Key Roles in Film Production
The writer, or screenwriter's role within the production of a film is to advise in terms of producing the film and make sure that the storyline/narrative that they are trying to convey in put across to the audience in a clear manner. Once the actual movie is made, the writer then all helps the film to make it into cinemas by helping to sell it to film studios and production companies. A part of their role as a writer is not only to make sure that the film is well made and scripted, but also to push their film or 'project' to be chosen by bigger production companies to get them to turn their ideas into big movies or TV shows. If they let the production companies lose interest in their work, then it can go dead and their ideas will be forgotten and will go to waste. The writers work closely with the producers, literary agents, entertainment lawyers and exclusives as well as the director in order to work towards furthering the project. The screenwriter will only become credited once their work is published, giving them the opportunity to increase their reputation and income.
Producers within film have various responsibilities throughout the development, pre-production, production and post-production stages. During the development stage, the producer must find suitable material that they find they can work with and find the rights to use it. This process usually takes a lot of time and effort on the producers part as they have to comply with the wants and needs of those who hold ownership over different aspects of the material, which can be a long and difficult process. After the developmental stage, the producer can then begin the pre-production process which allows them to employ other components of a film making team such as a screenwriter (unless the film will keep its original script) or if the script needs to be amended, a script doctor. The film producer also has the final say on who directs the film and in some cases, who is employed in the films cast. As the producer has to oversee many things, they cannot always be present at each stage within the actual production of the film, therefore they tend to work in units or they will appoint executive producers, line producers, unit production managers, etc. Once everything has been filmed and edited, the producer then decides on the finalities within the film such as the cutting out or adding of new scenes as well as the films music. They will then sell the film or arrange distribution rights.
The casting director is involved with a lot of the work that goes on within the pre-production stage of a film. They are a liaison between the director, actors, agents/managers and the studio/network that supplies the necessary aid needed to find the characters that are needed for the script. The casting director will mainly focus on finding extras for the movie as the main actors will be found directly through agencies or they will be directly contacted by the director via their agents. The casting director will also look at where the shooting locations for the film are and they will then decide where the best place to look for extras will be based on the geographical importance.
The director controls the films dramatic and artistic aspects whilst visualizing the script and guiding the technical crew in order to fulfil the vision of the film. They have a say in the cast members, production design and all of the creative aspects of the film as they bring in their own interpretations of the film. The director could also be seen as the author of the film. A lot of directors start out as screenwriters, editors, and sometimes actors so they have experience with other areas within the industry and will almost always have a particular influence on certain aspects of the film such as the editing or the music composition. They might even do it themselves. The director is also responsible for meeting deadlines and making sure that their cast and crew are working at a good pace and that they are all happy, along with giving them constructive feedback. Overall, the director controls what goes on within the production of the film in terms of creativity, timings, staying within their budget and making sure that the production team are well and working.
Film finance is a process that occurs within the developmental stage within film production, before the pre-production stage. This is where the value of the film is determined, which effects the proposed budget that they production team would need in order to create the film as well as the predicted profit that they will make from the film.
A camera operator, or cinematographer, is in charge of manning a camera whilst it is in use during the filming process of a production. They are responsible for maintaining the composition of the camera angles throughout each scene/shot as well as collaborating with the director, director of photography, actors and the technical crew. Within this collaboration, the camera operator will have a say in the technical and creative decisions, thus becoming a part of the film crew with the director of photography. A camera operator will need knowledge and skill within choreographing, framing shots and selecting the proper equipment needed in order to capture the right shot, eg: lenses, dollys, camera cranes, etc.
Film editing is a creative process that takes place during the post-production stage of film making. Traditionally, editors would have to physically cut the film, however nowadays it has been made easier because of the introduction of digital editing. The editor works with the raw footage taken from the filming process and makes the necessary changes needed to make the finished motion picture. Elements such as sound will be considered and looked over by the editor and the director so that the sounds/music and visual effects marry up and work well together.
The production designer is responsible for making sure that the overall look of a film project such as a TV programme or music video is up to standard and effective. They have a key role in the creation of motion pictures and TV and they will work closely with the director and producer to ensure that they can visually tell the story to the audience. As well as the overall project, the production designer also takes part in the design of the PR/advertising elements which will go on show before the actual movie/film project has been released.
The marketing department's main responsibility is to convince the audience that the project that they are involved with/working on is a 'must see' production. Once a target audience has been established by the distributors, the marketing team will start producing a campaign/advertising scheme to try and get their target audience to show interest and watch the film/project.Once the advertising campaign has been launched, the marketing team will watch the statistics and levels of interest from the public/target audience and they will then troubleshoot and improve their campaign to increase interest. Marketing has to take many things into account when deciding on how they are going to go about their campaigns as they may be influenced by the culture, religion, age, etc. of their target audience.
The exhibition occurs after the film has been finished and is released/shown to the public. This is the retail stage of the film process, it does not involve the production or distribution of the film, but it is their public screening. Because the exhibitioners (eg: cinemas) have control over who sees the film and when, they could be held accountable and have a heavy influence over how successful the film is in terms of box office sales and the reception of films. The exhibitioners have to deal with having competition from other exhibitors/film distributors as well as making sure they are complying with the government regulatory bodies and the rest of the commercial entertainment industry.