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Monday, August 08, 2005
When a movie is over, if you stay to watch all of the credits at eh end you'll be there for quite some time. Rather than discribe each of these credits, it's better to cover those that most people wonder about.

Gaffer.. the head electrician in charge of all lighting personnel. In the early days of film, producers had to rely on the natural light. Stages had canvas roofs that could be opened and closed to allow varying degrees of sunlight to fall on the sound stage. Gaffing hooks, traditionally used for landing large fish, were used to move the canvas back and forth. The person responsible for setting the proper amount of light on the stage became know as the Gaffer.

Best Boy .. there are two best boys, one for lighting and one for the grips. The grip is a crew member who works with the camera and electric department to set up and mover equipments such as cranes and dollies. One Best Boy is in command to the Gaffer and the other Best Boy is second in command to the Key Grip.

Key Grip.. the person in charge of everyone who moves anything. Grips move scenery and cameras, set up and take down scaffolding, etc. In live theatre they are called stage hands.

Foley Artist.. the person who creates sounds that cannot be recorded during the filming. Sounds that are later added to the film might be footsteps, creaking doors, thunder, or breaking glass. In radio, they were called sound effects men.

Property Master.. this person, who is in charge of the prop department, is responsible for obtaining any object that an actor will come in contact with during the film.

Anything that an actor can move is a prop, whether it is a plate, a weapon, or a broom. If the object is never moved, such a picture hanging on the wall, it is a decoration. For instance, a lamp on a table is a decoration. If an actor is supposed to pick it up and throw it, then it's a prop.

The second assistant cameraman is a fancy title for the person hold the clapboard. The film's title, director, take number, and other information is written on the board. In earlier days, it was written in chalk, but today most clapboards are electronic. The tip of the board is slapped shut when filming starts. The sound of the clapboard is later used to synchronize the sound track, while the image is used to synchronize the film track.

Color film was initially viewed as a ploy to attract audiences into the threatre. It was often loud, too bright, and unrealistic. Its only purpose was to novelty of being different from black and white film. Eventually color became more natural to appearance and was used artistically.

The director of photography does not run the camera, he simply supervises the camera work. He us often called the cinematographer. The person operating the camera is called "second cameraman."

The credit of "craft services" has nothing to do with building models or any other type of craft. This is the group that provides beverages and snacks to the cast and crew throughout the day.

There are always people who predict the end of the movie industry? When television first became popular, many people said that it would be the death of the film. Yet given more freedom and with newer technology, movies became better than ever.

Today, many filmmakers are predicting that film will be obsolete in just a few years and will be replaced by digital media. Some people think that a link of computers, digital video disks, satellites and television will eventually sound the death knell for movies.

How accurate are these predictions? As Sam Goldwyn once said "never make forecasts, especially about the future". In 1922, Thomas Edison said, "I believe that the motion picture will revolutionize our educational system and in a few years will supplant the use of textbooks." Over 25 years ago, some people predicted that the only way movies could compete with television was to be three-dimensional.

It seems that prophets and futuristic have been trying to kill off the movie industry for years. However, there's a very good chance that movies are going to be around for a long time to come.

(abstracted from A Colorful Collection of Q & A's for the Unquenchably Curious by: Bill McLain/ What Makes Flamingos Pink)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:14 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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