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Reel Opportunities

Gaffer

Also known as: Chief Electrician, Supervising or Chief Lighting Technician

What is a Gaffer?
What does a Gaffer do?

Gaffers work closely with the Director of Photography (DoP) to bring to life the overall look of a film by creating and controlling light.

They work with the DoP to understand the desired light effects and figure out how to achieve them. They go on location scouts to see how the lighting will work on location and draw up a list of the equipment that will be needed to achieve the artistic vision.

Then they pitch for the equipment. They put in a request to the Line Producer or Production Manager for the equipment they need and appoint the Best Person to hire the crew and order the gear. During filming, they work out the positioning of the lights and the fastest way to change the lighting setups between shots. Gaffers mediate between the DoP and the rest of the lighting crew.

They’re also responsible for safety and need to comply with the scientific theory of electricity, driving, and employment.

What's a Gaffer good at?
  • Understanding light

    Have an artistic eye, know the techniques required to achieve different lighting effects and the kit needed to achieve them

  • Electrical knowledge

    Have an in-depth understanding of circuits, power supplies, motors, cables, fuses, thermal relays, fault current protection switches, heating, lighting, air conditioning and more

  • Knowledge of film-making

    Be able to understand the production process, particularly the roles of the director of photography and how the gaffer role fits in

  • Communication

    Be able to draw up plans and explain them to the crew, communicate well with the director of photography and the lighting crew, be clear and approachable even when making quick decisions under pressure

  • Organization

    Work within a budget, schedule the crew and the kit requirements, prioritize and meet deadlines

  • Working at heights

    Be good at climbing ladders as most lights are set up above the head height

Who does a Gaffer work with?

The Gaffer oversees the lighting department and works closely with the Best Person who is mainly responsible for getting the right lights to the right places at the right times, the Lighting Technician who sets up the lighting equipment and manages the gear, and the Generator Operator who load and transport the generators required for productions. The Gaffer also works closely with the Director of Photography (DoP) to configure the layout and positioning of the lighting to best achieve the DoP’s vision.

How do I become a Gaffer?

Gaffers should be fully qualified Electricians, so your first step is to get yourself qualified and experienced in electrical installation. Then you need to develop contacts in the film and TV drama industry to get experience working on film sets. Look at the electrical trainee job profile to learn more about how to do this. Once you have found your way into the lighting team, you need to work your way through the roles outlined above.

Work with a kit hire company: Get work experience with a kit rental company. Look for companies that supply equipment to the theater, film, TV, and events industries. Get to know the best persons coming in and ask if they would take you on as a trainee.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

2nd Assistant Camera

Also known as: 2nd AC

What is a 2nd Assistant Camera?
What does a 2nd Assistant Camera do?

The 2nd Assistant Camera is an important role on the camera team. They are responsible for the accessories for the cameras, including changing memory cards and charging batteries.

The 2nd Assistant Camera works mainly with the “clapboard” or “slate”– the black and white board that’s become iconic for the beginning and end of film takes. A traditional way to sync audio with each take, the 2nd AC uses the slate to indicate for an Editor when the camera has started and stopped recording. The 2nd AC will mark on the slate what scene, take, and camera memory card the production is on. Modern clapboards or slates are digital and include a timecode generator on an LED display. The 2nd AC clearly lists out the information on the slate before clapping the sticks at the beginning (or sometimes the end, known as tail-slate) of the take. This helps keep all the shots organized for the post-production team and allows the picture and audio to be synched together.

The 2nd Assistant Camera will also keep track of all of the camera data for each shot. They fill in reports called “camera logs”; that mark the focal length, the scene, the take, and some small notes. They will also mark which take is the director’s favourite, so the editor has an easier job looking through the footage.

In addition, they will assist the 1st Assistant Camera in marking spots for focus and helping in the organization of the equipment.

What's a 2nd Assistant Camera good at?
  • Photography

    Have a good eye and understanding of composition, light, colour, focus, and framing

  • Technical knowledge of cameras

    Have a good understanding of the latest motion picture equipment, cameras, lens, filters monitors, and lights

  • Taking instruction

    Listen, do what’s asked accurately, stay calm under pressure, pay close attention to detail

  • Communication

    Work well with crew members, onscreen contributors, presenters and production staff, be responsive

  • Handling cameras

    Be well-coordinated, prepared to lift and move heavy camera equipment frequently throughout a shoot

Who does a 2nd Assistant Camera work with?

The 2nd Assistant Camera will work directly under the camera operator of the production or the operator of the camera unit. They will be close with the 1st Assistant Camera and the Camera Operator. The 2nd AC will work in tandem with the 1st AC to make sure everything is set up for the camera department to thrive. The 2nd Assistant Camera will also work with the DOP (Director of Photography). They may also work with the Assistant Editor in sharing the information of the camera logs.

How do I become a 2nd Assistant Camera?

Like many other departments on a set, it is possible to learn on the job by starting out in the lowest tier as a Production Assistant and working your way up. Another way to gain an intimate knowledge of the gear is to work at a camera rental house. Many equipment rental companies encourage their employees to learn about the equipment that they offer, and it can be a great way to gain experience that you will later use on set. You can also look into the local camera unions in your area and try to gain experience from them. They can provide qualifications to help acquire entry-level positions on sets.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

1st Assistant Camera

Also known as: AC, Focus Puller

What is a 1st Assistant Camera?
What does a 1st Assistant Camera do?

The 1st Assistant Camera (1st AC) is responsible for maintenance of the camera, such as keeping it clean or adjusting the focus. Often, an AC whose main job is to maintain the camera lens’ focus during each scene is called the “Focus Puller”.

Pulling focus is not an easy job onset and is very important for production. The 1st Assistant Camera will sit next to the camera operator and use a dial to bring the picture in and out of focus. The 1st Assistant Camera will need to know exactly where the actor, or the object, that needs to be in focus is, so they can correctly mark the dial and pull to it.

They also manage the camera equipment and make sure it is organized on set. They will help with preparing the equipment, cleaning the lenses, and even setting up and tearing down the camera rig each day.

What's a 1st Assistant Camera good at?
  • Photography

    Have a good eye and understanding of composition, light, colour, focus, and framing

  • Technical knowledge of cameras

    Have a good understanding of the latest motion picture equipment, cameras, lens, filters monitors, and lights

  • Taking instruction

    Listen, do what’s asked accurately, stay calm under pressure, pay close attention to detail

  • Communication

    Work well with crew members, onscreen contributors, presenters and production staff, be responsive

  • Handling cameras

    Be well-coordinated, prepared to lift and move heavy camera equipment frequently throughout a shoot

Who does a 1st Assistant Camera work with?

The 1st Assistant Camera will work directly under the Camera Operator of the production or the operator of the camera unit. They will work closely with the Camera Operator and be by their side for most of the production. They will also work closely with the 2nd Assistant Camera as they both will help in the daily functions of the camera department. The 1st Assistant Camera will also work with the DOP (Director of Photography).

How do I become a 1st Assistant Camera?

Like many other departments on a set, it is possible to learn on the job by starting out in the lowest tier of the Camera Department and working your way up. Another way to gain an intimate knowledge of the gear is to work at a camera rental house. Many equipment rental companies encourage their employees to learn about the equipment that they offer, and it can be a great way to gain experience that you will later use on set. You can also look into the local camera unions such as IATSE and try to gain experience from them. They can provide qualifications to acquire entry-level positions on sets.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Camera Operator

Also known as: Cameraperson, Studio Camera Operator, Steadicam Operator, Cameraman

What does a Camera Operator do?

Camera Operators are responsible for capturing the action on a film or television production. They play an integral role in the film and television production process, working closely with the Director of Photography, ensuring that the shots produced are in line with the visual style and tone of the project. They know how to choose which cameras to use in certain conditions and consider the composition, framing, and movement of a shot. They can also shoot what’s happening live, whether that’s on location for a news programme, documentary, or a large multi-camera studio show.

On larger productions there may be more than one Camera Operator, known as Camera A and Camera B. This allows for simultaneous coverage of a scene from various shots and set-ups. Each Camera Operator would have several Assistant Camera and Grips working as part of a cohort or mini-team in order to achieve each shot. On smaller productions, one Camera Operator would be responsible to cover all shots, and scenes may be played out several times in order to get a variety of angles and framing choices.

When shooting on location, such as on documentaries, they might be the only Camera Operator working in all kinds of conditions — underwater, in a snowstorm, or in a desert. They often operate a variety of different cameras, including handheld cameras mounted on a body frame (Steadicam) or a drone. They are responsible for taking care of the kit wherever they are shooting, and on smaller productions often own their equipment. They are also skilled at lighting composition.

What's a Camera Operator good at?
  • Photography

    Have a good eye and understanding of composition, light, colour, focus, and framing. You may specialise in certain genres, but you must also be able to adapt to different shooting styles

  • Technical knowledge of cameras

    Have an in-depth understanding of the latest motion picture equipment, cameras, lens, monitors, and lights

  • Communication

    Listen, do what’s asked by the producer, director and work as a team with other crew and production staff

  • Multi-task

    Watch, listen, think quickly, and problem solve on the go, all whilst carrying out complex technical tasks, adapt to requirements of different shoots

  • Concentration

    Be patient, maintain focus over long programme shoots, stay calm under pressure

Who does a Camera Operator work with?

Camera Operators report directly to the Director of Photography and the 1st AD. Sometimes they may even take direction directly from the Director. Camera Operators work with the Grips to move and set up camera equipment and talk to the Gaffers about lighting too. They often have a Camera Assistant or two working with them. Lastly, they work directly with the Digital Imaging Technician on preserving data from memory cards.

How do I become a Camera Operator?

Camera Operator is a senior and experienced position. Most work their way up into this role from a position like Camera Assistant.

Here are some more tips:

Educational requirements: You may find courses in a combination of subjects that include art, art and design, graphic communication or photography, along with maths and physics.

Get an internship: Internships are jobs with training. They’re a great opportunity to earn while you learn. If you can’t get an internship with a broadcaster, it might be worth trying to find one outside the TV industry, where you can develop your skills and your craft. You can then move into TV at a later point. Before taking any internship, check what you’ll be learning with your prospective employer and college, so you can be sure it will give you the skills you want.

Work for an equipment company: Contact an equipment rental company. Ask if you can become a kit room assistant for them. That way you will get to learn more about the kit and build up contacts.

Get a degree: It’s not essential to have a degree in order to become a Camera Operator. There are, however, degree courses that specialize in television production and photography that you might consider.

Get work experience: Try to get work experience by writing to local production companies and asking if they offer any.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Digital Imaging Technician

Also known as: DIT, Data Management Technician (DMT)

What does a Digital Imaging Technician do?

The Digital Imaging Technician (DIT) is a relatively new crew position in the film and television industry. Previously thought of as nothing more than a “data wrangler” the DIT is now widely considered one of the most integral members of the camera crew, bridging the gap between production and post-production, and working closely with the Director of Photography to achieve the optimal look for the project. The reason for this is that what used to be reels of exposed film is now “data” – digitally recorded images stored on cards or drives.

The DIT is almost an extension of the DoP. Helping with digital image manipulations such as aspect ratio, camera settings, resolution, codecs, frame rates and even LUTs (color grading). One of the primary functions of the DIT is to indeed wrangle data—offloading, copying data and keeping data secure in at least three locations. They work closely with the Video Assist Operator to get the raw footage ready for dailies—reviewed by the Director, and other members of the production team. As raw footage seldom looks right, the DIT manipulates the footage, applying color grading and other techniques to prepare it for viewing.

Lastly, the DIT is also in the middle of the workflow between production and the post-production team, liaising with the Editor or Assistant Editors and transferring data. The workflow focuses on secure and efficient handoff of data, making sure no prize footage is lost or corrupted during the process.

What's a Digital Imaging Technician good at?
  • Digital cameras and computers

    Have expert knowledge of cameras, file formats, storage media, and computer systems to get the smoothest workflow

  • Digital photography

    Understand contrast, focus, lighting, cinematography, and color. Have a good eye for grading raw footage

  • Problem-solving

    Be able to fix kit, tech, and cable connections

  • Communication

    Advise the director of photography on the benefits or limitations of particular set-ups, be the liaison between the set and the post-production team, create the best possible workflow between the two

  • Film production

    Understand how a film set works, the roles within it, and the production process

  • Staying calm under pressure

    Stay alert in a live environment, adjust picture accurately

  • Attention to detail

    Label files, wrangle the data without loss, notice corruptions

Who does a Digital Imaging Technician work with?

DITs work most closely with the camera department. On some shoots, they are needed at the Director of Photography’s side. They also need a good relationship with the 2nd AC, who gives the footage to the DIT when needed. (On larger sets they’re assisted by a Data Wrangler). DITs will often have to make reference notes for different departments like hair and make-up, costume department, and the Script Supervisor.

How do I become a Digital Imaging Technician?

Typically, Digital Imaging Technicians work their way up through the camera department. One good route into this is through becoming a Camera Trainee.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Camera Trainee

Also known as: 3rd Camera Assistant

What does a Camera Trainee do?

Camera Trainees work with all members of the camera crew, but they usually work most closely with the 2nd AC or Clapper Loader.

They help prepare the equipment at the beginning of the job and may be involved with camera and lens tests. They might mark actors’ positions during rehearsals and keep records, camera logs and other paperwork ready for the edit.

Monitoring can be a big part of the role; setting up the monitors, cables and wireless. If there isn’t a dedicated monitor operator, it becomes the role of the Trainee. Experienced Trainees may also be asked to take on the responsibility of using the clapperboard, changing camera batteries and helping the Focus Puller (1st AC).

The scope of the job changes depending on the size of the production. They might start out making tea and coffee and getting the sides (printouts of the scenes to be shot that day) from the production office to the camera department. On bigger productions, they might help with the second unit camera, a camera set up to do secondary shoots while the main action is taking place elsewhere.

What's a Camera Trainee good at?
  • Photography

    Have a good eye and understanding of composition, light, colour, focus and story-telling

  • Watching film and TV drama

    Have a passion for the genre and a love of the industry

  • Learning by watching and asking

    Observe the Clapper Loader and Focus Puller and ask questions at the appropriate moments

  • Taking instruction

    Listen, do what’s asked, stay calm under pressure

  • Reliability

    Arrive to set on time and also be focused on set

  • Communication

    Work well with crew members, write accurate and detailed camera reports

Who does a Camera Trainee work with?

Camera Trainees mainly work with the Clapper Loader (2nd AC) but they also come into contact with the Focus Puller, Camera Operator, Director of Photography (DoP) and the wider camera department.

How do I become a Camera Trainee?

IATSE has an excellent apprenticeship training programme that is the most direct way into this field. You can also learn a lot about cameras and other equipment in a film production programme in college, university, or independent training programmes. Here are some more tips:

Educational Requirements: If you want to go to university, take courses that let you explore different subjects, ideally with some combination of art, art and design or graphic communication with math and physics.

Get work experience: Contact video making companies and ask if you can do work experience with them.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Director of Photography

Also known as: Cinematographer, DP, DoP

What is a Director of Photography?
What does a Director of Photography do?

The DoP is the head of both the lighting and camera departments. They are responsible for artistic and technical decisions related to the images captured by the camera.

They read the screenplay and work closely with the Director to discuss the look and feel of a film. They then research how to create the look through lighting, framing, and camera movement and what they will need in terms of equipment and crew to achieve this. The DoP works with other departments, like sound and the director’s unit, to coordinate production needs.

During production, the DoP coordinates the camera crew and works with the Director to make sure each scene is set up and shot to match the overall vision. A DoP can have a lot of creative input on the look and feel of the film. For each scene, the Director of Photography decides on the best combination of cameras, filters, and lenses, as well as camera placement, camera moves, and lighting best suited for the scene.

It’s the job of DoPs to make sure every shot satisfies the Director’s vision and fits with the aesthetic of the film. They view the dailies with the Director and work closely with the Colourist in post-production. On smaller productions, they sometimes double as the Camera Operator.

The DoP is considered one of the key creatives on a film set. The position is both highly technical and artistic, requiring extensive experience and training.

What's a Director of Photography good at?
  • Photography

    Have an eye for composition and color, know how to tell a story through a shot, understand camera and lighting techniques, know how to use them to evoke an emotional response




  • Technical knowledge of cameras

    Have an in-depth understanding of all motion picture equipment, cameras, lens, monitors, and lights

  • Editing knowledge

    Understand the post-production workflow, and how shots fit together to tell a coherent story

  • Making decisions

    Think quickly, often under pressure

  • Organization

    Plan, know how to do things and how long it will take, get the right kit and crew, think about logistical, artistic, and budgetary considerations at the same time

  • Communication

    Ensure everyone in the team knows what’s expected, work closely with the grips and the gaffer, lead the team and resolve conflicts in situations that can sometimes be stressful

Who does a Director of Photography work with?

The Director of Photography works closely with, and oversees the Camera Department which consists of the Camera Operator who looks through the camera and is the DoP’s eyes, the 1st Assistant Camera who makes sure the shots are in focus, the 2nd Assistant Camera, who prepares the equipment and keeps records of the shots, and the Camera Trainee who assists the whole department. The DoP also works closely with the Digital Imaging Technician who makes sure that all the digital settings on the cameras are set to bring the DoP’s vision to life, as well as the Video Assist Operator who makes sure that the director can see what is being shot.

How do I become a Director of Photography?

This is a senior role and people come into it through a variety of routes. Some start as Camera Trainees and work their way up through the roles outlined above. Others come up through the lighting department. IATSE has an excellent apprenticeship training programme that is the most direct way into this field. You can also learn a lot about cameras and other equipment in a film production programme in college, university, or independent training programmes. Here are some more tips:

Educational requirements: Many film schools offer courses in cinematography, touching on lighting, shot design, and how to tell visual stories. You can also start out as an entry-level assistant in the camera department, learn on the job, and work your way up.

Work for an equipment company: Contact an equipment rental company like Panavision, Provision, or ARRI Rentals. Ask if you can become an intern or driver for them. That way you will learn more about the equipment and build up contacts.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

LED Technician

Also known as: Virtual Production Manager

What does an LED Technician do?

An LED Technician works with a form of film-making technology called virtual production (sometimes referred to as virtual reality walls), which is becoming more and more popular. Virtual production involves large surfaces (walls, ceilings, sometimes floors) created out of LED screens. These large screens, called LED walls, are built on a soundstage. Visuals are then created in a 3D software named Unreal Engine and generated on the screens. The screen acts as a background and can be linked with motion capture cameras to add the effect of a real background. They move in relation to the camera movement and provide a real, immersive background experience. This creates less work in post-production.

An LED Technician is responsible for assisting in creating these immersive environments for productions. They have to build and calibrate the large screens and work with the production to achieve the right space and look. The Technician will be responsible for managing the screens on set, making sure the correct backgrounds are displayed for the scene. They will assist the production in creating this large world and if needed, advise the on-set camera team on the optimum settings for the screens.

What's an LED Technician good at?
  • Understanding light

    Have an artistic eye, know the techniques required to achieve different lighting effects

  • Electrical knowledge

    Have an in-depth understanding of circuits, power supplies, motors, cables, fuses, thermal relays, fault current protection switches, heating, lighting, air conditioning, and more

  • Knowledge of film-making

    Be able to understand the production process

  • Communication

    Be able to draw up plans and explain them to the crew, communicate well with the Director of Photography and the lighting crew, be clear and approachable even when making quick decisions under pressure

  • Organization

    Work within a budget, schedule the crew and the kit requirements, prioritize and meet deadlines

  • Understanding of LED and Unreal Engine Technology

    Have a clear and in-depth understanding of the technology you are working with

Who does an LED Technician work with?

An LED Technician will work with the Director and the DOP to understand the desired look of the scene. They will discuss the construction of the LED screen wall and the type of lighting effects and backgrounds desired. On-set, the LED Technician will work with a crew of Grips and Gaffers to construct the LED screen wall and make sure everything is working properly. LED Technicians will also work closely with the artists that are creating the landscapes in Unreal Engine.

How do I become an LED Technician?

Develop lighting and camera skills: The entranceway into becoming an LED Technician begins with understanding the fundamentals of lighting and camera. You can begin by learning these aspects by getting involved with a local lighting and camera union or by attending educational courses.

Look for Opportunities: After working on sets and gaining experience in lighting, camera, and the technology required on a film set you can move into LED virtual production. You can either attempt to find productions utilizing this technology and work with it to gain experience or work with a company that rents out the technology and services.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Electrician

What does an Electrician do?

Electricians look after all the electrical equipment needed on a film or TV production, with a particular focus on the lighting. They help plan it. They rig it (set it up). They operate it, maintain it, and de-rig. Electricians work directly under the Gaffer and the Best Boy Electrician.

During the planning stage of a programme, Electricians assess the equipment. They set it all up and make sure all electrical equipment is working safely throughout the production. This might involve testing, cleaning and repairing equipment, and writing dimmers and circuit boards.

Electricians that are in charge of the generators that may be needed for location lighting. These Electricians are also called Genny Operators. They also monitor electricity usage during shooting to see if additional power or resources are needed.

What's an Electrician good at?
  • Electrical knowledge

    Have official electrical qualifications and a thorough knowledge and understanding of circuits, power supplies, motors, cables, fuses, thermal relays, fault current protection switches, heating, air conditioning and more.

  • Lighting skills

    A good eye for colour, able to use all lighting equipment and aware of what can and can’t be achieved at different locations.

  • Communication

    Take direction well and work effectively within a team.

  • Health and safety

    Know health and safety issues including legal requirements, have strong attention to detail.

  • Manual dexterity

    Be able to do a physically demanding, hands-on job, sometimes at heights, and work long hours.

Who does an Electrician work with?

Electricians often work under a Gaffer and communicate closely with any other Electricians on the team, as well as Camera Operators and Directors. On large productions with lots of lights and LED video projection, there will be a team of Electricians working under a Gaffer.

How do I become an Electrician?

To be an Electrician on a film or TV production, you need electrical qualifications. You also need to be able to demonstrate creativity and an interest in and understanding of the industry.

Look outside the industry: Electricians are needed across many different industries in industrial, commercial and domestic environments. You can gain experience of working as an Electrician in another industry that you can later transfer to a role in the Canadian film and TV industry.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Dolly Grip

What does a Dolly Grip do?

Dolly Grips are responsible for special equipment used on a film set, such as dollies (the wheeled platform which carries the camera and the camera operator), cranes or jibs (a boom device with a camera on one end, and a counterweight and camera controls on the other). They have the responsibility of taking care and operating this equipment.

The Dolly Grip builds the track and the dolly will go on top and help assemble the rig for it to properly ride. The Dolly Grip will ride on the dolly along with the Camera Operator to help get the track shots for the shoot. Along with the dolly they also help set-up and manage the crane and jib equipment depending on the production needs.

What's a Dolly Grip good at?
  • Knowledge of cameras and supports

    Understand the technical requirements of cameras and of the baseplates, dollies, cranes, and jib arms on which they are mounted

  • Specialized Knowledge

    Be trained and have experience operating and handling dollies cranes and jibs

  • Innovation

    Think quickly of practical solutions to problems, adapt equipment to particular environments

  • Lifting and Physical Fitness

    Know how to lift safely, and have the stamina

Who does a Dolly Grip work with?

The Dolly Grip will work closely with the Key Grip and the Best Person Grip. They work with the Key Grip to figure out the plans for the dolly and special equipment during the production. They work with the Best Person Grip during the day-to-day production. They will also work closely with the camera department when building and operating the special equipment.

How do I become a Dolly Grip?

Unlike many roles in film and television, there’s an established route to becoming a Grip. The best way to begin would be to contact your local IATSE union for trainee programs. They may be able to place you on a production willing to take on a Grip Trainee. After you’ve met the qualifications of a Grip, you can begin to apply for positions on unionized productions. After becoming a Grip and gaining more experience on the production set, you should begin showing interest in special equipment. Take opportunities to work and learn the dolly and other equipment necessary for the role.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Best Person Grip

Also known as: Best Boys

What does a Best Person Grip do?

Best Persons (sometimes known as Best Boys) are second in charge and have a similar role to the Key Grip. They do all the paperwork. They liaise with the equipment rental companies, do the risk assessments, sort out contracts with the production team, and act as the go-between between the production office and the grip department.

While the Key Grip works with the Director of Photography and the Director to get the overall scope of the production, the Best Person does the day-to-day management. They create the schedules for the grip department, delegating the work for the production in accordance with the Key Grips plans. They also identify the needs of the crew and make sure everything is going according to plan.

They are the Key Grips right-hand and are responsible for making sure everything the Key Grip has planned out goes smoothly.

What's a Best Person Grip good at?
  • Knowledge of cameras and supports

    Understand the technical requirements of cameras and of the baseplates, dollies, cranes, and jib arms on which they are mounted

  • Leadership

    Motivate and communicate well with everyone throughout the project, take responsibility for decisions and outcomes, create a good working atmosphere

  • Organization

    Plan, prioritize, multitask and use your own initiative to manage schedule

  • Innovation

    Think quickly of practical solutions to problems, adapt equipment to particular environments

  • Communication

    Listen to the Director of Photography, be able to explain and share information with actors and the rest of the crew, especially when under pressure

  • Lifting

    Know how to lift safely, and have the stamina

Who does a Best Person Grip work with?

They work very closely with the Key Grip to help them achieve their plans for the production. They also work closely with the grip team to help schedule and manage the day-to-day task they will have to accomplish. The Best Person Grip will also be working with members of the production office such as the Production Manager, to make sure all the logistics are sorted out.

How do I become a Best Person Grip?

The best way to begin would be to contact your local IATSE union for trainee programs. They may be able to place you on a production willing to take on a Grip Trainee. After you’ve met the qualifications of a Grip, you can begin to apply for positions on unionized productions.

After being a grip for a number of productions and feeling confident in the field, you can use that experience to become a Best Person Grip.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.

Reel Opportunities

Key Grip

What is a Key Grip?
What does a Key Grip do?

The Key Grip is the head of the grip department on a production. Key Grips have the same qualifications as Grips, but they are the ones in charge of all the grips working on the production.

Before filming starts, the Key Grip breaks down the script and works out (with the DoP and Director) what equipment will be needed to support the cameras for each scene. They make a list of any special equipment they may need and work with the production to get the best crew. They go on scouts to check out the location. If filming is taking place at a location with extreme climates, like the Sahara desert or the top of Mount Everest, they might need to adapt the equipment for the camera maneuvers.

Key Grips need to figure out how to correctly build the rigs and equipment so the rest of the team can execute the creative vision. They map all the supports for the lighting and camera departments to coincide with the plans created.

During production, the Key Grip will be in charge of the grip department and organize the construction or adjustments to any structure created. They do this with the help of the Best Person Grip, who manages the day-to-day tasks.

What's a Key Grip good at?
  • Knowledge of cameras and supports

    Understand the technical requirements of cameras and of the baseplates, dollies, cranes, and jib arms on which they are mounted

  • Leadership

    Motivate and communicate well with everyone throughout the project, take responsibility for decisions and outcomes, create a good working atmosphere

  • Innovation

    Think quickly of practical solutions to problems, adapt equipment to particular environments

  • Communication

    Listen to the Director of Photography, be able to explain and share information with actors and the rest of the crew, especially when under pressure

  • Lifting

    Know how to lift safely, and have the stamina

Who does a Key Grip work with?

The Key Grip will work very closely with the Grip Department. They also will work closely with the Director of Photography and the Director to work out the rigging plans for production. Along with the Director of Photography, they will also work alongside the Camera department and electrical department.

How do I become a Key Grip?

The best way to begin would be to contact your local IATSE union for trainee programs. They may be able to place you on a production willing to take on a Grip Trainee. After you’ve met the qualifications of a Grip, you can begin to apply for positions on unionized productions.

After being a grip for a number of productions and feeling confident in the field, you can use that experience to become a Best Person Grip. This is the second in command in the Grip department, before finally moving up to Key Grip.

More tips

For more tips on finding job opportunities, lists of training programmes, and other great resources, check out our Career Resources page.

Professional Organizations Associated With This Role

Click on your region to find out which professional organizations in your area are associated with this career and watch videos to learn more about them.

This position is represented by the following unions/guilds in your selected region.

Sorry, we couldn’t find a professional organization associated with this role in the region you selected.

Our Partner, ScreenSkills UK is the industry-led skills body for the UK screen industries. For further information, www.screenskills.com.
Profiles and profile icons © 2022 ScreenSkills Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner.
Job Profile Design by Dave Gray. Based on an original concept by Ian Murphy/Allan Burrell.