Larry Polhill – What Do All Those People in Movie Credits Do?

If you have sat through a movie until the credits roll, you know that there are lots and LOTS of people working behind the scenes to get a movie made.  As they scroll by, you might have wondered about some of jobs these people perform – best boys, dolly grips and gaffers?  If you are curious about these and other jobs that get done behind the scenes, read on!

Executive Producer – executive producers like Larry Polhill have wide range of responsibilities depending on the project, so many in fact that it can be difficult to define this position clearly. Basically, the EP’s job is to oversee the production of the film in all its aspects, making sure that it is on budget and on time.  They might also be the person who secures the funding for the project, negotiates contracts and maybe even owns the rights to the story idea or script.

Best Boy Grip – the Best Boy is the assistant to the Key Grip, who is in turn responsible to the Director of Photography.  The main job of the Key Grip to make sure that the DP is able to get the shot they want by erecting scaffolding and rigging to support cameras, among other things.  The Best Boy supports the Key Grip by taking care of the equipment.

Dolly Grip – the Dolly Grip also plays a key role in the actual filming of the movie by handling dollies and cranes that raise or lower cameras.

Prop Master – The Prop Master is the person who selects and arranges the various props that Actors interact with in a scene.  So if an Actor picks up a book to buy in a scene, the Prop Master chose that particular book, and also the wallet the Actor pulls from his pocket, and the money he pulls out from the wallet!

Second Second Assistant Director – no, that isn’t a typo!  On set there will be a Director, a First Assistant Director, a Second Assistant Director and a Second Second Assistant Director.  This person supports the First and Second Assistant Directors, and is primarily responsible for managing the extras, including their movement in a scene.

Costume Designer – the Costume Designer not only oversees that making and purchase of costumes and accessories worn by the actors, but also conducts research to ensure that costumes are appropriate to the setting of the film.  Especially in historical movies, this can be a huge responsibility.  The Costume Designer is assisted by a Key Costumer, whose main job is to take care of the costumes and to keep to a budget.


Gaffer – the Gaffer is the person who sets up the lights on the movie set.  This involves working closely with the Director of Photography and the Key Grip to coordinate scaffolding and other technical requirements to produce the desired result.


These are just some of the many roles that are performed behind the scenes on a movie set to make sure that that the finished product is ready for movie goers!


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