Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy… What Are Those Weird-Sounding Jobs in the Film Industry?

If you’re interested in film, you’ve probably noticed some funky-sounding job titles in the credits at the end of movies… and wondered what, exactly, these Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy, jobs, careers, movies, industry, film folks do.

The world of digital video and media production offers an array of career opportunities. Some of them, such as director, are more straightforward. Others, however, may need some explanation.

Here, we’ll look at a few of the jobs in the industry that have weird titles, and discuss what exactly they do during a production.


Grips build and maintain the supporting structures used for housing cameras and audio and lighting equipment, according to IMDB.

These structures can include tripods, tracks, dollies, cranes and other devices that aid in how a scene is recorded. They work with directors and others on set to ensure the equipment is in the right place and the scene can be captured the way it’s intended.

There are other types of grips, as well.

  • Key grip: The head grip on set.
  • Dolly grip: A grip that moves a dolly, which is a camera mount that moves along a set of tracks.
  • Best boy: Top assistant of gaffer (see below) or key grip.


A gaffer’s job is to manage electrical equipment during a digital video production.

Generally focused on lighting, gaffers (sometimes called lighting technicians) ensure levels are correct and make adjustments depending on what a shot calls for. They also head up the electrical team during a shoot.

Boom operator

Simply put, the boom operator is the crew member who holds the boom microphone (a mic at the end of a pole) and ensures it’s picking up sound correctly.

Boom operators also make sure the microphone can’t be seen in the shot.

Other Careers in Digital Video and Media Production


Working behind the camera, videographers capture the images that will eventually become a finished product.

In addition to having an eye for framing and composition, they must have a strong grasp of the technical aspects of shooting video, as well as sound and lighting.

Videographers can work in a variety of places, including small production companies, media companies, corporations, or as freelancers.Grip, Gaffer, Best Boy, jobs, careers, movies, industry, film

Video editor

Video editors use the scenes taken during a production and translate them into a coherent, persuasive or entertaining product.

They use digital equipment to rearrange, alter and improve shots during the post-production process, helping create cohesive sequences for final production.

The advent of new equipment—and more channels through which video is presented—has allowed for a greater range of opportunities in the field.

Sound technician

Sound technicians coordinate and operate audio equipment during video productions, making sure microphones, speakers and recording gear is set up properly.

These professionals maintain sound equipment for various productions, including radio and TV broadcasts, concerts, videos and more. Many work as freelancers.

Work in the Industry

A degree in digital video and media production can prepare you for a host of jobs.

The work itself varies depending on the type of production, be it a commercial or full-length feature film. Some of the careers in the field not listed above include:

  • Associate producer/production
  • Production manager
  • Production coordinator
  • Director of photography
  • Unit production manager
  • Script supervisor
  • Second assistant director
  • Sound mixer
  • Audio assistant
  • Editor
  • Producer
  • Director

With the right training and experience, career opportunities in the world of digital video and media production are nearly limitless.

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