Get a Grip!

John Darling By John Darling, 27th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Hollywood

Okay, the movie is over, you are about to leave, but then you realize you want to see who the Best Boy was on this film. The what?

Who is your Best Boy?

Okay, the movie is over, you’re finishing your popcorn while waiting for the mad rush to the exits to subside when you look up at the screen and find out exactly who the Best Boy during this production. The what?

The “what” points out the fact that it takes more than actors, directors, and producers to make a movie. Sure, they are the people who get all the hardware if a movie is successful but they are far from the only people who made it happen. Behind the scenes there are makeup artists, set designers, wardrobe personnel, and many more people who must do their job to make certain that a production comes off as planned. Most of these people, like these that have been mentioned, have rather clearly defined jobs. But what about the ones you have never heard of before? I mean, imagine that you are the wife of the Best Boy. How do you explain to people what he does for a living without sounding like you are bragging?

Let’s take a look at a rather popular movie with the old “cast of thousands” in it and see just what all of these people do.

In the full cast listing for Star Wars there are the following jobs listed. Next to each is what they do to make the movie a success. Keep these unheralded people in mind the next time you settle down with your Raisinets and Coke; if it weren’t for them, you might just be reading a book:

Best Boy – While this job sounds like the title of a favorite son in a big clan, it is really a highly important position. This person can work for a few different people on the crew as their assistant. They are the person responsible for scheduling people and equipment that are needed each day. If he or she slips up, filming could be halted. By the way, the Best Boy on Star Wars went uncredited.

Grip – This position takes a highly skilled person to fill it since the Grip is the person who sets up, maintains, and repairs production equipment. You know, stuff like cameras! You wouldn’t have much of a movie if they broke down. By the way, the Grip on Star Wars also went uncredited.

Gaffer – Let there be light—and the proper amount of it. It is the duty of the Gaffer to do exactly that. They can also work under the title of Chief Lighting Technician. This position was credited in the movie.

Boom Operator – Ummm, no, this person is not in charge of loud noises. However this person is in charge of capturing noises, loud and soft. They operate a boom which is a long pole with a microphone on it that is dangled over the set. The operator for Star Wars also went uncredited.

Matte Artist – And, no, this person does not draw on bedding equipment, but they do draw, usually exceptionally well since their backgrounds are what the actors often work in front of. Another name for this position, and I kid you not about this, is a Mattematician. I guess that adds up…

Color Timer – This position almost sounds like it should be in the make up department (What? Actors dye their hair?), but instead they work long after the actors have moved on to their next project. What these people do is make sure that final movie print has the same colors throughout no matter what camera shot a scene or what kind of film stock was used to print the movie on.


Jobs, Motion Pictures, Movie, Movie Career, Movie Fever, Movies, Star Wars

Meet the author

author avatar John Darling
I write short stories and articles and have five books in print. My articles are on all subjects, my stories of all genres.

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author avatar SkeetyD
27th May 2013 (#)

I have always wondered what these various persons did. Thank you so much for writing this.

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