The first draft of a script is produced by a screenwriter, who may create original material or adapt existing material, such as a novel or a play. A script invariably goes through many drafts before its final version, and other writers are often brought in to assist with this process. Additional writers are sometimes known as script editors, or script doctors, and may specialize in polishing a particular element of the script, such as the dialogue. A storyboard artist may work with the director to translate all or part of the script into a series of still pictures to be used as a template for shooting.

The casting director is responsible for auditioning and selecting the actors, as agreed with the director and producer, and for negotiating their contracts. Sometimes one casting director auditions major roles, while one or more local casting directors hire supporting actors for location filming. Extras casting may be performed by yet another person or agency.

If any parts of a film need to be shot outside the studio, sites are selected by a location manager, whose research is often aided by a location scout. The location manager obtains permission to film from authorities or private owners and negotiates any fees that must be paid. Throughout the shoot the location manager is responsible for liaison with area film councils or other relevant authorities.

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