Handy explainers about who’s working behind the camera on a shoot.
“Unit? Gaffer? Grip? Wha…?” Need a little further demystifying? Vimeo Video School‘s short, handy explainer will tell you Who’s Who on a Movie Crew:
… and honestly, so will this (via Aimee La Joie / No Film School):
Filmmaker IQ offers a more detailed look at Who’s Who in the Movie Credits:
In Depth Cine has a series of videos on the various crew roles on a movie set:
Tips Before Your First Time on a Film Set
I wish someone had given me the heads-up on even half of these things before my first (disastrous) time on a film set. Danny Gevirtz‘s show-and-tell, in which he doesn’t just describe, but also demonstrates how a ‘Gary Coleman’ isn’t a person, and ‘Neg’ doesn’t mean what you think it means, is such a valuable primer on professional production protocol:
Two tips I’d add:
- Stay out of Eyelines – not just actors, but anyone you’re not personally in communication with. As Danny mentions in his lens handover tip, eye contact serves a particular function on a film set
- Make Friends with Unit Production Manager – if it’s your first time on a film set, chances are you’re a production assistant or “runner” (someone who mainly fetches coffee for the key crew). This means you’re part of the “Unit” – and the boss of the Unit is not only your point of contact for your specific jobs on the shoot, but also your best way to gauge the atmosphere of the shoot, how you can best fit into things, and how to be a help and not a hassle – all of which will help get you more out of your time on this shoot, as well as more work in future.