Different Roles and Staff on Set

Different Roles and Staff on Set

Filming anything, even something as simple as a commercial, is a huge undertaking requiring the expertise of a lot of people. Here’s who you’ll see on set.


The director is the person in charge on set. They manage everyone, including the talent, throughout the entire process.

Assistant Director

This role is more of an assistant to the director rather than a director in any capacity. They handle schedules, queue up actors for scenes, and otherwise make sure the day-to-day operations run smoothly.


They handle all lighting choices and, like a good caddy to a golfer, makes suggestions as to what camera to use or which lens to try.

Camera Operator

If the set is pretty small, the cinematographer will handle the camera, but otherwise, there’s a dedicated operator who can help filming progress quickly and smoothly.

Camera Assistant

Like the Assistant Director, the Camera Assistant is there to ensure everything related to filming is flowing smoothly. They prep lenses, mount media cards, and procure everything the Camera Operator will need in future shots.

Digital Intermediate Technician

Now that filming is digital, this role has exploded in prominence. Their role is to ensure the data captured during filming is successfully loaded to hard drives and backed up. If the data were to be corrupted or lost, there would be no way to get it back.

Boom Operator

You’ll be able to most easily identify this person by the giant microphone they carry around. It’s up to them to bring the microphone as close to the action as possible without it casting shadows or appearing on screen.

Gaffer & Grip

The smaller the set, the more likely this role will be fulfilled by the same person. Gaffing involves shaping the light through color control or diffusion. A grip, on the other hand, builds and rigs all of the lighting accessories.

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