Dissecting a Film Crew: The Production Office

Dissecting a Film Crew: The Production Office

Notice in the movies when they roll the end credits showing the cast member’s and film crew’s name? Ever wondered what a key grip does, or what part does the best boy play in there? Why is the end credits so long? Keep on reading and you’ll surely find out.

Under Milk Wood's film crew

Most people think a film crew covers everyone involved in a film production including the cast, or the actors.

A production company hires a film crew to help in producing a movie, a documentary perhaps, or a TV commercial. The actors on the other hand, are the cast and they bring their acting acting skills in front of the camera, or maybe provide their voices for characters in the movie.

Let’s start with the production office. Often called the front office, this is where you go when you need to talk to a production manager, or a production assistant. The production office is also where you would usually find the accounting staff, assistant directors, and location managers.

  • Production manager – in charge of the production personnel, budget, scheduling, and technology. It is important that the production manager stays on top of the filming schedule and the project operating within budget. This means managing daily operating costs including personnel salaries, equipment rental costs, and production costs.
  • Production coordinator – an essential film crew member who handles production logistics such as hiring personnel, booking clients and renting equipment
  • Assistant director – there are the 1st assistant director and the second who are usually tasked with daily management of everyone involved in the project; from the whole cast and crew, to scheduling, scripts, the set, and equipment
  • Production assistant –  called “PA’s”, assistant to the 1st assistant director in set operations and helps with general tasks in the production office
  • Script supervisor – keeps track of story continuity, what parts of the script has been put into film and any deviations from it

In the second part, we tackle other film crew members who handle and set up the lighting equipment, the cameras, props, the art department, and the make-up department.

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