Have you ever stayed around to watch the credits roll and wondered what exactly some of these people do on the movie set? Some titles like Director and Stunt Coordinator are fairly self-explanatory, but others are the source of great confusion to many moviegoers. These are five most misunderstood job titles in the movie industry so read along to gain an understanding of what everyone’s duties are on a modern movie set.
There seems to be a common misconception that the Assistant Director’s job is a creative one and that the Assistant Director, or AD, assists with the creative design of the film and setting up shots and giving actors their inspiration. While that conclusion seems logical, it is not correct. The Assistant Director’s job is to ensure that the Director’s vision becomes a reality; the AD is his right hand man and the AD manages the film production. Their job is to ensure that all of the departments are running on time and prepared for each shot on the day. Assistant Directors communicate the Director’s desires to department heads and manage them, facilitating a smooth workflow so that the Director can do creative things.
Many people see the Gaffer title in a film’s credits and might seem confused, having no idea what this person does on the movie’s set. His job is not to make gaffes, although that could possibly lighten things up a bit. Film people are laughing at that bad pun, while many of you are confused. The Gaffer is the movie set’s head electrician. Lighten things up, get it? So the Gaffer is in charge of all the electrical work on the film set.
What is a grip, you ask? This is another one of the most commonly misunderstood titles you will see in a film’s credits, a job title that confuses many moviegoers. The Key Grip is the person in charge of all the people who move things on set. The Grips are the people doing the actual moving of things, items like lighting equipment, scaffolding, and dollies.
So what is the Best Boy and why is he the best? That is another crew position title that is the source of much confusion to those watching movie credits. The Best Boy is sometimes called the Assistant Lighting Technician, Best Boy Grip, or Best Boy Electric. The Best Boy is tasked with scheduling the crew members and equipment needed for the day’s shoot. The Best Boy Electric works under the Gaffer and the Best Boy Grip works under the Key Grip.
Some people think that the Script Supervisor’s job is to assist in writing the script but this is pretty far off. The Script Supervisor, sometimes just called the Scripty, has no creative input and does not assist in writing any dialogue for the movie. The Script Supervisor is really the Continuity Supervisor and is tasked with ensuring continuity between takes and scenes. This crew member’s job is to make sure that you don’t notice that the film was shot out of sequence. Have you ever seen a movie where an actor had a bruise inexplicably move from one side of their face to the other? The Script Supervisor made a gaffe between shot setups and it slipped past all the eyes on the movie set, resulting in a continuity error.
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