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Student Roles in a Film Production

Student Roles in a Film Production

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

Depending on the project, students can be grouped in various ways, but here are some basic ways you might want to configure your class. Students should not remain static throughout the program duration, as each person should have an opportunity to try each part of the filmmaking process, and no one student is in charge of the production. These are the primary roles that we recommend for classroom film projects (you can also refer to the Appendices for a full list of roles on a film set). 

Director: Initiates action in every take, decides how a scene is played out and what the composition of the shot should look like. This is a role that allows students to exercise leadership, decision-making, and creativity. Because no one student should be entirely in charge of the production, this role must rotate. 

Assistant Director/Producer: Plans out and helps manage shoots, gathers materials, and tracks footage. 

Camera: Reports to the director and manages the camera while shooting principal photography, coverage, B-roll, and pick-up shots. 

Light/Sound: Chooses locations for shooting that are well lit and makes sure that subjects or actors are properly heard. The light/sound group can also be responsible for locating or creating appropriate music for their project. 

Editor: Responsible for all aspects of post-production. During pre-production, these students can work on storyboarding, planning out what shots they will need for post-production, and working with camera and sound students to ensure that the group has enough coverage and B-roll for post. 

On-Camera Talent: Actors or documentary subjects 

Art Director: Responsible for costumes, set design, props, and the general look and feel of the production.

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