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Who Is Exactly Who on a Movie Set and What Do They Do?

Movies, we love them. Actors, we celebrate them. Directors, we lionize them. But what about all the other joes and janes of the movie world? This animation video breaks down who does what and who is who and who is why in a film crew on a typical movie set. I'd say the understanding of what Assistant Directors and Grips do are pretty common knowledge so stay for the quirky animation. [Vimeo Video School]

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DISCUSSION

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Some others people ask me about a lot:

Best Boy = Head of the Electric Department.

Key Grip = Head of Grip department

Script Girl = Outdated term for the Script Supervisor, who is in charge of keeping track of continuity on set. Never worked with a male one in my life.

Prop Master = Head Prop Guy.

2nd 2nd Assistant Director = I used to do this! You're basically the head production assistant. Key PA is another term for it.

Craft service = the (not-catered) food on set. Term comes from the fact that they service people performing their crafts. Fun fact: craft service typical is in charge of trash disposal on set!

Sets are run identically to military units, it's all chain of command. There are crew leads then department leads, and above-the-line crew members like DPs, Director, Production Designer, Exec producer. Grip & Electric goes something like this: Grip & Electric (typically referred to as G&E) report to Best Boy or Key Grip who report to Gaffer who report to DP. Film loaders, 2nd and 1st AC (assistant camera) also report to DP. PAs report to 2nd 2nd, who reports to 2nd, who reports to 1st AD. Art PAs report to Art Directors/Set Decs/Prop masters, who report to Production Designers.

Fun job!