Top Tips: Finding your filmmaking team

Picking the right roles for your crew

Hey Filmmakers,

By now you should have a pretty solid idea of what your film will be about, which in turn means you should be able to figure out how many helping hands you’ll need on set.

You’ve probably already been working with a few friends to brainstorm the story and the script, but now is a great time to decide on solid roles for everybody, to help things stay organised and easy.

Here’s a few roles we think are pretty important, you may have all, none or some completely different ones! And of course people can double up and mix and match roles that they want to try out!

Top Tips

This is the person (or people) that are in charge of all the artistic choices that make a film. This means checking in with all the other roles and giving direction, such as how the actors should perform lines, where certain props should go and helping with the final edit.

You might have already finished this one, but the writer is in charge of creating the story, or script that is used when filming and editing. You may find that the script changes a bit once you hear actors performing the dialogue!

You might already know who you want acting in your film, but it could also be fun to hold auditions! Ask a teacher about using the drama room at lunchtime, and put posters up that describe the roles you are casting for. If there are adult characters in your film (and it’s not a comedic choice) try not to cast someone the same age as the younger characters- see if a teacher or parent would like to be in the film!

Production Design
This is a really fun part of filmmaking, that can often take a whole team of people. See who would like to build or find props, do unique make-up, or decide what costumes will help bring the characters in the story to life. The choices made in production design (almost everything you see on screen!) are used to SHOW the audience everything they need to know about a character and a setting, without using any dialogue.

Editing and Sound
If you know someone who is really good with technology, editing might be a great role for them. Likewise, because you can’t use other people’s music without permission, seeing if anyone in the music department would like to write some music for your film will give you a really unique edge. (But don’t worry, you can also find some great creative commons music and sound here!)

Producers and helping hands
All the key creative roles on your film should be done by people under 25 years old, however it’s totally fine to get some help from older siblings, parents and teachers. Maybe you want to film in a cafe, and the owner offers to help with lighting, or you want to film a scene in a car, but you need an adult to drive. If your teacher helps out with editing, or staying on track, we think that’s great!

Of course, there are heaps of ways to make a film with just yourself, or a very small crew. You could also make something with your entire class. As long as you’re telling a story you care about and having fun, you don’t need to follow the rules! (They might make things a bit easier though).

Happy Filmmaking!

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