Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hollywood occupations explained

I really like movies, and I've often wished I could work in them. Not as an actor, but as something behind the scenes, like maybe a writer, or a director, or a fluffer. But many movie jobs have really weird names that don't necessarily tell you a lot about what kind of work it is. You know, like "key grip," and "gaffer," and "best boy"? So I did some research on Hollywood occupations to see what these people really do, and here's what I found out.

Key Grip
Key grip is an important position in every Hollywood movie production. The job of the key grip is to attend parties and to grab and hold ("grip") the keys of any major cast or crew members who are too intoxicated to drive safely. This occupation requires the dexterity to sneak keys out of pockets when necessary, the agility and speed to escape determined efforts to recover the keys, and of course a strong grip to prevent key owners or misguided associates from removing keys from one's grasp.

The term "gaffer" comes from the French word "le gaffe," which means "a mistake." During the Hundred Years War, which was fought between England and France from 1337 to 1453 because neither side realized that a "French kiss" in English and an "English kiss" in French are the same thing, whenever a French soldier would perform a salute improperly or make some other error, his comrades would shout, "Ooh la la! Le gaffe!" Great hilarity would then ensue as the so-called gaffer was drawn and quartered by his superiors.
In a Hollywood movie production, the "gaffer" is the member of the cast and crew who makes the most mistakes, or "gaffes," during the production. Because our permissive modern society no longer allows drawing and quartering, Hollywood gaffers are not tortured to death. Instead, they are merely fired, and their names are listed in the closing credits so no one will ever hire them again.

Best Boy
Probably the less said about this Hollywood occupation, the better.

1 comment:

  1. Have you heard of sweatbox? I believe it's a term exclusive to animation.


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