There are multiple kinds of grips. There are grips, dolly grips, key grips, and so on. A grip’s job is to achieve the gaffer’s desired effect when it comes to lighting. A dolly grip assists with the dolly. A dolly is a cart that rolls around. The camera operator sits on it and the dolly grip sets up the dolly track, pushes the dolly, marks the start and end points, etc. The key grip is the grip in charge of all of the other grips and works closely with the best boy, gaffer and Director of Photography to coordinate the shot.
The gaffer is in charge of lighting the scene. A gaffer will draw up the lighting plan as directed by the director of photography and tell the best boy and key grip what to do.
The best boy is your friendly neighborhood lead electrician. In other words the best boy holds all of the power. Muwah ha ha ha haaaaaa. Just kidding, but seriously. The best boy manages the electrical load on the generator and also manages the electrical cabling.
1st Assistant Director
The 1st assistant director, or 1st A.D., is in charge of the schedule for the day. Side by side with the director and production manager, the 1st A.D.’s job is to make the schedule as efficient as possible. His/her job is also to keep everyone on schedule. Everyone includes talent, equipment, and crew. If a production is large enough then the 1st A.D. will have a 2nd A.D. (the assistant to the assistant).
Cinematographer/Director of Photography
The director of photography is commonly called the D.P. and is in charge of everything the camera is pointed at. The D.P. works very closely with the director to achieve the desired shot. The D.P. brings to life what the director has in his/her head. Managing the camera movements, camera framing, camera crew, lighting design, and making sure to keep the lines of communication open between the gaffer and the D.P. and the director are all a part of this role. In other words, they stay busy.
The data wrangler is a relatively new position as digital video became increasingly popular and has now taken over the industry. This person is in charge of the footage that has already been shot: organizing, duplicating, labeling, and reformatting the footage for use on set or for the editors.
DIT (Digital Imaging technician)
The final role I will define for you is the Digital Imaging Technician (D.I.T.). Just as a data wrangler, this role came about only with the rise of digital video. Their job is dedicated to making sure that the director is getting the highest quality footage possible. They are also in charge of transferring the footage after it has been captured. Let me tell you, you don’t want to be the D.I.T. who loses the footage or else, “No soup for you!”
I hope you found this interesting! Have you found any John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidts for names in video production? Let us know in our comments!