usage.

Craft Service

Definition: The Craft Service crew usually includes one Key and at least one “Assistant Crafty”. This department provides hot and cold beverages and snacks throughout the day, between catered meals. In NM, they are also responsible for all garbage on-set and around the location.


Definition: The Key often has equipment to rent to the production and does all the shopping. For last minute schedule changes or days with excessive overtime, Craft Services may use a local restaurant to get take out or even cater; however, film catering is completely different department and is not similar to restaurant catering.

Key Medic

Definition: A Key Medic may be hired to coordinate multiple medics on a large and/or complex production.

Set Medic/Off-Set Medic

Definition: A Set Medic is available in case of any small medical needs that may arise (Band-Aids, allergy medications, aspirin) and must be EMT licensed. A Set Medic is called upon as the first responder if a medical emergency arises on set, while an ambulance is on-route. Large builds may require an additional Off-Set Medic for the construction department.

 Foley Artists

Definition: Foley Artists work under the Sound Designer and record sound effects that involve physical movement and synchronizing the sound with the action on the screen.

Music Composer

Definition: The Music Composer creates the (original) score specifically for the (entire) project or “rips” one from their existing compositions. They often have well established relationships with Directors. They also tend to be associated with certain musical genres within the industry or beyond. (Some Composers may have transitioned from a traditional music career such as a conductor.) Composers tend to also have excellent marketing and self-promotion skills prior to becoming established. Composers may be members of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Music Supervisor

Definition: The Music Supervisor is a management/marketing position for those with fervor for music. They tend to work on freelance basis, networking at film festivals to establish relationship with filmmakers (potential clients). Music Supervisors review and select the music for film and television projects per guidance from the Director, Producers and Composers. Their creative input varies. They may be expected to concentrate on licensing deals and contracts only and/or coordinate the work of the Composer, the Editor and Sound Mixer. Note: Musicians are considered performers if they appear in the project (per union/guild contracts). Songs chosen for a film may be pitched to the Director by the Music Supervisor. Musicians may consider submitting a demo to a Music Supervisor. The New Mexico Music Commission is a resource for local musicians:

Post-Production Manager

Definition: Post-Production Manager (also called Supervisor) reports directly to the Producer and/or the studio in charge of the feature. They must finish the film on time and on-budget while satisfying the wants of the Director. They must control all vendors, such as optical houses and sound facilities, and all activities. This includes supervising inserts, ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement), re-shoots, CGI (Computer Generated Imaging), score, color timing and video mastering. They ensure distributor delivery requirements and legal clearances and oversee preview screenings. They must budget the movie through delivery.

Post-Production Supervisors

Definition: Post-Production Supervisors have authority over Post-Production Coordinators (who in turn oversee any additional Post-Production Assistants.) Their duties may include ensuring the smooth operation of the editorial department, coordinating the production and delivery of final components, scheduling and coordinating ADR sessions, managing post-accounting and documents related to wrap, as well as maintaining proper storage of final audio/video masters and (offline) editorial materials.


Script Supervisor

Definition: The Script Supervisor notes are an essential reference. Sophisticated digital editing systems such as AVID and Lightworks are often utilized. However, editing software like Final Cut Pro is user friendly for filmmakers of all levels. After the first cut is assembled (editor’s cut), the Director will make a cut and then the Producer may make the final cut. Often these cuts are done as a group.

Senior Editor/Assistant Editors

Definition: Senior Editor and Assistant Editors work with dailies (Director’s selected takes from principal photography) and assemble the “order” of the film.

Sound Designer

Definition: A Sound Designer works with the Director to form the overall soundtrack for the project. Sometimes a Designer may be brought in for specialized sounds; however, there is always one person overseeing sound editing, ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) and dubbing. This work is often completed at a sound effects house, most of which is digital. During pre-production they will also work with the Sound Mixer and other on-set production Heads to ensure continuity and script integrity. However, final sound effects, Foley, and dialogue Editors finalize their work after the lock in of the picture (Producer’s Cut).

Position: Casting Director

Definition: The Casting Director recruits Principal Actors during pre-production and remains a liaison between the Director, Actors and their Agents once the parts have been cast. They are responsible for auditioning additional Actors; however the final selections are determined by the Director. Then the Producer negotiates salaries. Then the Casting Directors will prepare the cast deal memos for those selected. The Casting Director, Unit Production Manager and the Production Office Coordinator will sort out applications for permits to employ minors. They will also work with the film guilds to meet contractual obligations. This may include submitting Taft/Hartley reports (for non-guild members.) They will also issue work calls so the Actors know what day and time to report to the set. Casting Directors will often have a Casting Associate to assist them with most of the daily work involved. Casting Assistant is an entry-level position and has similar responsibilities as a Production Assistant.

Associate Producer

Definition: The Associate Producer usually assists the Producer in a specific area which may include pre-screening personnel, scouting locations, and acting as a liaison with the production. This position is comparative to an executive assistant in the business world.


Definition: Co-Producer is a title often credited to someone who produced some portion of the financing.


Definition: The Director works with the studio (when applicable) and the Producer to hire the Production Designer.

Executive Producers

Definition: On large projects, the Executive Producer is the “Lead” Producer who oversees the work of multiple Producers. Their main function, other than supervision, is to obtain financing. The Executive Producer may also share the responsibilities of a Producer, depending upon the type and size of the project at hand. The Executive Producer and/or Producer hire the Director and supervise the hiring of other key personnel, such as a Line Producer and Unit Production Manager (who then in turn hires the department Heads/Keys).

Line Producer

Definition: The Line Producer is in charge of the below-the-line (BTL) portion of the budget, is a signatory on bank accounts; may assist in arranging for a completion bond; facilitates signing of union contracts; secures all necessary clearances and releases; approves invoices, check requests, purchase orders, time cards; negotiates crew deals; and issues the pre-production schedule. Works with the producers and unit production manager, he/she prepares the budget, assists and authorizes the locations, and production design.


Definition: The Producer is involved with all aspects of the project. This may include the development of idea, having the script written, or acquiring the rights of the story/script as well as promoting the project and obtaining financing. The Producer and/or Executive producer can also hire the Director and supervise the hiring of other key personnel, such as a Line Producer and Unit Production Manager (who then in turn hires the department Heads/Keys).

Senior Producer

Definition: The Senior Producer (not always the Executive Producer) may pitch the story to a studio, arranges financing and distribution, acquires a completion bond, sets up legal structure for the production, signs all Union/Guild agreements (when applicable), secures insurance coverage, oversees clearances, and turns over delivery elements. On the Producers’ Guild of America’s (PGA) website,, you will also see listed Segment Producers; Visual Effects Producers, Supervisors, & Coordinators; Post-Production Supervisors & Managers; and Production & Post-Production Coordinators.

Supervising Producer/ Coordinating Producer

Definition: The Supervising Producer / Coordinating Producer are often “gift” titles for someone connected to the production but not employed by the production.

Unit Production Manager

Definition: The Unit Production Manager (UPM)/Production Manager coordinates and oversees the production for all day-to-day tasks including schedules, budget and personnel at a regional location. The UPM establishes and controls the budget, supervises location selection, oversees all day to day decisions, manages the needs of the company off set, prepares ahead of shooting schedule, secures releases and supervises the creation of the production reports (by the Second Assistant Director). The UPM may also work as Line Producer on smaller budgeted projects.) In New Mexico, UPM and Line Producer are typically under the jurisdiction of the Directors’ Guild of America (DGA). Works with the producers and Line Producer, he/she prepares the budget, assists and authorizes the locations, and production design.

Assistant Production Office Coordinator

Definition: An Assistant Production Office Coordinator (APOC) is responsible for all general office work including disseminating pertinent information like script revisions and shooting schedules.

Office Production Assistants

Definition: Office Production Assistants’ (Office PAs) duties include copying, collating, script delivery, running errands and getting coffee. The duties of this job vary greatly, but can include anything that needs to be done in the office. If there are several PAs, a Key PA may be designated. A Key PA’s responsibilities may overlap with those of the Production Secretary.

Production Officer Coordinator

Definition: The Production Office Coordinator (POC) is the chief administrative assistant to the Unit Production Manager and handles all tasks related to the organization of production. Working with other departments, they will help organize casting sessions, locations scouts, office meetings and production meetings. The POC is in charge of setting up and running the office.

Production Secretary

Definition: A Production Secretary acts just as a secretary does in the real world, providing secretarial support to the production. On some productions the Production Secretary will also be the Travel Coordinator.

Travel Coordinator

Definition: A Travel Coordinator arranges for cast and crew travel prior to and during production.


Definition: Armorer/Weapons supplies and prepares any prop weapons. Multiple vehicles in a production may then require a Picture Car Coordinator.

Assistant Propmaster

Definition: Assistant Propmaster is the second or Best position for this department. He/she assists the Propmaster with all tasks and is in charge of timesheets for the department.

Propmaster/Property Master

Definition: The Propmaster or Property Master is responsible for any and all props used in the script by Actors and Performers, including hand props, food props and picture vehicles. This person is in charge of acquiring and maintaining all these props and moving any furniture during filming for dolly moves. Propmasters handle all inanimate objects that Actors or Performers touch or move.

Props Person

Definition: Props Person supports the Assistant Propmaster and the Propmaster.

Executive Publicist

Definition: Like the Publicity Director the Executive Publicist is also employed by the studio or the like to conceive and oversee the publicity campaign that opens a movie. In many cases, this latter person never even appears on the set — especially if the movie is a “pickup” and didn’t have a releasing studio at the time it was produced. In other cases, this person is frequently on-set and directly supervises the efforts of the Unit Publicist. Visit the Writer’s resource page at the Writers’ Guild of America, West: for more information.


Definition: A Publicist may write press releases, manage campaigns and perform other public relations functions in conjunction with the publicity department. The publicity department is responsible for promoting or advertising a film/television project which often involves the Unit Publicist and the Stills Photographer (see camera department).Publicists may also work for or own an agency and serve many companies at once.

Publicity Director

Definition: Like the Executive Publicist the Publicity Director is employed by the studio or the like to conceive and oversee the publicity campaign that opens a movie. In many cases, this latter person never even appears on the set — especially if the movie is a “pickup” and didn’t have a releasing studio at the time it was produced. In other cases, this person is frequently on-set and directly supervises the efforts of the Unit Publicist. Visit the Writer’s resource page at the Writers’ Guild of America, West: for more information.

Unit Publicist

Definition: The Unit Publicist is hired for a project to handle public and media inquiries for a specified location or region of filming. They may report to the company’s Publicist or Studio Publicist. One of their main functions is to generate or “control” press coverage on behalf of the client (production) and serve as the bridge between clients (studio) and their public and media outlets.


Definition: A Draper/Upholsterer is responsible for all curtains or drapery needed in each shot. They may also need to re-upholster used items that have been purchased for a scene.

Food Stylist

Definition: A Food Stylist preps any food used on set and ensures that it looks as called for in the script.

Lead Person

Definition: The Lead Person (equivalent to the Best Boy position in other departments) is responsible for managing “man” days. They notify Set Dressers and Swing Gang of call times and locations. This position handles time-cards for the department, coordinates rentals, and coordinates the returning of all set dressing items.

On-Set Dresser

Definition: An On-Set Dresser represents the Set Decorator when they are absent from set during shooting. They work under the supervision of the Property Master and are responsible for ensuring that reference photos are taken for re-dressing if necessary (for continuity). The On-Set Dresser locks up and covers the set at the completion of the day.

Set Decorator

Definition: The Set Decorator is in charge of selecting, budgeting, acquiring dressing and placement of all set dressing items as well as supervises staff decorating the set. Set dressing items differentiate from props as these items are not handled by Actors.

Set Dressers/Swing Gang

Definition: Set Dressers and Swing Gang handle the physical pick up and return of rental items, place items on the set under direction of the Set Decorator. Swing Gang tend to do more laborious work such as move furniture.


Definition: The Shopper/Buyer purchases any items needed for set decoration per the Lead Person.

Best Boy Electric

Definition: The Best Boy Electric is the right-hand of the Gaffer in all areas. He/she is responsible for department timesheets as well as ordering, tracking and shipping equipment. The Best Boy Electric is responsible for hiring department crew and scheduling day-players (additional help) as needed.


Definition: Electricians are considered “thirds” per department ranking and union contracts. They are responsible for the movement and set-up of all lighting equipment as directed by the Best Boy Electric and/or the Gaffer.

Set Lighting

Definition: The Gaffer (also known as the Chief Lighting Technician) is most often hired by the Director of Photography (DP)and reports to the DP. The Gaffer is typically involved in the lighting plan and implements it. He/she is in charge of the electric department; therefore, supervises the preparation, rigging and wrapping of the department crew. On the set, the Gaffer places lights and takes light readings for the DP. They are expected to be able to match gels (plastic sheeting) to the desired color and achieve a variety of lighting effects, whether it is city or country, day or night, wind or rain, etc.

Boom Operator

Definition: The Boom Operator is tasked with operating the “boom” which is a long pole with a directional microphone that must be held above the Actors. The boom cannot fall into the picture frame or cast a shadow. It is very physically demanding as a boom must be held high overhead for long time periods.

Sound Mixer

Definition: The Sound Mixer works on-set and is in charge of all direct sound recording. It is essential that they supervise the correct positioning of all microphones and sound levels of the monitors. They are accountable for the complete sound recording. They also handle any paperwork for the sound department and deliver sound dailies to the Second Assistant Director (2nd AC). The Sound Mixer also maintains all sound department equipment. They may work in post-production with the Senior Editor. (“Sound Designer” is a vague term and can be interpreted differently on different projects.)

Utility Sound Person

Definition: A Utility Sound Person (aka “Cable Man”) assists the Sound Mixer and Boom Operator in moving the sound equipment. Utility Sound runs cables and makes sure all connections are secure.

Special Effects Coordinator

Definition: The Special Effects Coordinator heads the effects department, which is responsible for all explosions, gunshots, mechanical effects, and atmospheric effects (rain, snow, fog) that take place on the set during a shot. They will work the Stunt Coordinator and the Special Effects Make-up Artist and at times the Property Master and/or the Construction Coordinator.

Special Effects Foreman

Definition: A Special Effects Foreman assists the Coordinator with all tasks, including hiring crew and completing timesheets for the department.

Special Effects Technicians

Definition: Special Effects Technicians are ranked third in this department. They operate and maintain all special effects equipment as directed by the Foreman (i.e. fans, rain, etc.) However they may also be responsible for laborious tasks, such as digging ditches. Note: special effects is not the same as visual effects. Visual effects often correlate with computer generated imagery (CGI) which may be added during editing or in post- production.

Stunt Coordinator

Definition: The Coordinator must determine stunt personnel have been properly trained and the equipment utilized is in better than good condition. Most Stunt Coordinators belong to the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and perform stunts themselves. Safety is their primary concern while not compromising a shot. They are in charge of hiring all Stunt Personnel and Doubles.

Stunt Doubles

Definition: Stunt Doubles take the place of Actors for close-up camera shots during stunt work and are dressed to look as similar as possible to the Actor. The Stunt Persons take direction from the Stunt Coordinators and perform the actual, physical stunt work. Often Stunt Persons have expertise in some physical sport (i.e. martial arts) or have had previous physical training from employment (i.e. military).

Production Van Drivers

Definition: Production van Drivers drive production vans with cast and crew to locations.


Definition: Transpo- Captain handles scheduling of drivers and usually acts as a driver.

Transportation Coordinator

Definition: Transportation Coordinator arranges for all transportation for the equipment required for the cast and crew (when on location). This includes all trucks, autos, and equipment on wheels.

Script Analyst/Consultant

Definition: A Script Analyst/Consultant may be hired to analyze the story’s content in relation to the film’s marketability.


Definition: Writers include those who write or co-write an original script, screenplay or an adaptation of a previously written work. They may write television episode(s) or be contracted for re-writes for any genre including promotions. (Visit the Writer’s Resource Page on the Writers’ Guild of America West, website for additional information.)

Position: Colorist

Definition: A Colorist is an image artist that specifies in altercating or correcting projects, going through frame by frame to ensure color and light continuity. The Colorist may also tweak colors to stylistically heighten them for a required special effect per the Director.

Position: Compositor

Definition: A Compositor layers images (typically digitally, via a computer, as opposed to using optical or physical techniques) to create the illusion that all these elements are parts of the same scene or a new single image. This may include rendering three-dimensional images, built by a Modeler via specialized software, into filmed material (see CGI) or extracting elements from a blue/green screen shot or adding titles or a sound composite.

Digital Imaging Technician

Definition: A Digital Imaging Technician provides assistance with on-set quality control, image manipulation, color correction, production continuity, trouble shooting and consultation.

Lead Render Technician

Definition: The Lead Render Technician creates a final image or sequence of images from a scene description (typically in animation). Animators: Animation Head, Supervisors, Lead Animators, Jr. Animators, Technical Directors and Technical Animators create the illusion of motion by creating individual frames, as opposed to filming naturally occurring action at a regular frame rate. (See also computer generated animation, claymation, time lapse, motion capture and rotoscoping.) Motion Capture is an animation technique in which the actions of an animated object are derived automatically from the motion of a real-world actor or object. Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which images of live action are traced, either manually or automatically. These techniques have an assigned Motion Capture Manager, Assistant Director, Technical Lead, Editor and Actor(s).

Visual Effects Director

Definition: The Visual Effects Director (also referred to as Supervisor) oversees the production’s visual effects crew the technicians that alter the project’s images, most often digitally. The Supervisor typically has an assistant. Prior to Post, they often are on the set for green screen shots and work with the grip and lighting departments to ease the incorporation of effects in post.

Visual Effects Rigger

Definition: A Visual Effects Rigger prepares the miniature models or other inanimate objects to “perform” during the shot. A Rigger may use Motion Control, a camera set-up which records the motion of a camera during a shot so that visual effects can be easily synchronized with the photographed scene.