What Crew do you Need for a Short Film

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What Crew Do you Need for a Short Film?

Every project has a minimum team that is necessary to make it come together. To write a book, you need an author, an editor, an illustrator, and a publisher.

To build a home you need a contractor, roofers and framers, finish crew, and floor installers, painters and various other members to build the home before you can move in. To produce a short film, you need various crew members too! But what crew do you need for a short film?

Particularly, short film crew members require the following roles to be filled:

  • Assistant Director
  • Director of Photography
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Gaffer
  • Grip
  • Sound Recordist
  • Production Assistant

While you may forego some of these crew members, this is a rather bare-bones list of the most important film crew members that you should consider hiring if you’re planning on creating a short film. 

Here’s what each of them is responsible for.


The assistant director is the individual that works out the administrative tasks associated with the production of your short film. If you were to produce a more distinct or longer film, you may need more than just the Assistant Director.

You would possible need 1st AD, 2nd AD, and a 3rd Ad or Trainee. However, for a short film, you should be able to accomplish what you need with just the one assistant director on staff.

The AD will handle communication between staff and crew as well as between crew and outside organizations, to ensure all problems or concerns are addressed. An assistant director ensures your short film remains on task, on schedule, and on budget.


Virtually every film requires a Director of Photography. This is a film crew role that really just cannot be foregone. You need the DP to help you capture the creative vision and style of your short film.

The DP is also responsible for determining how to frame shots and where to position your actors in order to produce the best footage. 

On very small-scale short films, where very few crew members are budgeted in, the director of photography may double as the first camera or Camera Operator. It’s ok to have a DP act as a camera, but it’s certainly not advisable to forego a DP all together — just don’t!


The 1st Assistant Camera operator is responsible for that — operating the camera. For your short film, you can probably get away with just one camera operator but if you can have more than one you’ll save time in shooting.

1st camera will pull focus by setting marks and ensuring the image is just right. This is one of various film crew roles that is extremely technical in nature and hard to reproduce by someone else.

If you’re looking for a true cinematic view, you will certainly want to budget in for a 1st assistant camera member to be on your crew.


Responsible for lighting, the gaffer is another crew member you should consider for a short film. While the DP can coordinate the lighting, having a gaffer that can setup lighting and ensure it is appropriate powered for safety of the crew is a must.

Gaffers determine the best lighting, filters, and associated equipment for use to deliver the style requested by the DP to produce the scene. This is a very nice addition to any short film crew list.


Do you want to do all the heavy lifting yourself? Probably not! That’s why you hire a grip! The Grip literally performs that hard work so that other members of the short film crew can take it easy (or at least stay in their lane and do their work!). 

Grips are the muscle of the short film crew, responsible for assembly of lighting, sound, and stage gear. They use various equipment and their own strength to move film crew equipment and gear around as needed. This includes shifting tripods, dollies, and other important gear from one location to the next.


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Want to have cinema style sound for your short film? Of course you do! A sound recordist can help you make your project stand out if for nothing else, for the pristine sound that comes as a result of your short film. A sound recordist will hear what you overlook.

They’ll be able to help you capture sound that should be on your short film — and reduce the impact of noise that is not supposed to be present. It’s a must for your short film project!


Short film crews can be small, but few films succeed without the help of a production assistant of some sort. Production assistants are there to do all of the in-between tasks that nobody else on the film crew has time (or energy) or desire to do.

Need lunch? Ask the production assistant! Need someone to help with load out? Ask the production assistant! Need clean up after a shoot? Ask the production assistant!

If you’re planning a short film, give Beverly Boy Productions a call! We’ll bring the perfect size short film crew for your brand to get started.

From the Assistant Director to the production assistant, our film crews range in size and scope with skills to produce the best video content in the industry. We can’t wait to provide a film crew that’s right for your business.