Staff Categories Of A Film Production House
Everyone knows and loves the glamorous side of the film industry. The big screen, as it is colloquially known, is a symbol of huge popularity among the masses. Even smaller ad films get ample views and reach. However, there is a detailed and systematic process behind the scenes that goes into the production of these films. These bodies/companies that create these films are called production houses.
Each film production house in India has several departments and a hierarchy which varies in size based on the size and profile of the production house itself. The bigger and more successful the production house, the more will be the hierarchical branching. Despite that, there are a few roles and departments that are non-negotiable, and have become a mainstay in the film production process.
The director is responsible for executing the creative vision of the film. They have creative control over the production, and are at the top of the hierarchy. They are answerable only to the producers. The director's skill is the reason a film pans out the way it does on camera. They are the voice, the storytellers for the film, and the brain of the filmmaking process.
If the director is the brain, the producer is the heart. The brain cannot function without the heart. Similarly, a film cannot be made without the producer, who organises the finances and establishes a working structure, sets deadlines and comes up with a time-scale for the entire production process. The producer is also responsible for assigning a film crew to the set.
The Assistant Directors function as a well oiled machine to help the director fulfill his vision. They keep the individual units adhered to deadlines and guidelines, and use their problem solving skills to solve any hitches that may arise on set. The bigger the production budget, the more the ADs. After all, two hands are better than one, and the AD, which is a hands-on role, requires all it can get! Most film production companies in Mumbai have at least 2 ADs due to the tedious nature of filming in a bustling city.
This department is primarily responsible for the set, and establishes the mood and look of a film. This department is headed by the production designer and art director. They liaise with the director and create a look that aligns with the director's vision for the film, complete with set design, decoration and props.
The production process revolves around this department. They are the ones with the cameras and the technical know-how to execute the director's instructions. They are led by the director of photography, who relays the guidelines to their team of camera people, and is answerable to the director. They decide the lighting, angles, shots and even the equipment needed to perfectly achieve the desired outcome on camera.
They light up the room! Literally! They are the ones that have access to and control the electrical appliances like lights, reflectors, mics etc, and manipulate them according to the director's vision and the effects he wants to achieve. Film production houses in Mumbai usually have their own standard equipment, but the tech department also has to handle logistics of equipment for outsourced shoots.
Hope your understanding of the basic production house structure is clearer with this information, and you look at your favourite movies with a different, more enlightening perspective!