Electrical Department

Film Crew Position: Electric Assistant

What does a Electric Assistant do?

An Electric Assistant is a crucial member of the Electrical Department on a film set, responsible for providing support with the lighting equipment and electrical needs during production. They work under the supervision of the Gaffer, who is the head electrician, and the Best Boy Electric, who is the Gaffer's chief assistant. Electric Assistants help set up lighting fixtures, run cables, and ensure that all electrical devices are functioning correctly and safely to achieve the desired lighting effects envisioned by the cinematographer.

What role does a Electric Assistant play?

The role of an Electric Assistant encompasses a variety of tasks that facilitate the creation of the film's visual atmosphere. Their duties often include rigging lights, changing bulbs, laying and securing cabling, setting up generators, and operating lifts to position lighting equipment. Electric Assistants must anticipate the needs of the Gaffer and be ready to respond quickly to changes on set. They must also adhere to strict safety protocols to prevent accidents related to electricity and lighting equipment.

Do you need to go to college to be a Electric Assistant?

A college degree is not necessarily required to become an Electric Assistant; however, some form of training or experience is typically expected. Many Electric Assistants gain knowledge through hands-on experience, starting as production assistants or in other entry-level positions and learning the trade on the job. Technical programs or courses in film production, electrical technology, or theater arts can provide valuable skills and knowledge that can be advantageous for those seeking to enter this field.

What skills do you need to be a Electric Assistant?

Required skills for an Electric Assistant include a solid understanding of electrical principles and practical lighting techniques. They must be technically proficient with various types of lighting equipment and electrical tools. Strong problem-solving skills, the ability to work well under pressure, and effective communication are also essential. Physical fitness is important, as the job often requires lifting heavy equipment and working in challenging conditions. A keen eye for detail and a commitment to safety are paramount for success in this role.

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