Crew Roles in Video Production: A Guide

At Lapse Productions, we believe in the power of collaboration and creativity in bringing stories to life through video. Video production is an intricate art form, where every person involved plays a critical role. For those not directly involved in the industry, the myriad roles and responsibilities might seem perplexing. Today, Lapse Productions is thrilled to unravel the mystique behind each crew member’s role in the video production process, from the Producer to the Production Assistant (PA).

Funny group photo of the Lapse Productions crew on location during a video production shoot.

1. Producer

Role: The producer is akin to the project manager of a video production. They are responsible for overseeing the entire project from inception to completion. This involves raising funds, hiring the crew, coordinating schedules, and ensuring that the production stays within budget.

Lapse Productions Producer and Cinematographer Collaborating, Pointing at a Field Monitor on Set.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Budget management
  • Hiring and supervising the crew
  • Securing permits and location rights
  • Coordinating post-production activities

For our shoots the Producer and Director roles are interchangeable. Aka its one of us that will act as Producer AND Director. This role is usually split for much bigger projects. 

Average Cost: $1,500 CAD

2. Director

Role: The director is the creative mastermind who steers the artistic vision of the production. They work closely with the cast and crew to ensure that the script is translated into visuals and audio that effectively convey the story.

Director and Cinematographer from Lapse Productions Reviewing a Shot on a Field Monitor, Cinematographer Holding a Gimbal with Canon Camera, in a Manufacturing Facility Set

Key Responsibilities:

  • Setting the creative vision and tone
  • Guiding the cast’s performances
  • Making decisions on locations, shots, and pacing
  • Collaborating with the cinematographer and editor

For our shoots the Producer and Director roles are interchangeable. Aka its one of us that will act as Producer AND Director. This role is usually split for much bigger projects. 

Average Cost: $1,500 CAD

3. Cinematographer/Director of Photography (DP)

Role: The cinematographer, or Director of Photography (DP), is responsible for capturing the visuals of the film. They work closely with the director to decide on the look and feel of the film, and select the right cameras, lenses, and lighting to achieve that vision.

Cinematographer from Lapse Productions directing the corporate interviewee on his positioning. Two canon camera's are on tripods. The location is at a car dealership.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Selecting camera equipment and lenses
  • Designing shot compositions
  • Managing lighting setups
  • Supervising the camera crew

Average Cost: $1,500-2,500 CAD

4. Audio Operator

Role: The audio operator is in charge of recording all the sound during filming. This includes dialogue, background noise, and any other sounds that are integral to the scenes being shot.

Audio Operator from Lapse Productions Monitoring Sound Equipment During an Interview at a Car Dealership

Key Responsibilities:

  • Setting up and operating sound equipment
  • Monitoring audio levels during recording
  • Collaborating with the director on audio needs
  • Ensuring clear and clean audio capture

Average Cost: $750-950 CAD

5. Gaffer

Role: The gaffer is the chief electrician on set and is responsible for the execution and design of the lighting plan.

Gaffer from Lapse Productions Inspecting Lighting Equipment on Set

Key Responsibilities:

  • Managing electrical equipment and power distribution
  • Executing the lighting design in coordination with the DP
  • Managing the lighting crew

For our shoots the Gaffer and Grip roles are interchangeable. Aka Gaffer will also act as Grip. 

Average Cost: $650-750 CAD

6. Grip

Role: The grip is responsible for supporting the camera and lighting departments by managing all the equipment that helps shape and modify the lights and camera movement.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Setting up and rigging equipment such as tripods, dollies, and cranes
  • Controlling natural light using flags, nets, and silks
  • Assisting with camera movements

For our shoots the Gaffer and Grip roles are interchangeable. Aka Gaffer will also act as Grip. 

Average Cost: $650-750 CAD

7. Makeup Artist

Role: The makeup artist is tasked with applying makeup to the actors and actresses on set, ensuring that their appearance aligns with the characters they portray.

Makeup Artist from Lapse Productions Applying Makeup to an Actress On-Set in a Restaurant

Key Responsibilities:

  • Consulting with the director and DP on desired looks
  • Applying makeup and prosthetics
  • Maintaining continuity in makeup throughout scenes

Average Cost: $500-850 CAD

8. Production Assistant (PA)

Role: A PA is often an entry-level position that assists with general tasks on set. They are crucial for ensuring that the production runs smoothly and are often the go-to people for various needs.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Running errands and making coffee runs
  • Assisting with equipment setup and breakdown
  • Distributing scripts and call sheets
  • Managing crowd control

Average Cost: $250 CAD


Understanding the diverse roles in video production is key to appreciating the synergy between creativity, technical skill, and coordination. Each member of the crew at Lapse Productions is vital in weaving the tapestry that brings stories to life.

Are you inspired to embark on a visual storytelling journey? At Lapse Productions, our dedicated team is passionate about creating cinematic art. Whether you have a specific project in mind or just a budding idea, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Contact Lapse Productions today. Let’s create something extraordinary together!

Thank you for joining Lapse Productions on this behind-the-scenes exploration. Stay connected for more insights into the world of video production.

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