“The Production Department is the core of a movie set… If the Director is ‘Captain’ then the Studio is the ‘Commander-in Chief’ and the Producers are the ‘Generals’.”
Reference: ON THE SET: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette by Paul J. Salamo (Third Edition)
Craft Departments are listed below on tabs. Click a tab for a brief description and the positions associated with that department.
Positions: Director, Screenwriter, Executive Producer, Producer, Line Producer, Unit Production Manager (UPM), 1st Assistant Director (1st A.D.), 2nd Assistant Director (2nd A.D.), 2nd 2nd Assistant Director (2nd 2nd A.D.), (Set) Production Assistant (P.A.); Script Supervisor
Positions: Actor, Stand-In, Body Double, Stunt Double, Background; Related: Casting Director, Extra Wrangler
Positions: Director of Photography (D.P.): a.k.a. The Cinematographer, Camera Operator, 1st Assistant Camera (1st A.C.), 2nd Assistant Camera (2nd A.C.), Loader, DIT (Digital Imaging Technician), Still Photographer.
Positions: Sound Mixer, Boom Operator, Cable/Utility, Video Assist Operator, Wranglers/PAs.
Positions: Gaffer: a.k.a. Chief Lighting Technician, Best Boy Electric: a.k.a. Assistant Chief Lighting Technician, Set Lighting Technician / Lamp Operator, Dimmer Operator
Positions: Key Grip, Best Boy Grip (a.k.a. Assistant Key Grip), Dolly Grip, Grip
Positions: Key Make-Up Artist, Make-Up Assistant, Body Make-Up Artist, Make-Up Artist; Key Hair Stylist, Hair Stylist; Lens Technician
Positions: Costume Designer, Assistant Costume Designer, Costume Supervisor, Set Costumer, Costumer, Tailor/Seamstress
Positions: Production Designer, Art Director; Set Decorator, Leadperson, Set Dresser, On-Set Dresser, Swing; Construction Coordinator, Construction Foreman, (and Gang bosses), Toolperson, Carpenters (Propmakers), Utility; Scenic Artist, On-Set Painter, Set Painter; Greensperson
Positions: Property Master, Assistant, Set Props or Props Person, Food Stylist, Armorer
- SPECIAL FX & STUNTS
- OFFICE & ACCOUNTING
- CATERING, CRAFT SERVICE & MEDICS
- TRANSPORTATION & WRANGLERS
Positions: SPFX Coordinator, Visual FX Supervisor, Mechanical / Physical Effects; Make-Up Effects, Creature Effects, Visual Effects, Technicians, Pyro-technician (Licensed); Stunt Coordinator, Stunt Person
Positions: Locations Manager (Key), Assistant Locations Manager, Location Assistant or Location Coordinator, Locations PAs; Location Scout
Positions: Production Office Coordinator (POC), Assistant Production Office Coordinator (APOC), Production Secretary and/or Key Office PA, Travel Coordinator, Office PA.
“Without Production Accounting, no one would get paid which is usually the crew’s top priority. This department handles crew payroll, issuing checks, petty cash and, if on location, per diem.”
Positions: Production Accountant, Payroll Accountant, 1st Accountant, 2nd Accountant, Clerk, Post-Accountant
Positions: Caterer (On-Set Vendor in NM), Medic (On Set, often also Off Set), Craft Service – Key, Second, Assistants
“Specially licensed and trained individuals provide and directly work with the animals during the shoot (Wranglers). All animal activity on a set is monitored by the Humane Society…”
Positions: Transportation Coordinator, Captain, Dispatcher, Drivers, Picture Car Coordinator; Animal Wrangler and Animal Trainer, and a Human Society Representative
Below is a basic, no nonsense introduction to craft departments and the structure of physical production.
Below is a 16 minute plus informational video on the film and television craft departments, the positions within each craft department, and the typical union affiliations in New Mexico.
Although Shootnm.org cannot determine the accuracy of these websites or does not have any control of changes made to these links, here are some additional sources for your consideration and research about crew positions:
NMFO Glossary of Crew Positions
(New Mexico State Film Office)
IMDB Movie Terminology
(Internet Movie Database)