CREW for Tribe Series 4 – Part 1

Series III of the Tribe finished production in December 2000, and was shown on Channel 5 in the UK soon after. After its huge success in the UK it was announced in April 2001 that Series IV of the Tribe would be going ahead. At this time, filming was nearing completion for Cloud 9’s most recent show – Atlantis High.

And so, Series IV of The Tribe was scheduled to start filming on August 13th 2001.

Prior to the commencement of filming there is a huge amount of organisation and planning to be done in order for the smooth running of production once it is underway. This is called Pre production.

There are many processes to consider. They include:

Script writing – Ideas/Input and scripts from our Script Consultant – Harry Duffin and Executive Producer – Raymond Thompson

Planning and scheduling – Executive in Charge of Production – Geoff Husson and Producer – Debra Kelleher Smith. In liaison with the Assistant Directors, Production Managers, Art Department Managers, Script Editors to ensure that the upcoming production will run smoothly.

Set building – Underway in the pre-production phase. The re-dressing of the Phoenix Mall and construction of other sets and rooms in Studio B at Cloud 9.

Casting – Arranging new and old cast members to fit the characters for the upcoming series. See casting article.

Rehearsing – When cast members arrive in Wellington (Cloud 9 studios) there will be wardrobe fittings, make-up sessions, cast and crew ‘meet & greet’ to ensure everyone gets to know each other prior to the start of production.

This week we will specifically look at crewing for The Tribe Series IV. The crew are the people who work behind the scenes to put the series together. But what do they each do?

Who are the Crew and what do they do?


Photo 1 – Camera Operator sitting high above the cast and crew on a Giraffe crane.

DOP (Director of Photography)/Camera Operator- There are 2 cameras used in filming for the Tribe. They are used to film the dialogue of one character and the reactions of the other in the same scene. The DOP is in charge of filming and lighting and is also a camera operator on-set.

Grip – is the person who looks after everything the camera sits on, including dolly’s and tripods and helps it move during filming.

Photo 2 – A platform holding the camera and operator over the river

Camera Assistant – Helps the camera operator.

Focus Puller – Measure the distance from the camera to the actors and then determine the appropriate focus for changes of character movements in each scene.

Stills Photographer – Responsible for all the still photos taken over the series. This includes photos taken for every scene for publicity, promotional and advertising purposes. See photography article.


Photo 3 – Filming on the city streets requires a ‘diff frame’ with light shining through it for softer lighting effects.

Gaffer – Person who sets up the lights and looks after all the lighting equipment.

Best Boy – is the Gaffer’s assistant. If a female holds this role, they can be called Best Boy or Best Person!

Lighting Assistant – Assists in setting up the lights for each scene.


Photo 4 – Overview of entire crew shooting a scene on the beach front.

Sound recordist – Records the dialogue in each scene, checks for outside noises such as birds or planes and ensures the sound quality is as good as possible for the day.

Boom Operator – The person who holds the microphones as close to the actors mouths as possible without being seen. They are connected to a long Boom (hence the name Boom Operator) and aimed towards the actors.