What's the point of making films?

Thirst for knowledge : Who does what in the film

Making films is the dream of many young people. Mine too. That is why I have been working in various positions for a number of years - from assistant director to production manager and young director. Patience and perseverance are important prerequisites. You learn that on the first day of shooting. Nevertheless, at some point you sit in the cinema, the lights go out, the first pictures appear on the screen, the viewers smile and are touched. That is the reward for the effort and hardship. The way to this moment is usually very long, winding and rocky. Fortunately, you are not alone on this path. He is gone by many people. But who does what? Here I am going to describe some of the jobs that exist in film.


The film producer decides (not alone) which films should be made and whether it is worth fighting for a certain topic, idea and story. He has to weigh up whether a film will attract viewers, how much money it will cost, and where the budget will come from. Once the decision has been made in favor of a film, the producer speaks with editors, speakers from film funding agencies, donors and key staff members who are supposed to be involved in the implementation. The producer bears financial responsibility in all phases of film production, from financing, project development and shooting to post-production and marketing.


The artistic responsibility lies with the director. Therefore, a trusting cooperation between director and producer, as well as the rest of the production team, is very important. The director develops a vision of the story. He imagines how the basic idea will be creatively implemented on all levels. This includes the acting of the actors, the camera work, the film music, the production design and the editing. The director's main job is to make sure that everyone pulls together and does their best to make the film a reality.


A scriptwriter, sometimes the director himself, develops the story in scenes and images. Screenwriting means making actions and conflicts visually imaginable and developing an arc of tension. The audience should be captivated. In addition to creativity, this also includes openness, because as a rule the opinions of the producer, director, editors and sponsors must be taken into account in the script so that it can be implemented.


The producer is responsible for all content-related and organizational steps in a film production. He works closely with the producer and the director and - depending on the production - makes many creative and organizational decisions, but also has to find solutions if there are turbulences, failures or delays. The producer creates shooting schedules and schedules, dispatches the team and monitors the individual steps.

Production manager

How the tasks of the producer and the production manager differ depends on each individual film production and the size of the team. The tasks of the production manager include, for example, managing the budget, monitoring costs, hiring team members, planning shooting and working with the film management and production management, who take care of the financial and accounting management of the film production.

Cameraman and light crew

The cameraman brings the story to the screen and has the same responsibility as the director. To do this, he works out the film language and "resolution" with him, which defines the settings in which the film is shot. With fictional films, the lighting is particularly important so that the picture looks the way it should in the end. That is why the cameraman has a team of responsible persons under him who take care of the sharpness, material, lamps and their construction.

Sound engineer and assistant

Without good sound, the best film can drastically lose quality. That is why the sound engineer and his assistant record all conversations and background noises with a boom and recording devices.

Production manager

The production manager ensures that filming can actually take place at the locations in the film - the motifs. He is responsible in advance for obtaining filming permits at the respective locations. At a

For the larger team, there is a set manager who (with a few assistants) ensures that the schedule is adhered to and that everything has its place, for example where vehicles are parked, costume, mask and lounge rooms are, and where the electricity comes from and where the catering trolley for the team is. In addition, the set supervisor checks that filming locations are left clean and that safety precautions are observed.

Assistant director

The assistant director is the mouthpiece of the film. He mediates between the director and the "heads" - the bosses - of the individual departments, so that the director can implement the film as smoothly as possible. He works closely with the producer and (set) unit manager, is involved in drawing up the schedule and controls and coordinates the sequence of the shoot. To do this, he constantly communicates the director's ideas, organizes meetings, creates lists and passes on information. Depending on the size of the film production, there is a second and third assistant director who, for example, take care of the extras and everything that the first assistant director can no longer manage.

Production designer

The production designer designs the “look” of the film based on the director's vision. He searches for and designs the motifs and their equipment. For this he creates a color concept and how the rooms of the film should look. The production designer cannot do this alone, which is why he works with an indoor and outdoor prop and several assistants.


The cutter cuts the film together with the director. Depending on the director, the cutter works independently or as a source of ideas. Often the film is re-edited and many things in the original script change.

Post production supervisor

The post-production supervisor coordinates and monitors the post-production steps such as editing, mixing, sound design and the production of the various technical end formats for cinema and television. This requires extensive technical knowledge - and, as in all other professions, a high level of communication skills.

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