Grip Department

Film Crew Position: Best Boy Gaffer

What does a Best Boy Gaffer do?

A Best Boy Gaffer typically serves as the primary assistant to the chief lighting technician, also known as the Gaffer, on a film set. Functioning within the Grip Department, the Best Boy Gaffer plays a pivotal role in the lighting and electrical aspects of a production. This member of the crew is instrumental in managing the equipment and personnel required to execute the lighting plan as designed by the Director of Photography and Gaffer.

What role does a Best Boy Gaffer play?

The Best Boy Gaffer's role involves a myriad of responsibilities, including the supervision of the electrical crew, coordination of the lighting equipment, and ensuring all safety protocols are followed. They are also responsible for planning the power distribution on set, ordering supplies, and sometimes even stepping into the Gaffer's role when necessary. From pre-production to wrap, the Best Boy Gaffer works closely with the Gaffer to maintain efficiency and address any issues related to the electrical and lighting needs of the production.

Do you need to go to college to be a Best Boy Gaffer?

A college degree is not a prerequisite for the role of Best Boy Gaffer. However, knowledge and experience in electrical work, lighting techniques, and practical on-set experience are crucial. Many Best Boy Gaffers have backgrounds in film school or have taken specialized courses in lighting or electrical work. Nonetheless, hands-on experience and climbing the ranks from lesser positions within the Grip or Electrical Department often serve as the most valuable educational path for aspiring Best Boy Gaffers.

What skills do you need to be a Best Boy Gaffer?

A comprehensive set of skills is required for a Best Boy Gaffer to be successful. Technical proficiency with lighting equipment, electrical systems, and familiarity with the latest industry technology is essential. Strong leadership and communication abilities are critical since they coordinate a team and collaborate with various departments. Moreover, they need to be highly organized to manage inventory, schedules, and equipment logistics. Problem-solving skills and adaptability are also necessary, as the Best Boy Gaffer must be able to respond quickly to changing on-set conditions or equipment issues.

New to filmmaking?

Get Free Template

Use our budget template to get a kick start on your film project. Get access to dozens of templates no matter what type of project!