… for Random Weirdness

Tip #678: A Guide to On-Set Film Terms – Part 2

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

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The intrepid team at MotionArray.com has compiled a glossary of film terms. This list relates to the key people on set. There’s the producer, who’s the money, and the director, the creative force, but who are all the rest of these people? 

  • 1st AD. The first assistant director is basically the second in charge on any set. They serve as the all-important link between the head honcho director and the entire cast and crew and are responsible for ensuring that the production runs like a well-oiled machine. Did someone say presssshhha?
  • 2nd AD. Working directly under the 1st AD, the second assistant director is responsible for drafting up all the logistical documents (call sheets and the like) and making sure that the 3rd AD has the cast and crew in check.
  • 3rd AD. The third assistant director is basically one big people wrangler. It’s their job to ensure that all members of the cast and crew are in the right place and the right time.
  • Gaffer. Head electrician responsible for setting up all of the lighting equipment used in a given production. You might also hear them being referred to as a Spark or Juicer.
  • Key Grip. Head technician responsible for setting up all the non-electrical lighting equipment. (Think lighting modifiers, flags, cookies, etc).
  • Best Boy. Assistant to either the Gaffer or Key Grip, distinguished by the titles Best Boy Electric or Best Boy Grip.
  • Second Unit. A completely separate crew charged with filming any takes that don’t involve face-to-face interaction, such as inserts and action sequences. Second units usually work simultaneously alongside the main unit to help speed up the production process.

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