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Film & TV Production Team


Throughout Production

The director will work with the DoP to develop the filming style. Some directors rehearse actors ahead of shooting in order to 'block' the performance, meaning they choreograph where actors are positioned, where they will move over the course of the shot and how they will deliver their lines. Directors work to get the best performance out of actors but also need to ensure that all technical aspects are in place to get a great scene filmed. They will instruct other crew members, especially lighting, wardrobe and make-up supervisors.

What is a Director Good at?

  • Leadership: share the vision of the film, inspire, manage, make creative decisions.
  • Imagination: envisage their desired film, see it, hear it, create and execute it.
  • Arts knowledge: passion and deep filmic knowledge, appreciation of all art genres.
  • Production: understand the production process from start to finish, both technically and creatively.
  • Staying calm under pressure: working methodically in a high-stress environment, decision making when things don't go to plan.


Throughout Production

During pre-production, screenwriters will develop roughly three drafts of a screenplay, with the final one being known as 'the polish'. This is the version that gets pitched to a producer or film studio. Alternatively, a screenwriter may be commissioned by a producer or studio to create a screenplay. Once a screenplay is picked up by a studio, more screenwriters may be brought in to work with a development producer to get it ready for production.

What is a Screenwriter Good at?

  • Knowledge of screenwriting: what makes a great screenplay? What could make it better?
  • Creativity: well-written and innovative, effective expression of ideas.
  • Arts Knowledge: passion and deep filmic knowledge, appreciation of all art genres especially literature.
  • Watching film and TV: a passion for the industry.
  • Freelancing: finding work and managing finances independently.

Locations Manager

Throughout Production

During pre-production, the locations manager will arrange recces to the locations, take photographs, and detailed notes, start discussions with the location owners and work out costs. They present their findings to the director and, once approved, negotiate and confirm contracts with owners. During filming, location managers manage the location. They make sure everyone in the cast and crew knows how to get there. They negotiate parking, noise reduction, power sources, catering requirements and any official permissions that may be needed with the site’s management or owner. They are responsible for ensuring it’s safe. Afterwards, they will make sure that the location is thoroughly cleaned and, if necessary, completely locked up. If there is any damage, it must be reported to the production office and any insurance claims dealt with.

What is a Locations Manager Good at?

  • Sourcing locations: an eye for architecture, knowledge of landscapes, ability to visualise how a location can be used.
  • Interest in photography: taking good photographs of locations.
  • Law: complying with public liability, trespass, public highway and health and safety legislation.
  • Negotiation: getting the best prices.
  • Organisation: planning and budgeting.
  • Communication: talking to location owners, members of the public and production colleagues.
  • Navigation: not getting lost in unfamiliar places.

Production Accountant

Throughout Production

During pre-production, production accountants help the producers and production managers come up with budgets and prepare estimated final cost reports. Once production begins, they will oversee all payments, manage payroll and provide daily or weekly cost reports. They also produce cost forecasts to evaluate the impact of any production changes. Production accountants prepare a statement of account showing all income and expenditure for the producer or production company and the financiers. They may also have to arrange an independent audit. Depending on how the film is financed, they may also have to deal with bank finance and completion guarantors.

What is a Production accountant Good at?

  • Knowledge of film production: know how films are made and love the industry.
  • Accountancy: good at keeping books and detailed knowledge of Inland Revenue regulations and insurance.
  • Communication: engaging and easy to understand.
  • Using finance software: able to confidently use budgeting packages.
  • Discretion: maintaining confidences.

Costume Designer

Throughout Production

During pre-production, the costume designer will research, sketch and draw mood boards of characters and clothes to communicate the style. They then break down the script, working out what they need to create or hire. Working within tight budgets and deadlines, they recruit a team, organise a schedule of purchases and ensure the costumes are created on time for fittings. With the help of the team, they schedule fittings and take photographs. These are then discussed with the producer and director and signed off. Once shooting starts, they are always on set whenever there are new actors or new looks.

What is a Costume Designer Good at?

  • Styling: understanding and interpreting the director's vision.
  • Costume history: contemporary fashion and clothing design through the ages.
  • Storytelling: telling a story through garments and colour palettes.
  • Making clothes: detailed knowledge of garment production.
  • Organisation: breaking down the script into costume requirements, scheduling, and management
  • Communication: sharing the vision and listening to actors to respond to their needs.

Director of Photography

Throughout Production

On each day of filming, DoPs and their camera crews arrive early to set up and rehearse. Working with the director, the DoPs do blocking (decide the exact movements of both actors and camera). They discuss any special camera moves or lighting requirements with the camera operator, gaffer and grip. Each shot is marked up for focus and framing by the focus puller and then the DoP oversees the lighting of the set for the first take.It’s the job of DoPs to make sure every shot is usable and flag them when they’re not. They view the rushes (raw footage) with the director and work closely with the colourist in post-production. On smaller productions they shoot as well.

What is a Director of Photography Good at?

  • Have an eye for composition: know how to tell a story through a shot, understand camera and lighting techniques, know how to use them to affect emotions
  • Technical knowledge of cameras.
  • Editing knowledge: understand the post-production work flow, have a good eye for colour in the editing process
  • Making decisions: think quickly, often under pressure
  • Organisation: plan, know how to do things and how long it will take, get the right kit and crew, manage the budget, think about logistical and artistic considerations at the same time
  • Communication: ensure everyone in the team knows what’s expected, work closely with the grips and the gaffer, lead the team and resolve conflicts in situations that can sometimes be stressful.

What does a director do?The director is the creative lead of the film. They make sure that the creative vision is held throughout the whole production, all the way through to the final edit. It is not uncommon for the director to be the screenwriter as well. The director must imagine the script in a visual form. They work closely with the producers and casting directors to appoint heads of department and actors.

Director Edgar Wright

What does a locations manager do?The locations manager is responsible for finding the perfect places in the physical world to shoot in. Based on scripts and discussions with the director, production designers and other department heads, location managers start their research.

Screenwriter Walter Hill

What does a screenwriter do?The screenwriter is responsible for the writing and development of screenplays. They prepare their script in a way that enables readers to envisage the setting, emotion and how it will work on screen. They collaborate with producers, directors and actors to draft and redraft their script.

What does a production accountant do?The production accountant is responsible for, calculating finances, working out the cost of a production, talking to the completion guarantor (an insurance policy to make sure the film is delivered on time and on budget) and controlling the cash flow, or spending. If the production has a finance controller, the production accountant works closely with them. If it doesn’t, then the production accountant heads up a team that may include a key assistant accountant, an assistant accountant and an accounts trainee or cashier. They are usually freelancers.

What does a costume designer do?Costume designers design, create and hire the costumes for the cast. They start by working with directors, producers, writers, the production designer and hair and makeup designer to contribute to the look and storytelling of the production.

What does a director of photography do?Directors of photography are responsible for the photographic heart of a production.They read the screenplay and work closely with the director to discuss the look and feel of a film. They then research how to create the look through lighting, framing and camera movement and what they will need in terms of kit and crew to achieve this.

Director of Photography: Roger Deakins