Ever wondered… Who really makes a film?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 at 14:25

Have you ever watched the end credits of a film and wondered who all those people are and what they all do? Clearly, there are many people behind the scenes that make it possible for any film production to come together.

Here at G Media, I’m the resident Producer on our large scale productions and thought I’d take a minute to explain the roles of some of the key staff that work on such projects.

While we may not be as big as 20th Century Fox (yet), the functions are more or less the same.

Producer: A film producer creates the conditions for making a film. The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls matters such as raising funding, hiring key personnel, and arranging for distributors. The producer is involved throughout all phases of the film-making process from development to completion of a project. The producer has overall control of a project and can terminate the director, but the director actually makes the film.

Director: A film director is a person who visualizes the screenplay, controlling a film’s artistic and dramatic aspects, while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of his or her vision. In some cases, film directors do not have absolute creative control. The director can also be selected by the producer. The producer in this case very likely has veto power over everything from the script itself to the final editing of the film, often in anything from slight to extreme opposition to the director’s vision.

Executive producer: An executive producer oversees the financial, administrative and creative aspects of production, though not technical aspects. In smaller companies or independent projects, may be synonymous with creator/writer. On a major production this role is usually filled by a representative or CEO of the film studio although the title may be given as an honorarium to a major investor.

Art Director: Various artists may create or develop specific parts of an art piece or scene but an art director unifies the entire vision. In particular, the art director is in charge of the overall visual appearance and how it communicates visually, stimulates moods, contrasts features, and psychologically appeals to a target audience. The art director makes decisions about visual elements used, what artistic style to use, and when to use motion. At times, an art director is ultimately responsible for solidifying the vision of the collective imagination while resolving conflicting agendas and inconsistencies between the various individual inputs.

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