The art department is a group of skilled artists and construction workers that create elements relating to sets, scenery and props. The production designer communicates their visualization with the art director, who then guides others towards construction and completion. From painters to wood-workers to sculptors, the art department works together towards creating the overall atmosphere of the film.
The camera department is made up of a team of camera specialists who setup, operate and maintain the camera as needed throughout the filming process. The D.P. (Director of Photography) is in charge of deciding composition, framing and movement, while the rest of the camera department has their own specific duties pertaining to setup and maintenance.
A well-fed crew is a happy crew, so the food department plays a critical role on and off set. Breakfast and lunch catering are typical for most productions, and they also provide craft services (snacks & drinks) between these meal times. The food stylist works on set and constructs photo ready food for the filming process, and although it may look tasty, it is not to be eaten!
Without lighting, what would there be to see? The lighting department, led by the gaffer and best boy, work together to setup the appropriate lighting instruments and cabling needed for shooting. The grip department, led by the key grip, will setup the gear used to alter the lighting scheme including diffusion, blocking or coloring the light. The grips also provides a variety of rigging and safety needed for each shot.
The locations department finds and properly secures all the filming locations needed throughout the filming process. The location scout usually has a large database of photographs and potential filming locations, but will sometimes scout out brand new locations if needed. The locations manager works on the logistics of parking, permits and contracts needed for each location.
The makeup, wardrobe and hair department work closely with the actors on their physical appearance from scene to scene. From the various clothing and costumes worn to the different hair- styles and makeup needed, this department will create a consistent look for each of the cast members throughout the production process.
The production department consists of a wide array of personnel needed to keep the production on track and on schedule. Various tasks throughout this department may include hiring, script breakdown, organizing gear and crew, budgeting, expense tracking, payroll, contract handling or other office duties needed to complete the production from a day- to- day basis.
The script and VTR (Video Tape Recorder) department provide the ability to relocate and playback the various scenes and shots that have already been completed. The script supervisor takes detailed notes about what has been filmed, while the VTR crew actually records onto videotape what is being shot through the camera. This allows instant play back, which can be especially helpful when using motion picture cameras.
The sound department plays a tremendous role when considering that there are really only two major elements that comprise a movie; Picture and Sound. The sound department is responsible for capturing the best possible audio and dialogue throughout the actual production (not post-production). The boom operator assists the sound mixer while also positioning and holding the boom pole during the filming process.
When big action sequences and effects are needed for filming, the stunt department is called to duty. From explosions and gunfights, to high falls and other dangerous choreography, the stunts and effects department provides the appropriate rigging and personnel needed to complete each of the stunts or effects for the production.
The transportation department works together to coordinate and provide traveling means for a variety of production purposes including crew, equipment and mobile home transportation to and from the filming locations. The transportation coordinator leads this department by coordinating the logistics of drivers and vehicles on a daily basis.