Film production jobs are often not glamorous, but they do have some of the most interesting names in the business.
What is a Best Boy?
There are two types of Best Boys. One is the lead assistant to the chief lighting technician and the other is lead assistant to the Grip. The term “Best Boy” is a throwback to the apprentice system where “best” described an apprentice with the most experience. Best Boys are in charge of coordinating the teams they work with. They facilitate hiring extra manpower when necessary and do the paperwork relating to the job. Logistics is a major part of their job. It is the Best Boy’s responsibility to make sure equipment is ordered, delivered and where it is needed. If something breaks down, it is the Best Boy’s responsibility to make sure it is repaired in a timely manner. The job entails expertise not only in lighting or equipment, but also excellent administrative skills. The Best Boy is the liaison between their boss and the production team. Because of the nature of the job, hours are difficult to predict and can be extensive. Best boys can easily work a 12 hour day, six days a week.
What is a Grip?
Grips are in charge of building and maintaining the structures that support the cameras, like dollies or cranes. They are responsible for cameras being able to manoeuvre around a set, giving the viewer different angles to observe. Since it is imperative that cameras are kept completely still, the equipment onto which they are mounted must be very sturdy. The physical demands of the job can be extensive. The equipment is often heavy, but delicate. A Dolly Grip is responsible for a structure called a dolly. A dolly allows the camera to move along a track so that a shot can move in or out as a scene requires. Dolly Grips are responsible for building the track and making sure the camera moves as smoothly as possible for a seamless result. The Key Grip is in charge of all the Grips. The Key Grip has a Best Boy for assistance, but is ultimately responsible for all the equipment and sometimes helps coordinate other construction on set.
What is a Gaffer?
Gaffer is another name for the lighting director. In film industry, lighting is crucial and it is the Gaffer’s job to make sure lights are where they need to be and are operational. Gaffers typically understand the nuances of lighting, such as how to position lights to get the right time of day effects and what types of gels are appropriate to achieved desired effects. The Gaffer often works closely with the Key Grip. The Gaffer is in charge of all the electricians and may have a Best Boy to assist.
What is a Boom Operator?
Boom Operators get their name from the microphone they operate. The boom is a large microphone suspended from a long pole which is held over the set (out of camera view) to pick up the voices of the actors. However, Boom Operators normally work with any microphones required on set helping to make sure dialogue and sound effects are captured.
About the author:
Patrick is blogging for Yellow Cat Recruitment, one of the top entertainment, tv and media recruitment agencies London has to offer.
Filed Under: Movie News