The Different Types of Roles in the Video Production Company
by eguaogie-eghosa Apr 08, 2023 Views (554)

A video production company presents the perfect example of an organization where teamwork is truly a functional word. Whether you’re operating as an established video production company or a newly established video production agency; there are a number of important staff positions you will need to fill in order for the video production company to function effectively.

Although there are many people who go into video production because of their passion for filmmaking; it still remains that a video production company remains, ultimately, a business that needs to make money.

You may consider yourself very fortunate if your video project is one that draws your passion out. Otherwise, having the opportunity to work on video projects with passion alone isn’t going to be sufficient to turn your video production agency into a profitable venture. It is going to require the collaborative efforts of equally passionate but skilled employees who can use their expertise to create visually appealing videos that are of commercial value to your production company.

This is why we should first consider the different types of production companies that exist within the film and video production industry. From a full-service video production agency to a niche post-production house, here are the various types of video production companies and roles within them—as well as why these options may be appropriate for your needs.


Production Companies

Let us begin by discussing the various types of production companies that exist in the video industry. These are the different types of production companies that are involved in shooting and producing various types of video content.

Although it is a common misconception by many to think that video production is a single-track type of business; there are, however, many different areas of production that a video production company can specialize in.

Some of these specific areas of specialty for video production companies include:


- Audio /Video Rental

- Event Videography

- Wedding video

- Documentary video

- Narrative (shorts and features)

- Corporate video

- Commercial Video

- Educational Video

- Real Estate Video

- YouTube Content Creation

- Influencer / Social Content Creation


Consequently, whether your video interest is in high-end productions such as commercial and corporate videos, which may sometimes cost as much as $100,000 or even more; or simple DIY videos like YouTube and social media influencer content that can be shot on smartphones with minimal budgets, it is clear that video production has many specific niches that any independent video producer or video production company can specialize in.

However, despite the fact that we highlighted the various areas of specialization in video productions; it is nevertheless, a restriction on a video production company’s flexibility in the types of productions it can engage in despite its preferred niche.

Whatever your area of video specialization might be; for as long as your skill set and resources enable you, you can take on more than one video project in more than one area of specialization such as wedding videos, corporate videos, or documentary projects. As a result, although you may be shooting primarily high-end commercial productions, you could as well make your video production company work with large-scale corporate clients on more varied video projects.

 Read More: How to Start a Video Production Company

Turnkey Production Companies

Whereas most video production companies choose to specialize in specific areas of video production; there are however, certain production companies that possess the capacity in skills set and resources to handle every aspect of video production from script writing all the way through to screen. These types of companies are known as Turnkey Video Production Companies.  

Although many companies might aspire to offer a wide range of services, doing so would require them to possess a lot of expertise and resources.

However, with the advent of digital production techniques, it has become relatively easier for this new generation of video producers to offer these comprehensive services to clients.

Nevertheless, as you develop and grow your own brand, you will naturally develop your company’s capacity to handle each aspect of a video production project. But to be able to achieve this; you will need to build a team for your video production company as quickly as you can.


Which Video Production Company Type is Right for You?

Haven covered all of the various types of video production companies in operation in the industry; it is perhaps time we finally ask the most important question that you may have to take into consideration when deciding on a niche: What kind of video production company is best for you and what will it require?

Seeing so many different types of roles and jobs can be overwhelming especially for an aspiring video producer or filmmaker looking to find his place within the ecosystem of the video production industry. Of course, it is an option to try to develop yourself in all of the skills required to function in any role within the video production company; but as you would probably have realized already, this will take quite some time to achieve, besides the very high demands it would place on you to be effective in all aspects of video production management.

But on the other hand, if you have decided on a specific area of production or post-production, it may benefit you more to give all your attention to that niche you have chosen to work in and truly aspire to be the most effective and efficient in that area. However, I am certain that you must by now have realized that collaborating with others with skills set in other areas of production is certainly more beneficial in the long run for you or your video production company than being a Jack-of-all-trade but master of none.

So, while it is possible for you to understand all the fine details of every aspect of video production; pursuing them, however, may likely prove the least beneficial to learn all of these various types of video production company’s roles if your ambition is to run a turnkey video production company because, while a turnkey production company might seem the most convenient for your video needs, they can, however, turn out to be the most expensive.

The secret is to understand your video production company’s needs in terms of projects, skills, and resources required to create the best films and videos possible.


Roles Found At Production Companies

Many video production companies begin small, but this does not imply that starting a video production company is an easy task. You obviously require a large amount of capital, gear, and equipment. And, if you want to expand your business and take on larger, more lucrative projects, you'll need people. Assembling a strong team would be a necessity.

Now to look at the various roles that can be found within a video production company.


1. Sales Manager

At some point, you'll need someone to serve as your company's point of contact. Part of the responsibilities of this personnel will include taking charge of some networking and scouting, as well as actively seeking new clients and projects. In most cases, this position is usually the video company’s figurehead.

At the infant stage of the video production company, this position could be filled by you, the founder, one of the first employees of the company, or someone with qualifications or experience in sales or who simply thrives on the challenge of door-to-door salesmanship.

The Sales Manager’s role includes:

- Sales solicitations and networking.

- Taking charge of meetings and sales presentations.

- Customer service and communication.

- Working to meet sales targets.

- Collaborating with producers.


2. Producer

As soon as your sales team has secured a new production, you'll certainly require someone to oversee the project — this responsibility is usually that of a producer in the video production company. It is the producer’s primary duty to control the entire production process and coordinate the various aspects of the production process until its completion.

Although there are others who would be involved in the production process; it is, however, your producer that will play the most critical role in ensuring that communication of what the objective is, is clear and that everything stays on track.

It is very important that you hire a producer rather than a project manager as producers are generally more knowledgeable about the entire production process than project managers. This, of course, is in addition to the advantage they have in possessing specialized skills that distinguish them from a more regular project manager.

Some of the roles of a producer include:

- A sound knowledge of all aspects of film and video production.

- Effective communication skills with clients.

- Possession of Pre-production skills for organizing a project.

- Ability to plan and budget.

- Integrating and organizing all relevant resources such as footage and assets required for a project.

- Liaising with the director to determine the project’s scope, schedule, and budget.


3. Director

Every project, whether it is for film or video production requires a proven director at the control. A person who possesses the ability to envision, communicate, and supervise all aspects of production from beginning to end.

A film or video production director could be someone hired from outside the company to supervise a specific project or an in-house employee who may work part-time or full-time.

The roles of a film or video production director include:

- A comprehensive knowledge of the film and video production process.

- Sound communication skills that enable him to work with cast and crew.

- A sharp and creative mind that enables him to think quickly on set.

- Remarkable problem-solving skills.

- Ability to collaborate well with the director of photography and the heads of other crew members.

 Read more: The Role of a Director in a Video Production Company

4. Director of Photography

The Director of Photography (DP) is the person in charge of the camera department and collaborates closely with the director.

The DP is often seen as the director's right-hand man who supervises everything in the camera department. The DP is responsible for ensuring that every shot is of the highest quality by utilizing all of the available gear, equipment, and crew. As a project is planned, the DP will collaborate with the director on storyboards, shot lists, and shooting schedules.

This role includes:

- A thorough or expert understanding of the various film and video cameras and gear used in production.

- An expert knowledge of the craft of cinematography, composition, and lighting.

- possessing sound communication skills to enable him to collaborate with the director and other members of the camera crew.

- Working seamlessly with others in his department such as the camera operator, and the gaffer/lighting department, to ensure that the capture the best shots possible for video production.

 Read more: What Does a Director of Photography Do 

5. Camera Operator

While the DP frequently fills this role, many professional video shoots employ a dedicated camera operator who may sometimes be required to work side by side with an assistant camera operator. The camera operator controls the camera and its associated equipment, such as tripods, gimbals, and Steadicam. When available, an assistant should handle a follow focus or provide additional support.

The camera operator’s role includes:

- A perfect knowledge of the various cameras and related gear used in video production.

- Excellent camera skills for handling a camera, framing a shot, and setting focus.

- Communication and listening abilities between the DP and any assistants.


6. Gaffer/Lighting Crew

By now, anyone familiar with the video production process must understand the critical significance of proper lighting in any kind of video production. This is the exclusive preserve of the Gaffer or Lighting crew.

Gaffers are the ones who supervise the lighting department and crew.

A gaffer, also sometimes referred to as a chief lighting technician, is a crew member in charge of lighting on a film or video project. The gaffer collaborates with the director of photography to set up, maintain, and ensure the safety of all lighting on set. The gaffer may oversee the lighting department and crew, depending on the scale of the project.

This role includes:

- Top-class knowledge and understanding of lighting gear and uses.

- A critical awareness of safety conventions for properly setting up, using, and breaking down lights.

- Sound communication abilities with the rest of the lighting crew and any assistants.

- Collaborating closely with the director of photography and director to adjust lighting for every required shot, as desired.


7. Audio Technician and Sound Recording

Another role that could require an entire department in a major role, but may only involve one or two people on a smaller project is that of the audio technician. The audio and sound recording of any video project is often overseen by an audio or sound technician. An audio technician should ideally collaborate with a boom operator to ascertain which microphones should be used and where to mix and record as needed.

This role includes:

- Excellent audio recording and sound design skills.

- Conversant with all types of microphones and mixers.

- Sound communication relations with the rest of the crew and any assistants.

- Close collaboration with the director to ensure that all audio work is recorded properly, and similarly with the DP to make sure microphones don’t encroach into the shot frame.


8. Editor/Editing Supervisor

When the film or video production has concluded, the producer then submits all the production footage and assets to an editor or editing supervisor, who then uses them to create a post-production workflow. It is the editor who handles all the footage acquired during the production shoots in post-production to come up with a final production cut for screening or distribution. At times, a digital-imaging technician (DIT) will handle footage as it is being received on many sets and may even begin a rough edit.

The role of the editor includes the following responsibilities:

- World-class knowledge of the best video editing platforms.

- A very sound understanding of editing practices and digital assets.

- A gift for storytelling and problem-solving of any production issues with footage.

- Collaboration with the producer, as well as any additional post-production roles such as motion graphics and/or coloring.


9. Motion Graphics/VFX

Many video production companies outsourced animations that went beyond basic motion graphics to a motion graphics expert or VFX artist. Once completed, these additional graphics are returned to the editor or editing supervisor to be included in the final renders.

This role includes:

- Sound working experience in motion graphics and VFX design.

- Expertise in advanced platforms such as After Effects, Cinema 4D, Nuke, and others.

- Close collaboration with the producer or editing supervisor is required to review and provide feedback on any templates or storyboards.


10. Colorist

Lastly, besides motion graphics, enhanced color correction and color grading would usually be delegated to a separate specialist, sometimes in order to speed up the workflow. A colorist is primarily responsible for the aesthetics of a project's final draft. The colorist works with the project's final draft to finalize the color aesthetic and look.

The colorist’s role includes:

- A very sound knowledge of color theory and cinematic coloring.

- High level of proficiency in using color grading platforms like Adobe Color software, Red Giant Colorista, and DaVinci Resolve.

- Working in close collaboration with the producer and editing supervisor for finishing color adjustments and grading.

Again, the roles outlined above are common and widely accepted as best practices, but they are not set in stone. Build your team with creativity, and look for ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Finally, no matter what your org chart looks like, make sure it's filled with creative collaborators you can rely on.

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