Obviously, the crew that come along on a video shoot depends on the size of the project at hand. But, I am still able able to give you an idea of the responsibilities that we each have when we are out on a shoot for PEG.
I think the best way to do this is to break it down position by position and give a brief description of what will be asked of that person on an average video shoot. And I think the best (and possibly most obvious position) to start with is the Camera Operator, so let’s jump in!
The Camera Operator is the person behind the camera! That is straightforward, but what is expected of them on a shoot to shoot basis? Well to begin with, before our operator even steps behind the camera their job is to keep a look out for creative, unique and eye-catching shots. There may be times we don’t have a set shot list, so this is a very important part of the shoot. But it isn’t just as simple as seeing something that looks nice and filming it! Our operators all have to know our cameras in and out to be able to make a shot look epic. Exposure, white balance, crisp focus, correct frame rate and shutter speed, etc… Depending on the scale of the shoot our camera operators may also need to ask interview questions and monitor audio. The operator is responsible for all of these things being executed correctly on every single shoot.
The Director on a PEG shoot gets a live feed of what the Camera Operator is shooting, and is there to make sure that the client is getting what they want. If the Director sees anything they think doesn’t align with our clients wishes, they will tell the Camera Operator to adjust the shot accordingly. The Director on a PEG shoot also monitors all audio that we record to ensure there are no problems during each take. As the Director, you are also responsible for talking to the client representative throughout the shoot and making changes per their feedback. It is also important that the Director has a sense of our post workflow, as they are able to make adjustments during the shoot that may help speed up the Video Production process. With a Director on site, our team never has to worry about capturing the right content, they always exactly get what the client wants on every shoot.
The Grip is most likely the person running around the most. They are in charge of doing anything that the Camera Operator, Director, or really anyone, needs. This role is by far the most variable so I can’t describe it in great detail, but if something needs done that doesn’t fall into the responsibilities of other roles it is most likely the Grip’s responsibility. I personally Grip often and the job ranges from standard shoot setup to screaming in slow motion for a Cavs commercial. You just never know! The grip does anything they are asked and is expected to have full knowledge of all gear on a shoot, and sometimes gear that is on location. The Grip also watches the camera operator during any fast-paced video shoots and makes sure they are operating safely and that no one is stopping them from doing their job. Sometimes I like to pretend I am the secret service, but instead of the president, I protect Camera Operators! This position has a lot of responsibilities and may run you around a lot, but I can confirm it is also a lot of fun.
Well, I think I will wrap this up, but we do have plenty of other positions! Audio Technician, Drone Pilot, Drone Camera Operator, Drone Visual Observer, On-site Editor, etc… but I just wanted to describe our main three that you would most likely see on every video shoot.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this. And don’t forget to check out some of our behind the scenes videos now that you know what these positions do! And, of course, for more great PEG content, be sure to follow us on social media!