The Dream Team - 7 People You Should Have on Your Production Team

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

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"Where is the nearest power source?" Ask the Gaffer. "What shot goes next?" Ask the Assistant Director. "Can someone bring the talent some coffee?" Ask the production assistant.

What makes a great production is of course the collaboration between a group of people specialized in different fields of the video production industry. According to a post on Steffen Follows, on average, it takes 588 crew members to make a Hollywood film. Iron Man 3 had 3,310 people involved in its creation.

Now, those are some huge numbers because of the size, budget, and needs of the production. There are directors, then the assistant directors, and their assistants, and the assistants of the assistants. The list goes on and on-- and that's only one department! There is an art department, a visual effects department, a writing department, a stunt department, wardrobe department! Each with their own hierarchy of people. Does your production need all of these people too? Well, yes and no.

Mostly no.

It would be ideal to have each member in charge of something they are good at for your production, but it most important to understand why such a long list of people exists. I will list a group of people you most definitely want on your crew, and why they are important. Then, you decide how you'll build a dream team for your next production.

A Dream Team for the Small Productions

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1. Producer

A person who can plan, coordinate, finance, and supervise the production is probably the most important of the team. This person will help with organizing of the schedules, budgets, writing, talking with clients, and has final creative control of the project. Their job is that the production is finished on time and within the budget.

As producer, I have meetings with clients to listen to their ideas, write treatments, make mood boards. Then I spend time looking at the budgets to see who I can hire, where I can film this, and when it can be done. The last part of my duties are to fill in call sheets, storyboards or shot lists, and even scripts. A lot of my time is taken by making phone calls to make sure everything goes as planned.

A producer can be a director, but, if within budget, they will hire someone who has more experience, talent, and focus for the project.

2. Director

The one stuck in between tech and acting. The director is a leader for two sides of a production. They control both the visual and dramatic aspects of a project. This is someone creative, who saw the scripts, and saw the plans and now knows how to get the team to deliver accordingly. They are eyes, mouth, ears, and sometimes nose. They work closely with other members of the team to make sure everyone has an identical vision for the project.

As director, I describe the scene with the crew so that they know how to light it, shoot it, and act it. Actors get told who they are, their goals, and what action they are to take. I decide how many shots of the same scene are to be taken before I yell out THAT'S A WRAP, at midnight on a Monday.

3. Assistant Director