Discover Careers in Entertainment
Use the numbers in the photo to discover more about each job featured in the PSA. In addition to those marked, we’ve also provided information about other film, television, and visual content production careers that weren’t featured in the PSA, but are meaningful to every project.
Every person’s path is different and production roles don’t necessarily require a degree or prior professional experience in that field. Some people start as a production assistant to get their foot in the door, while others may already have particular interest or experience in specific crafts. Most of the jobs listed below belong to departments that employ workers with varying levels of experience in the same craft.
Keep reading to find out more about film and TV production careers.
Roles in the PSA:
1. Set Dresser
2. Costume Designer/Costumer
3. Second Assistant Director
4. Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor
5. Makeup Artist/Hairstylist
6. First Assistant Director
7. First Assistant Camera
8. Key Grip
9. Director of Photography
10. Art Department Coordinator
11. Construction Coordinator
13. Stunt Coordinator
14. Set Designer
15. Boom Operator/Sound
17. Stunt Performer
18. Second Assistant Camera
Additional Roles Not Depicted in the PSA:
Production Office Coordinator
Special Effects Supervisor
A set dresser, directed by a set decorator, helps create scenery for a production. They prepare the set with props and furniture to convey the proper intention of the scene and are responsible for making sure everything is in its exact place at the “rest” of every scene take.
The role of the costume designer is to create the characters’ outfits, using costumes to balance the scenes with texture and color as intended by the director. A costumer is an assistant to the costume designer.
A second assistant director or “2nd AD” is usually found on larger sets and assists the first assistant director. 2nd ADs create the daily call sheets, timesheets, and daily reports by working closely with the production coordinator and first assistant director.
A visual effects supervisor is responsible for bringing to life the director’s vision through the use of visual effects. They work with the director to plan and supervise visual effects throughout the course of the production and manage a team of VFX personnel.
A makeup artist is responsible for helping to communicate the intended character of the actor through makeup and for managing continuity of makeup throughout the shoot. The hairstylist is responsible for cutting and styling the actors’ hair to best convey the character and for managing continuity of hairstyles throughout the shoot.
A first assistant director or “1st AD” assists the director and is chiefly responsible for facilitating a smooth workflow on set. They are in charge of creating a production schedule, “calling the roll,” and coordinating between the departments and the director.
A first assistant camera (also called 1st AC or focus puller) has one main job: they sit next to the camera and they keep the right subject in focus throughout each scene.
A key grip supervises the crew of grips responsible for camera equipment, accessories, and anything associated with the camera’s operation and movement. Additionally, they help with light design by managing anything that cuts or diffuses the lamps set up by the gaffer’s crew.
A director of photography, also known as the “DP” or cinematographer, oversees the camera and lighting crews and is responsible for making artistic and technical decisions related to the image while bringing the director’s vision to life.
An art department coordinator is responsible for overseeing the logistics of the implementation and execution of the visual artistry on set. Their duties include facilitating communication between executives and the art department.
A construction coordinator budgets and supervises the construction of sets and stages for film productions and facilitates the entire process of set building.
An electrician handles the placement and operation of the lighting instruments as well as managing the power sources and all electrical needs on a film set.
A stunt coordinator works with actors and stunt performers to choreograph dangerous scenes or scenes that require great physical exertion. They ensure that the actors’ or stunt performers’ actions and movements are always carefully orchestrated so as to look realistic while avoiding injury or death. Stunt coordinators are also in charge of following safety regulations and making sure stunt equipment is ready.
A production designer is responsible for designing and creating the sets that appear in the film, including all of the physical surroundings where action takes place.
A boom operator places and holds the boom microphone to record the dialogue for talent and must know how to use wireless mics and recording equipment.
A gaffer is the head electrician on a film set, responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan for a production or particular scenes during the shoot.
Under the direction of the stunt coordinator, stunt performers perform dangerous or physically-taxing action scenes.
The second assistant camera (“2nd AC”) is an integral part of the camera department. They are responsible for tasks such as tracking scenes and maintaining camera equipment.
Additional Roles Not Depicted in the PSA
Talent is any actor who plays a role and is the subject in front of the camera (versus a crew member whose primary job is to work behind the camera). Find more information about SAG-AFTRA union requirements for actors here.
Animators are in charge of creating moving images for the screen. They use different techniques to create the animation behind images. Animators create 2-D or 3-D visual graphics to bring the story to life.
A casting director works closely with the director and producer to organize and facilitate the finding and auditioning of talent (aka actors).
A director oversees all creative aspects of production, from script editing and camera shots to hiring talent. They are in charge of creating a storyboard and setting the tone of the film.
An intimacy coordinator choreographs nude, intimate, and simulated sex scenes. They act as a liaison between the director, producer, and actors by helping the director realize their artistic vision while making sure the actors’ boundaries are respected.
A location manager is responsible for scouting and securing locations outside of a studio set, including obtaining any and all legal agreements.
A producer is in charge of coordinating all departments throughout the production process. They manage the budget, overall production schedule, and marketing. Find more information about Producers Guild of America union requirements for producers here.
Production accountants work to manage budget, payroll, funding and the accounting staff. Production accountants track expenses to make sure the project stays on budget. They also issue payroll and report to unions.
A production assistant, called a PA, is an entry-level position. PAs work to support various crew departments. This position is a great way to gain on-set experience and explore the different production departments.
Production office coordinators (also called “POCs”) run the production office and are in charge of the administrative and clerical aspects for the crew.
A prop master (also known as a Property Master) is responsible for purchasing, acquiring, manufacturing and using any items (or “props”) handled by actors on set.
A script supervisor manages the script on set. Their responsibilities include managing continuity of action and accuracy of spoken dialogue.
A special effects supervisor oversees the creation of illusions and visual tricks such as artificial weather environments like rain and wind, mechanical and electrical effects, explosions, and moments of bodily harm like gunshot wounds.
Studio teachers are in charge of the safety and education of minors on set. The California Application for Studio Teacher Certification can be found here.
A transportation coordinator/driver is in charge of all the vehicles and drivers on set. They coordinate with all departments to fulfill transportation requirements such as: maintaining and acquiring transport vehicles for equipment, ensuring safe transport of crew members and talent in between shoots.
A writer is responsible for creating a storyline and translating the story into a script or screenplay.
Learn more about union and guild membership requirements for these roles here.