Roles & Responsibilities of theTechnical (Camera & Lighting Crew)
Director of Photography (DP) The person-in-charge of the technical crew. The DP makes decisions on lighting and framing of scenes in conjunction with the films director. Typically, the director tells the DP how they want a shot to look, and the DP chooses the correct aperture, filter, and lighting to achieve the desired effect.
Camera Operator He uses the camera at the direction of the DP or director to capture the scenes on film. Depending on the size and budget of the production, the DP may also be the camera operator, which is usually the case on TV and video projects.
1st Camera Assistant (Focus Puller) He is responsible for keeping the camera in focus as it is shooting.
2nd Camera Assistant (Clapper Loader) He operates the clapperboard at the beginning of each take and loads the raw film stock into the camera magazines between takes. This role does not exist on video shoots. The 1st Camera Assistant will operate the clapperboard.
Gaffer He is the Chief Lighting Technician, responsible for execution of the lighting plan for the production. Gaffers are responsible for knowing the appropriate color of gel (plastic sheeting) to put on the lights or windows to achieve a variety of effects, such as transforming midday into a beautiful sunset. They can re-create the flicker of lights in a subway car, the motion of light inside a turning airplane, or the passage of night into day. Many gaffers are expected to own a truck complete with most basic lighting equipment and then rent extra lighting equipment as needed.
Key Grip He is the Chief Grip on the set, and works with the DP to set up the set and achieve the correct lighting and blocking. He will direct a crew of grips, numbering ranging from 2 grips for small shoots up to 10-15 grips for big budget productions.
Dolly Grip / Crane Operator These specialized grips are trained to operate these camera rigs used to perform complex camera movements. They work closely with the camera crew to perfect these complex movements during rehearsals. Focusing the lens is critical to capturing a sharp image, so a dolly grip must hit his/her mark in sync with a camera assistant who pulls focus. The best dolly grips are known for their "touch" and that makes them highly sought-after talents.