Best boy


Best boy

In a film crew there are two kinds of best boy: best boy electric and best boy grip. In the simplest forms, they are assistants to their department heads, the gaffer and the key grip, respectively.

Job responsiblities

On films with very small crews, the electric (lighting) department often consists of only a gaffer, a best boy, and a few electricians. The grip department may include only a key grip, a best boy, and a few grips. On very large crews these numbers can hit up to 12 or 24 grips or electricians per department and include full time rigging crews and additional photography units, depending on the situation.

Best boys are responsible for the daily running of the lighting or grip department. This encompasses many responsibilities including hiring and scheduling of crew, the ordering and returning of lighting or grip equipment, workplace safety, timecards, expendables, loading production trucks, planning and implementing the lighting or rigging of locations and/or sound stages, coordinating rigging crews and additional photography units (if applicable), handling relations with the other production departments, overseeing the application of union rules (if applicable), and serving as the main daily representative of the department with the unit production manager and coordinator of the film.

Word origin

The term "best boy" comes from the early studio days in which production crews were predominantly male. In modern productions, women serve in many of the different studio crafts. Female best boys are quite common, though they are still credited as "best boy".

The term also predates the film business; in the English apprentice system, the "best boy" was the Master's oldest, most experienced apprentice, and thereby given more responsibility than the others- in effect he was second person in charge, as a best boy grip or electrician is today, carrying out the Key Grip's or Gaffer's instructions.

As the gaffer is sometimes credited as the chief lighting technician, the best boy electric is sometimes credited as the assistant chief lighting technician.

Usage outside of English

Many French language films made in Quebec — and indeed all of Canada (in French) — use "Best Boy" in their credits. The term has been known to appear in the credits of some French films that are made in France, but it has not been known to appear in (French language) Belgian or Swiss films.Fact|date=June 2007

References

* [http://www.skillset.org/film/jobs/lighting/article_3893_2.asp Film Job Profiles/Best Boy]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • best boy — best′ boy′ n. mot sbz the first assistant to the head electrician on a television or motion picture production • Etymology: 1935–40 …   From formal English to slang

  • best boy — n. the principal assistant to the gaffer or grip on a film crew …   English World dictionary

  • best boy — noun : the chief assistant to the gaffer in motion picture or television productions * * * Motion Picture and Television Slang. the first assistant to the head electrician. * * * best boy noun (esp N American) The chief assistant to the head… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • best boy — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms best boy : singular best boy plural best boys cinema someone whose job is to help the person in charge of fitting or repairing the electrical equipment needed for making a film …   English dictionary

  • best boy — /ˈbɛst bɔɪ/ (say best boy) noun TV, Film a gaffer s assistant …   Australian English dictionary

  • best boy — noun Date: 1937 the chief assistant to the gaffer in motion picture or television production …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • best boy — noun /ˈbɛstˌbɔɪ/ The first assistant to either the key grip (in charge of camera placement and movement) or the gaffer (in charge of lighting and electrics) …   Wiktionary


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