Alphabetical listing of key crew members
Please note that the following definitions — although similarly applicable to most movie and TV productions in general — refer to LORIMAR shows and "Falcon Crest" in particular.
A producer who shares responsibility for certain creative and business issues.
At LORIMAR, associate producers are usually the lowest producers in rank and salary. Co-producers and other producers, who are higher in rank, usually delegate certain jobs to the associate producers.
In the case of "Falcon Crest", supervision over all post-production matters as well as filming establishing shots and miscellaneous segments using a second unit were delegated to the associate producer.
A producer who has equal responsibility for the completion of a project.
At LORIMAR, co-producers are usually lower in rank and salary than (line) producers. Among their duties, there are mainly technical and business-related aspects, in some cases also limited creative aspects of a show.
The average salary of a co-producer at LORIMAR was approximately $ 12,500 per episode in the 1988-89 season.
A producer who gained experience in a high position in the crew in the past, but is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the production and now advises the current producers on technical and business-related aspects, sometimes also on creative aspects of a show.
see Production Supervisor
The writer or other primary creative force behind a movie, series, or group of characters.
The creator of "Falcon Crest" is EARL HAMNER.
The creator of a movie or series, who is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the production, but advises the current producers, writers and directors on creative aspects of a show.
The principal creative artist on a set. A director is usually (but not always) the driving artistic source behind the filming process and communicates to actors the way that he would like a particular scene to be played. Typically, a director has complete artistic control over all aspects of the production, but it is not uncommon for the director to be bound by agreements with either a producer or a studio.
The directors in a TV show being episodic assignments, they usually do not have a broad perspective of the overall concept of the current season — with the exception of those being rehired several times within a season or over the entire run of the series (e.g. REZA BADIYI and HARRY HARRIS — just to name two of the recurring directors of "Falcon Crest"). Therefore, a director's artistic control is limited in shows like "Falcon Crest" and other LORIMAR series, thus resulting in closer collaboration with the producers than in a movie.
In some large productions, a director will delegate less important scenes to a second unit. This may also occur when production requirements demand several scenes be filmed in different places at the same time and the director cannot be on all these sets or locations in person.
"Falcon Crest" only used a second unit once — for # 167 to wrap up production of the first twelve episodes of season 7 earlier than usual because of a screenwriters' strike. Click here for details about the strike and its consequences for the production process.
A director's duties might also include casting, script editing, shot selection, shot composition and editing.
Duties like those are also typical of a "Falcon Crest" director, especially as far as the casting is concerned. Whenever a new character — especially a recurring rôle or a major guest, is introduced — the director of the respective episode is a member of the casting committee overseeing the audition for new actors. Other common members of the casting committee are the company's executive in charge of casting (BARBARA MILLER at LORIMAR), the show's casting director, the executive producers, (sometimes) the (line) producer and co-producers and someone from the network, usually the executive program supervisor (for "Falcon Crest", the respective person from CBS).
On the average, a director works fifteen days for one episode of a LORIMAR series.
In the early 1980's, directors were paid the union minimum of approximately $ 16,800 per episode. They also receive residuals if the show is rerun or goes into syndication.
Executive in Charge of Production / Executive Production Supervisor
A major studio executive, not necessarily the head of the studio, who oversees all productions of the filmmaker.
A producer who is not involved in any technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but who is still responsible for the overall production. Typically, an executive producer handles business and legal issues and is also involved in creative aspects of the production. He is the highest crew member in rank.
The style of regime of a show depends on its executive producer.
Some execs tend to a cooperative style of running their show, which includes discussing creative directions with cast and crew members and delegating parts of their duties to an executive supervising producer or a supervising producer, such as EARL HAMNER on the "Falcon Crest" set.
Others, like JEFF FREILICH on "Falcon Crest", for instance, prefer full concentration of all power and get involved in almost any aspect of the production by adding even more of their own handwriting to the show by writing scripts and directing episodes.
One more type of execs, eventually, merely serve as executive producers in name only because the studio likes their names being associated with its productions or for legal reasons — just to name a few reasons. MICHAEL FILERMAN, for instance, served as an exec in name only from seasons 2 through 7 and in season 9 on "Falcon Crest" although he did not work for the series in those years.
As far as payment is concerned, the original "Falcon Crest" executive producers usually had net deals with LORIMAR, meaning they got a cut of the net profit the series made, but received a guaranteed advance in the amount of $ 25,000 per episode in the early 1980's. In later years, some new executive producers had similar deals, some others were just paid by the episode (approximately between $ 20,000 and 30,000) without any profit shares in the long run.
Executive Program Supervisor
A major studio executive, not necessarily the head of the studio, who oversees the program practices and is the key contact person between the network and the filmmaker's producing staff.
Executive Script Consultant
The head of script consultants.
Executive Story Consultant
The head of story consultants.
Executive Story Editor
The head of story editors.
Executive Supervising Producer
The head of supervising producers.
A line producer is usually responsible for the production to match the budget. In contrast to a producer, a line producer is there on the set during shooting.
The term "line producer" is not in use at LORIMAR. A producer at LORIMAR fulfills typical line producer's duties as well.
The chief of a movie or TV production in all matters save the creative efforts of the director. A producer is responsible for raising funding, hiring key personnel and arranging for distributors as well as managing every person and issue during the making of a film or TV series. Usually, a producer only works on one film or TV series at a time.
The title "producer" is also often used as a general term for various members of the producing staff (such as executive producers and associate producers, etc.) and for the filmmaking company itself, which can be misleading. To distinguish the generic term "producer" from a specific person, who is a producer, the term "line producer" is sometimes applied for the individual, who produces a movie or TV show.
Producers are lower in rank and salary than supervising and executive producers.
At LORIMAR, a producer's duties are mainly technical and business-related issues, in some cases also limited creative issues of a show. A producer at LORIMAR fulfills typical line producer's duties as well.
The average salary of a producer at LORIMAR was $ 15,000 per episode in the 1988-89 season.
Production Supervisor / Coordinating Producer
Reporting to the producer, this person is responsible for the practical matters, such as ordering equipment, getting near-location accommodations for the cast and crew, etc.
The production supervisor may delegate some of his duties to the unit production manager.
The terms "production supervisor" and "coordinating producers" are synonyms. Whereas LORIMAR originally preferred the first one, they had a tendency towards using the second one in later years.
A member of the writing staff advising the writers on technical and creative aspects of scriptwriting.
A script consultant is usually a scriptwriter, who gained experience from previous other — in many cases similar — projects. A script consultant sometimes writes scripts for the current production he consults with himself; this is, however, not necessarily the case with every script consultant.
LORIMAR preferred hiring script consultants, who had previously written for other successful LORIMAR shows.
A person who handles the process whereby a script is reviewed and changed, based on input from various sources such as the director or producer. Writers who specialize in script editing are often called "script doctors" and are frequently uncredited.
At LORIMAR, script editing was done mostly by the (executive) supervising producers, the executive producer and the head of the writing staff of the respective series.
A person who tracks which parts have been filmed, how the filmed scenes deviated from the script; they also make continuity notes, creating a lined script.
A member of the writing staff advising the executive producers, (executive) supervising producers and writers on creative aspects of certain storylines and character development — sometimes, but not necessarily, for a whole season.
A story consultant is usually a scriptwriter, who is very familiar with the creative concept of the movie or series either because he developed or co-developed it or merely wrote scripts for it.
A member of the writing staff who is given the task of helping the executive producers, (executive) supervising producers and writers develop character arcs and plotlines for an entire season or at least a block of episodes.
For a TV show, story editors often write the bible for the new season - or at least co-write them with the executive producers or / and (executive) supervising producers.
At LORIMAR, a story editor earned approximately $ 4,000 per episode towards the end of the 1980's.
Reporting to the executive producer, this is the second highest crew member in rank unless there is an executive supervising producer in a group of supervising producers. He handles the every-day work on behalf of the exec.
Just like the executive producer, he is not involved in any technical aspects of the filmmaking process, but still responsible for the overall production as far as delegated by the exec.
Unit Production Manager
Reporting to the production supervisor and producer, this person is responsible for the practical matters, such as ordering equipment, getting near-location accommodations for the cast and crew, etc. - as far as these duties were delegated by the production supervisor / coordinating producer.
Writer / Author
The person who writes the script.
The average salary of a writer at LORIMAR was approximately $ 16,000 per episode in the early 1980's.