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“Best Boy” alternative

Matthew Clark
 

Hey gang. Thinking back to our great conversations about gender equity on set I’m reminded that the term Best Boy hadn’t been resolved with a gender neutral alternative. Have you heard of or has your local come up with a better title? Love to hear what is working and being accepted. Thx.


Matthew J. Clark • 206.200.3621
Director/DP Seattle, WA
(sent from my tiny pocket computer)

Mako Koiwai
 

What’s wrong with Best Boy … it has an endearing quality to it. Can be used for gals or guys.

If someone has a problem with it … they should Get Off My Lawn! hahahaha

Fine … Best Girl if necessary … but changing it any further takes away from the Caring Aspect of the job …



makofoto, ret. s. pas, ca

Fahnon
 

I'd vote for one that actually describes the job.  According to wikipedia: "In short, the best boy acts as the foreman for his department.", but even foreman has "man" in the title.  How about "assistant gaffer" for electrical and "assistant key grip" for lighting? 

On Fri, May 4, 2018 at 2:31 PM, Matthew Clark <str8films1@...> wrote:
Hey gang. Thinking back to our great conversations about gender equity on set I’m reminded that the term Best Boy hadn’t been resolved with a gender neutral alternative. Have you heard of or has your local come up with a better title? Love to hear what is working and being accepted. Thx.


Matthew J. Clark • 206.200.3621
Director/DP Seattle, WA
(sent from my tiny pocket computer)




--
Fahnon Bennett
Filmmaker/Photographer
Brooklyn, New York
323.375.4332

Graham Futerfas
 

Local 728 changed the Best Boy job title about 20 years ago to Assistant Chief Lighting Technician, or ACLT for short. At the time, I remember they were trying to get a “Tech” rating for the electricians, so they put the word “Technician” into all the job titles. Supposedly would get more money in the contract that way, I think?

Best,
-Graham


---
Graham Futerfas
Director of Photography
Los Angeles, CA
www.GFuterfas.com
---

ADAM HALL
 

But how did “Best Boy” come into common parlance...!? Such a great moniker imho

Best Wishes,

Adam

🇬🇧 

07970 802 019



What’s wrong with Best Boy … 



makofoto, ret. s. pas, ca
_._,_._._,_.__

Jared Hoy
 

You got an important job, you put your best employee/man/woman/boy/girl on it so you can trust the work.  Boy indicates employee or assistant, like a shop boy or a stable boy situation.

Jared Hoy
Los Angeles, CA
Director of Photography | CLT


On May 4, 2018, at 2:40 PM, ADAM HALL <halladam@...> wrote:

But how did “Best Boy” come into common parlance...!? Such a great moniker imho

Best Wishes,

Adam

🇬🇧 

07970 802 019



What’s wrong with Best Boy … 



makofoto, ret. s. pas, ca
_._,_._._,_.__

Robert L. Cunningham
 

Potentially ignorant comment to follow, but why not use know film parlance, and call them 
1st Assistant Gaffer and the 1st Assistant Key Grip?

-R

--
Robert L. Cunningham
Cinematographer 
Baltimore 

from here, there, or in the air, so please excuse my brevity, and any errors or autocorrects I didn't catch! 


On May 4, 2018, at 18:19, Jared Hoy <jared@...> wrote:

You got an important job, you put your best employee/man/woman/boy/girl on it so you can trust the work.  Boy indicates employee or assistant, like a shop boy or a stable boy situation.

Jared Hoy
Los Angeles, CA
Director of Photography | CLT


On May 4, 2018, at 2:40 PM, ADAM HALL <halladam@...> wrote:

But how did “Best Boy” come into common parlance...!? Such a great moniker imho

Best Wishes,

Adam

🇬🇧 

07970 802 019



What’s wrong with Best Boy … 



makofoto, ret. s. pas, ca
_._,_._._,_.__

David Fuller
 

We have, for a long time now, referred to them as “2nd”

As in “We’ll need a Gaffer and Second plus two electrics.”

That works because we consider the Gaffer to be the first electric.


David Fuller
207-415-1986

On May 5, 2018, at 8:15 AM, Robert L. Cunningham <rlcunn2@...> wrote:

Potentially ignorant comment to follow, but why not use know film parlance, and call them 
1st Assistant Gaffer and the 1st Assistant Key Grip?

-R

--
Robert L. Cunningham
Cinematographer 
Baltimore 

from here, there, or in the air, so please excuse my brevity, and any errors or autocorrects I didn't catch! 


On May 4, 2018, at 18:19, Jared Hoy <jared@...> wrote:

You got an important job, you put your best employee/man/woman/boy/girl on it so you can trust the work.  Boy indicates employee or assistant, like a shop boy or a stable boy situation.

Jared Hoy
Los Angeles, CA
Director of Photography | CLT


On May 4, 2018, at 2:40 PM, ADAM HALL <halladam@...> wrote:

But how did “Best Boy” come into common parlance...!? Such a great moniker imho

Best Wishes,

Adam

🇬🇧 

07970 802 019



What’s wrong with Best Boy … 



makofoto, ret. s. pas, ca
_._,_._._,_.__

kate phelan
 



On May 5, 2018, at 8:28 AM, David Fuller <david@...> wrote:

We have, for a long time now, referred to them as “2nd”

As in “We’ll need a Gaffer and Second plus two electrics.”

That works because we consider the Gaffer to be the first electric.


David Fuller
207-415-1986


when i was an electrician and besting, i HATED being called a best girl- i thought it was demeaning and confusing. best boy is a job title and if i’m not the best boy presumably someone else is. 
the worst thing about being a woman and being a best boy is that at least 3x/day the inherent sexism dawns on someone you’re interacting with and then he has to explain to you why you can’t have that job title- you’re a girl so how can you be a best boy!?! i mean, seriously folks.

aclt is a mouthful.
best electric works for me.



kate phelan
local 52/local 600 dp

Jonathon Sendall
 

Kate, I love shortened terms. Best Electric = Best E = Besty!

Jonathon Sendall
DP, London, UK

On Sat, 5 May 2018 at 14:15, kate phelan <katephelan@...> wrote:


On May 5, 2018, at 8:28 AM, David Fuller <david@...> wrote:

We have, for a long time now, referred to them as “2nd”

As in “We’ll need a Gaffer and Second plus two electrics.”

That works because we consider the Gaffer to be the first electric.


David Fuller
207-415-1986


when i was an electrician and besting, i HATED being called a best girl- i thought it was demeaning and confusing. best boy is a job title and if i’m not the best boy presumably someone else is. 
the worst thing about being a woman and being a best boy is that at least 3x/day the inherent sexism dawns on someone you’re interacting with and then he has to explain to you why you can’t have that job title- you’re a girl so how can you be a best boy!?! i mean, seriously folks.

aclt is a mouthful.
best electric works for me.



kate phelan
local 52/local 600 dp

Billy McCreary
 

On May 5, 2018, at 9:15 AM, kate phelan <katephelan@...> wrote:

i HATED being called a best girl- i thought it was demeaning and confusing. best boy is a job title and if i’m not the best boy presumably someone else is. 

Progressive 

On May 5, 2018, at 9:15 AM, kate phelan <katephelan@...> wrote:

then he has to explain to you why you can’t have that job title- you’re a girl so how can you be a best boy!?! 

Primitive 

bMac

DP | EDIT | VFX | TAMPA

Matthew Clark
 

Kate, your explanation and thought is the kind of input I was hoping for. We can’t fall back on old parlance or monikers. We can’t diminish the value of the role either, but we need something that isn’t demeaning. I like Best Electrician, even Best-E.

I think Kate explained to you all why Best Boy and Best Girl don’t work and what’s wrong with them.

Matthew Clark
Director/DP
Seattle, WA

pruittyallen@...
 

The old story regarding the name "best boy" is that studios would keep a pool of workers available in a central location on their lot to go fill needs on different productions as they arose.  When a production was in need, they'd call down to the labor pool and say, "Send me your best boy".

Brian Heller
 

“Best Boy” :-)

There were a great number of far more offensive terms and nicknames for crew and equipment that have been eliminated from the lexicon, either due to the gear becoming obsolete or the aging out of that generation.  Believe it or not, grips and electrics did not always go to film school or even finish grammar school ;-) so short hand names for things was almost essential.  My favorite metonymy is “hammer” for construction grips, as in “ Call the hall. We’re going to need 4 more hammers tomorrow.”

However, the origin of “Best Boy” is perfectly straightforward; not surprisingly it comes from the days when it was all boys.  When advancing set-ups, the DP might send the Gaffer ahead with some crew and the ask the Gaffer to leave his “Best Boy” behind in case the DP needed to make a change, or if the Gaffer stayed with the DP, then they would send the “Best Boy”ahead  with some crew to advance the set ups.
The title stuck when crew people started to get screen credits.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP




On May 5, 2018, at 10:50 AM, pruittyallen@... wrote:

The old story regarding the name "best boy" is that studios would keep a pool of workers available in a central location on their lot to go fill needs on different productions as they arose.  When a production was in need, they'd call down to the labor pool and say, "Send me your best boy".

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