Television crew

Television crew

Television crew positions are derived from those of film crew, but with several differences.


Everything before the shooting of the film is known as the pre-production stage. People involved in this stage include the director, the producer, the scriptwriter, the researcher, the set designer, the make-up artist, and the costume designer.


A television director is usually responsible for directing the actors and other filmed aspects of a television production. His role differs from that of a film director because the major creative control will likely belong to the producer. In general, the actors and other regular artists on a show will be familiar enough with their roles that the director's input will be confined to technical issues. The director is responsible for all creative aspects of a movie. The director would most likely assist with hiring the cast (and possibly the crew). He helps decide on the locations, creates a plan of shooting, and sets a mental layout of shot by shot in his minds eye. During shooting, the director supervises the overall project, manages shots, and keeps the assignment on budget, and schedule. Although the director holds much power, he is second in command after the producer, who ultimately hired him (unless he holds both positions). Some directors are also the producers of their program, and, with the approval of the funding studio, have a much tighter grip on what makes the final cut than directors usually have.


In the entertainment industry, a television producer (compare to film producer) is generally in charge of, or helps to coordinate, the financial, legal, administrative, technological and artistic aspects of a production. In television, a television producer can be given one of the following titles:

* Associate producer: Performs limited producing functions under the authority of a producer; often in charge of the day-to-day running of a production. Usually the producer's head assistant, although the task can differ. They are frequently a connection between everyone making shooting possible (the production team) and the people involved after filming to finalize the production, and get it publicized (the post-production team). Occasionally credit for this role is given to the product's financial backer, or the person who originally brought the assignment to the producer.

* Assistant Producer (AP): In the UK), this is the closest role to that of a film director. An Assistant Producer often doubles as an experienced Researcher, and takes direct charge of the creative content and action within a programme. The title of Director is usually reserved only for drama productions and those which bear most similarity to films, or for those who control a multi-camera shoot from the "Gallery".

* Cooordinating producer: Coordinates the work of two or more producers working separately on one or more productions.

* Co-producer: Typically performs producing functions in tandem with one or more other co-producers (working as a team, rather than separately on different aspects of the production).

* Executive producer: Supervises one or more producers in all aspects of their work; sometimes the initiator of the production; usually the ultimate authority on the creative and business aspects of the production (except to the extent that a film director retains creative control). If the title is designated correctly, the executive producer would arrange for the project's financial backing and attempt to maintain a well budgeted production. Far too often, the executive producer's role is given falsely to a power player in the equation - sometimes an actor, an actor's agent, or someone else who aided in the production of the project.

* Line producer: Supervises the physical aspects of the production (not the creative aspects), including personnel, technology, budget, and scheduling. The line producer oversees the project's budget. This involves operating costs such as salaries, production costs, and everyday equipment rental costs. The line producer works with the production manager on costs and expenditure.

* Segment producer: Produces one or more components of a multipart production.

* Supervising producer: Supervises one or more producers in some or all aspects of their work; usually works under the authority of an executive producer.

Casting Director

Casts the actors. Usually one of the first crew members attached to the project. In fact, when a Television Pilot is initially cast the Executive Producer and Casting Director are often the only crew members.


Researchers research the project ahead of shooting time to increase truth, factual content, creative content, original ideas, background information, and sometimes performs minor searches such as flight details, location conditions, accommodation details, etc. It is their task to inform the director, producer, and writer of all ideas, and knowledge related to what task is being undertaken, or what a scene/ event/prop/ or backdrop needs to be included to make the show factual and ultimately more believable.


The writer creates and moulds an original story, or adapts other written, told, or acted stories for production of a television show. Their finished work is called a script. A script may also have been a contribution of many writers, so it is the Writers Guild of America’s task to designate who gets the credit as being 'the Writer'. 'Written By' in the credits, is a Writers Guild of America assigned terminology meaning "Original Story and Screenplay By". A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture, and a teleplay is the replica for a television show. Writers can also come under the category of screenwriters. Screenwriters, (or script writers), are authors who write the screenplays from which productions are made just as a writer does. Many of them also work as "script doctors," attempting to change scripts to suit directors or studios; Script-doctoring can be quite lucrative, especially for the better known writers. Most professional screenwriters are unionized and are represented by organisations such as the Writers Guild of America.

Make-up artist

A professional make up artist is usually a beautician, and applies makeup to anyone appearing on screen. They concentrate on the area above the chest, the face, the top of the head, the fingers, hands, arms, and elbows. Their role is to manipulate an actor's on screen appearance whether it makes them look more youthful, larger, older, or in some cases monstrous. There are also body makeup artist who concentrate their abilities on the body rather than the head. Make-up itself is substances to enhance the beauty of the human body, but can also change the appearance, disguise, or costume someone. Along with the make-up artists, the hair stylists, costume designers, and dress technicians all combine their effort into transforming an actor into a character, or a person into a presenter.

Production designer

The production designer is the person with the responsibility of the visual appearance of a production. They design, plan, organize, and arrange set design, equipment availability, as well as the on screen appearance a production will have. A production designer is often referred to also as the set designer, or scenic designer. They are trained professionals, often with MFA degrees in scenic design. The set designer is responsible for collaborating with the theatre director to create an environment for the production and then communicating the details of this environment to the technical director, scenic artist and props master. Scenic designers are responsible for creating scale models of the scenery as well as scale drawings. The set designer also takes instructions from the art director to create the appearance of the stage, and design its technical assembly. The art director, who can also be the production designer, plans and oversees the formation of settings for a project. They are fully aware and conscious of art and design styles, including architecture and interior design. They also work with the cinematographer to accomplish the precise appearance for the project.

Costume designer

The costume designer makes all the clothing and costumes worn by all the actors on screen, as well as designing, planning, and organizing the construction of the garments down to the fabric, colours, and sizes. They greatly contribute to the appearance of the film, and set a particular mood, time, feeling, or genre. They alter the overall appearance of a project with their designs and constructions, including impacting on the style of the project, and how the audience interprets the show's characters.


Everything while the shooting of the film is in progress is part of the so called “production” stage. People involved in this stage of production include the cinematographer, production manager, the technical director, the boom operator, the gaffer, the dolly grip, the key grip and the stunt coordinator.

Floor Manager

The Floor Manager is the Director's representative on the studio floor, and is responsible for giving instruction and direction to crew, cast and guests. It is closest to the role of an Assistant Director, as the job frequently entails barking orders to keep a production moving to schedule. The Floor Manager is always in direct contact with the Director via "talkback" in the gallery.

Assistant Floor Manager

An Assistant Floor Manager (frequently abbreviated to AFM) is responsible for setting a stage and prompting contributors on the studio floor and ensuring that everyone knows their place in the script, freeing the Floor Manager for other duties. They often oversee a team of Runners. Increasingly, Assistant Floor Managers are being asked to assist with the design and preparation of props, as well as setting and resetting the action on the studio floor.

Camera operator/cinematographer

As the head member of the camera crew, the camera operator uses the camera as coached by the director. They are accountable for maintaining the required action is correctly filmed in the frame, and needs to react instinctively as the proceedings take place. If the camera operator is also a cinematographer, they also help establish the theme and appearance of the show. The cinematographer or director of photography regulates the lighting for every scene, is responsible for framing some shots, chooses the lenses to be used, decides on film stock and guarantees that the visual appearance of the project follows to the directors initial foresight. However, the cinematographer would usually not maneuver the camera on the set, as this is usually the exclusive role of a camera operator.

Production manager

The production manager performs deals concerned with business about the crew, and organizes the technical needs of the production. This would involve many things ranging from gaining the correct equipment with the exact technical requirements; to arranging accommodation for the cast and crew. The production manager reports their expenses and needs to the line producer.

Technical director

In a production control room (PCR), the technical director has overall responsibility for the operations. The technical director is responsible for the proper working of all the equipment in the PCR. They also matches the quality and the output of all the cameras on the studio floor through the camera control units. It is their responsibility to supervise all the other crew members working in the PCR. The technical director also coordinates the working of the whole crew and looks into any technical problem which arises before, during or after the shooting of a project.

Boom operator

The boom operator is an assistant of the sound engineer or "sound mixer". The main responsibility of the boom operator is microphone placement, sometimes using a "fishpole" with a microphone attached to the end and sometimes, when the situation permits, using a "boom" (most often a "fisher boom") which is a special piece of equipment that the operator stands on and that allows precise control of the microphone at a much greater distance away from the actors. They will also place wireless microphones on actors when it is necessary. The boom operator is part of the sound crew, who manages to keep the microphone boom, near to the action, but away from the camera frame, so that it never appears onscreen, but allows the microphone to pursue the actors as they move. They work closely with the production sound mixer, or sound recordist, to record all sound while filming including background noises, dialogue, sound effects, and silence.


The gaffer is the head electrician at the production set, and is in charge of lighting the stage in accordance with the direction of the cinematographer. In television the term chief lighting director is often used instead of gaffer, and sometimes the technical director will light the studio set. The gaffer reports to the Director of Photography (DoP), Lighting Director (LD) or Lighting Designer, and will usually have an assistant called a Best Boy and a crew of rigging electricians.

Dolly grip

In cinematography, the dolly grip is the individual who places and moves the dolly track were it is required, and then pushes and pulls the dolly along that track while filming. A dolly grip must work closely with the camera crew to perfect these complex movements during rehearsals. For moving shots, dolly grips may also push the wheeled platform holding the microphone and boom operator. The dolly is a cart that the tripod and camera (and occasionally the camera crew) rest on. It makes the camera able to move without bumps and visual interruptions from start to finish while the camera is filming. It is commonly used to follow beside an actor to give the audience the sense of walking with the actor, or as the actor.

Key grip

The key grip is the head grip on the production set. It is a grip's task to create shadow effects with lights and occasionally maneuver camera cranes, dollies and platforms while receiving direction from the cinematographer. The term grip is used in slightly different ways in American and British or Australian film making. In the British and Australian film industries, a grip is responsible for camera mounting and support, which can include anything beyond a basic tripod. Lighting in British and Australian film-making is headed by the gaffer, who is also part of the camera department. Grips can also be the people that do the laborious work on sets. These type of grips push, pull, roll, and lift various pieces of equipment under the watchful eye of the television director, producer, or art director.


Runners are the most junior members of a television crew. They are responsible for fetching and carrying and doing most of the donkey-work of a production. Their role is usually to support anyone who needs help in a variety of ways, until such time as they have learned enough to assume more responsibilities.

tunt Coordinator

Where the programme requires a stunt, and involves the use of stunt performers, the stunt coordinator will arrange the casting and performance of the stunt, working closely with the director.

Gallery/Control Room Team

The following crew positions are only utilised on a "multi-camera" production. The Gallery or "Control Room" is a separate darkened area away from the studio floor where the action can be viewed across multiple monitors and controlled from a single source.

Television director - Director

Unlike the film counterpart, a Director in television usually refers to the Gallery (or Control Room) Director, who is responsible for the creative look of a production through selecting which shots to use at any given moment. The Director views the action on the studio floor through a bank of screens, each one linked to one of the studio cameras, while issuing instructions down to the Floor Manager. They also control the Gallery area, calling for sound rolls, on-screen graphics ("Astons") and video rolls ("VT's"). Some directors also work more closely with on-camera talent and others also act as both producer and director.

Production Assistant

Commonly referred to simply as the "PA", the Production Assistant assumes a prompting role in the Gallery or Control Room. They are responsible for communication with the broadcasting channel during a live show, counting down the time before transmission aloud to the crew via the studio microphone. They also count down time remaining for sections of a programme, such as an interview or an advert break. Prior to a production, the PA is responsible for preparing and timing the script, noting pre-recorded inserts, sound effects and suchlike, and for clearing copyright and other administrative issues.

Vision Mixer or Switcher

The Vision Mixer is responsible for the actual switching between different video sources, such as camera shots and video inserts. They also maintain colour and contrast balance between the studio cameras. Vision mixer is, confusingly, also the name of the equipment which the Vision Mixer operates.

Aston, Chyron, or Graphics operator

The Aston Operator prepares and displays on-screen graphics.

Video Control Operator

VT Operator

The VT Operator, also known as a Video Tape Operator or VTR Operator, cues and prepares video inserts into a programme. Heavily used in sports programming, they are also responsible for action replays and quickly editing highlights while a show is in progress.


Everything after the shooting of the film is post production. People involved in this stage of production include the editor, the publicist, the sound editor, the Foley artist, the composer, the title sequence designer, and the specialist editors.


The editor works in tandem with the director in editing the film that has been shot. The director has the ultimate accountability for editing choices, but often the editor has substantial contribution in the creative decisions concerned in piecing together a finalized product. Often, the editor commences their role whilst filming is still in process, by compiling initial takes of footage. It is an extremely long process to edit a television show, demonstrating the importance, and significance editing has on a production. Gradually more editors are beginning to work on a digital computerized editing system, limiting physical touching of the actual film, decreasing film corruption due to touch.

The editor follows the screenplay as the guide for establishing the structure of the story and then uses his/her talents to assemble the various shots and takes for greater, clearer artistic effect. There are several editing stages. In the first stage, the editor is supervised by the director, who spells their vision to the editor. Therefore, this first rough cut is often called the "director's cut,". After the first stage, the following cuts are supervised by one or more producers, who represent the production company and its investors. Consequently, the final cut is the one that most closely represents what the studio wants from the film and not necessarily what the director wants.

ound editor

In television, the sound editor deals with the mixing, adjusting and fixing of the soundtrack. They usually have a major decision-making and creative role when it comes to sound and audio. A sound editor also decides what sound effects to use and what effects to achieve from the sound effects, edits and makes new sounds using filters and combining sounds, shaping sound with volume curves, and equalizing. A sound editor takes the Foley artist's sounds and puts them in place so it works with the picture and sounds natural, even if the sound is "un"natural. In many cases, a sound editor uses a sound effects library extensively, either self-compiled, bought or both, as many of the sounds don't get enough focus if they were taken straight from the shoot of the show.

Foley artist

The Foley artist on a film crew is the person who creates and records many of the sound effects. Foley artists, editors, and supervisors are highly specialized and are essential for producing a professional-sounding soundtrack, often reproducing commonplace yet essential sounds like footsteps or the rustle of clothing. The Foley artist also fabricates sounds that can’t be correctly recorded while filming, much like the sound editor does with digital sound effects.


A publicist, or advertiser has the task of raising public awareness of a production, and ultimately increase viewers and sales of it and its merchandise. The publicist's main task is to stimulate demand for a product through advertising and promotion. Advertisers use several recognizable techniques in order to better convince the public to buy a product. These may include:

*Repetition: Some advertisers concentrate on making sure their product is widely recognized. To that end, they simply attempt to make the name remembered through repetition.
*Bandwagon: By implying that the product is widely viewed, advertisers hope to convince potential buyers to "get on the bandwagon."
*Testimonials: Advertisers often attempt to promote the superior worth of their product through the testimony of ordinary users, experts, or both. For example using film critics or media personalities. This approach often involves an appeal to authority such as a doctor of media science.
*Pressure: By attempting to make people choose quickly and without long consideration, some advertisers hope to make rapid sales, and a sense of urgency to watch or buy a product.
*Association: Advertisers often attempt to associate their product with desirable things, in order to make it seem equally desirable. The use of attractive models, picturesque landscapes, and other similar imagery is common. "Buzzwords" with desired associations are also used.
*Imagery: Using advertising slogans, logos, or a common image increases familiarity, trust, personality of a production, and the ability for the show to be remembered.

The publicist ensures the media are well aware of a project by distributing the show as a trial run, or a “sneak preview”; through press releases, interviews with members of the cast or crew, arranging exclusive public visits on set of the production, and creating media kits, which contain pictures, posters, clips, shorts, and trailers and brief descriptions on the show and the plot.


A composer is a person who writes the music for a production. They may also be the conductor of an orchestra who plays the music, or part of the orchestra. The composer is the originator of the music, and usually its first performer. The composer occasionally writes the theme music for a television show. A television program's theme music is a melody closely associated with the show, and usually played during the title sequence and end credits. If it is accompanied by lyrics, it is a theme song.

Title sequence designer

A title sequence, in a television program, is shown at the beginning of the show; which displays the show name and credits, usually including actors, producers and directors. A montage of selected images and a theme song are often included to suggest the essential tone of the series. A title sequence is essential in preparing the audience for the following program, and gives them a sense of familiarity that makes them trust, and feel comfortable with the film. It is up to the title sequence designer to achieve this very goal, and make it catchy, entertaining, and appealing to increase the audiences feeling of positivity towards the show.

Post-Production Runner

A post-production runner, like a production runner, carries out tasks that are essential to the smooth running of a post-production house. They are the most junior members of a post-production team.

Specialist editors

pecial effects co-ordinator

Special effects (SPFX) are used in television to create effects that cannot be achieved by normal means, such as depicting travel to other star systems. They are also used when creating the effect by normal means is prohibitively expensive, such as an enormous explosion. They are also used to enhance previously filmed elements, by adding, removing or enhancing objects within the scene. The special effects co-ordinator implicates these effects, and directs them with the help of the visual effects director. The task of the effects co-ordinator differs frequently, and can range from extensive over-the-top special effects to basic computer animation. [] - Visit Now!

ADR editor

Automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of replacing dialogue that was recorded incorrectly during filming, with the actors voices recorded and put into place during editing. The ADR editor oversees the procedure and takes the corrupted dialogue, and replaces it with newly recorded lines to the actor's mouth on film to make it lip sync correctly.

The matte artist or bluescreen director

Bluescreen is the film technique of shooting foreground action against a blue background, which is then replaced by a separately shot "background plate" scene by either optical effects or digital composting. This process is directed and co-ordinated by the blue screen director. The matte artist is a part of the special effects department who assists in making scenery and locations that don’t exist. They assemble backgrounds using traditional techniques or computers that mix with the footage filmed to create a false set. Both are fairly alike, but bluescreen technology is more modern and more widely used.

See also

*List of motion picture-related topics
*Television studio
*Film crew

External links

* [ Breaking Into Production: How To Get Your First PA Job]
* [ A Few Things I Learned From My First Experience as a Production Assistant] An editorialized synopsis of the production departments, from the perspective of a Production Assistant.

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