Making a video project is a group exercise. Even in a very small group or alone, you are reliant on the subject and the audience. In practice there are many people involved in presenting the final images. Group skills such as brainstorming may be helpful.
Film and video making project roles may include job titles such as Director, Producer, Writer, Editor, Actors and so on. Depending on the number of people involved with the video project, roles may be combined and assigned to one person, or perhaps you may choose to assign two people to work as partners in the same role. One person could take on more than one role.
Although you need to make sure that all the key roles are filled, it is important to discuss roles between the group members and to try and ensure that everyone has a role they are interested in or are happy to do. Make sure the exact responsibilities for each team member are clear before you begin to plan your video project, as this will avoid confusion later.
Some of the roles you may need to fill are briefly outlined below, along with suggestions of how to fill the roles within a small group - for further explanation of these roles and a worksheet to divide them up, see the appendix.
This is usually the instructor/project leader/community worker who is responsible for the progress of the group(s). They will be the overall person in charge with responsibility for the group, the project and guidance.
The Director represents and leads the group working on the project. In a small group, the Director may also be the same person who writes and storyboards the script, responsible for all creative decisions including set design, costume etc. They may even take on a post-production role such as editing.
The Producer co-ordinates the project schedule and tasks during the entire project. In a small group, the Producer could also have some creative input, being responsible for research, sourcing interviewees, perhaps even conducting interviews for a documentary. Sometimes, in small groups, the Producer could have an additional key role such as sound recording.
The researcher is responsible for finding, analysing and compiling the information necessary for the video project. This could be carried out before shooting by the Producer. The researcher could also be involved in script writing and areas such as conducting interviews.
The Script Writer works with the Researcher and the group to provide the exact wording (the script - see chapter 2) to be used for the video project.
This role is to create the scenes for the video production on paper. This could be carried out by the same person responsible for writing the script and directing the project. Story-boarding is like a version of editing on paper.
The Set Designer is responsible for gathering props, costumes and setting the stage design. The Director would have overall say in terms of creative decisions.
The Camera Operator is in charge of the equipment and filming during the shoot. If sound is being recorded ‘in camera’ then the camera operator could be responsible for this. Usually, the camera operator will be responsible for any lighting equipment, and, in small groups, much of the equipment overall. The Director could share responsibilities with the camera operator in terms of framing and movement of shots.
The Sound Recordist captures the proper sound quality on the days of filming, but may also research music, and other sound ‘clips’ for the finished soundtrack. In small groups the Producer could take on this role.
The Editor will help decide what shots should be used and makes the final edits.
This is a role in which any group members may be able to participate where relevant, acting out parts in the script or being interviewees as part of a documentary. This could be friends, volunteers, or anyone you can use!