Film Roles Explained: Everything You Need To Know About Film Roles

May 31st, 2021  |  by amaliehluthra

Film Roles Explained:

Filmmaking is an exciting process. It takes lots of effort and teamwork to make a film. There are many professionals involved in the pre-production, production and post-production stages. In most, if not all, there are credits that are run before and after the film.

It showcases every professional who took part in the movie. The credits are usually run in preference, with the front credits going to the big companies and significant professionals. On the back end of the film, most filmmakers list all the parties involved.

Some of the most important roles include; directors, assistant director, casting director, location manager, producer, sound crew, special effects, editor, scriptwriter and more.

Let's take a look at it in greater detail at the film roles:

Film Roles Explained: Everything You Need To Know About Film Roles


The director’s role is usually assigned to the topmost professional whose skills and experience match the title. A film's director is tasked with the visualization aspect of the film and bringing it to life. A director will also be required to bring out the artistic feel to a film.

Assistant directors

ADs, are they are commonly referred to, are the safety managers of the site. Depending on the size of the film, there can be several Ads in a film. Mostly, their work is to ensure that everything runs each day smoothly. They will make sure the right scene is shot, the next scene is prepped, and the general well-being of the film is catered for.

Location manager

They usually arrive at the scene or set location well in advance. Picking up a good site is also a part of their job description. Location managers are selected early enough and will have several sit-downs with the directors to go through the script, phase by phase. Location managers usually prep and run the filming location all by themselves.

Production designer

A production designer usually runs the art department, one of the biggest in the industry. The production designer must work closely with all the directors to get it right with everything art about the film. From the props to set dressing and set builds, they come up with everything to match the story and characters.

Costume designer

Everything that the cast will wear in a film has to go through the hands of the costume designer. In modern and simple movies, the job of a costume designer is relatively simple. But in films such as medieval and friction movies, it gets all the more enjoyable. A costume designer runs the costume department and must understand every aspect of the film.


What's a film without cameras, right? A cinematographer has a crucial role to play in the whole filmmaking process. The head of the camera department is usually involved from the very beginning. They help pick the right camera, the lenses, lighting and everything in between. It's such a crucial role as a wrong crew, or faulty equipment or lighting can mess the whole film.

Sound crew

Their job is as easy as it sounds, pun intended. They usually run the whole audio department and ensure the quality of the audio is up to standard. The sound crew must pick the right microphone and monitor the sound levels of each shoot. Throughout the shooting, they must bring their best foot forward to guarantee good quality audio.


A producer's function can vary from film to film. Usually, a producer will be involved in the day to day activities on site. In some film, the producer can be tasked with securing the film's name, while in others, they ensure that the script is followed and scenes are well articulated. The producers will work with all the other department for efficiency.

Hair and make-up

Usually run by make-up artists, the hair and make-up department works on the general appearances of actors and actresses. They run the cast make-up designs and follow the main vision of the film as set by the director. The more sophisticated a script is, the more make-up skills needed.

Grip crew

The grip crew is probably one of the least known departments. It usually goes well beyond the norm to ensure the right camera, rigging and other equipment are selected and mounted. Working closely with the department of cinematography, they will choose the right pieces of equipment needed to shook each scene. Sounds easy and pretty much straightforward, but it is a lot of work.

Other notable mentions include;

Key Grip, special effects, mixer, gaffer, casting director, construction coordinator, stand-in, among others.

The final cut

As you can see, there are lots and lots of professionals needed to make a film. The bigger the film, the more professionals required. Excellent coordination is required to make it a success.


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