Lights, camera, action!

What happens behind the scenes to create a movie

Lights, camera, action!

What happens behind the scenes to create a movie

We all love a good movie, but not many know the extraordinary collaboration that happens behind the scenes to bring those timeless classics and action-packed blockbusters to the big screen.

Did you know more than 3,000 people collaborated to make The Avengers? From the director to the digital artists, actors and makeup artists, they all had a crucial role in making our heroes save the world. Even though smaller crews exist, the departments and their heads are still the same and collaborate in the same way to make the final product. Here, we present you with some of the most important jobs in making a film.


This person steers the ship. Everybody else works so his or her vision is taken to the big screen. The director collaborates with absolutely every other department: from budgets to costume design, lighting and music.


His or her mission is to translate the director’s vision with a camera, lenses, filters, lights. The collaboration between director and Director of Photography or DoP (as it is also known) is one of the tightest there are on a film set. If the camera moves, stays still, if you see purple lights in the back or the image is in complete darkness, all are decisions made by the DoP.


It’s impossible to forget the first notes of The Lion King or the flute in Titanic. You could see the exact same images, first with some happy bouncy music and then with scary tunes and they’d be totally different experiences. The composer collaborates crafting a music layer that wraps around and accentuates feelings in scenes.

Sound Artist

Imagine a scene in Star Wars with two jedis fitting with light sabers… what sound do you hear? That very specific sound and everything you hear in a movie (except for music) is thanks to the sound department. They are the magicians that collaborate carrying mics to capture every moment and create sounds during editing.

Production Designer

These people, as their name states, design how the movie will look, every texture, color, and space. We can thank him or her for the iconic yellow dress Belle wears, the Millennium Falcon’s technological interior, and the incredible sets of The Fifth Element. Everything you see on screen, without exception, was selected minutely to create a universe where you could immerse yourself.


Once all the material is shot it reaches the editor’s table. Before, they would literally cut the film and paste it with tape; now they work with digital files. Their job is to choose the best takes, where the actors did the best job or the light was particularly special to create coherent scenes.


Every movie starts with a script: what, who, how, where and why. The script is the base on which every other department and the director will work. It can be as specific as to indicate what color a chair is or as vague as to only state the action happens in a city, without saying which. What the characters say and the emotions they express: the screenwriter’s work.

We hope this makes you look at a film’s credits differently! Share your comments here and join the conversation using #ALFALiveMX on your social media profiles.