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Confused by Film Credits? Learn About Movie-Crew Roles

BY: Editors | Feb 23, 2016

Confused by Film Credits? Learn About Movie-Crew Roles

Cincinnati isn’t quite Tinseltown, but over the years it’s had a number of star turns on the big screen. Rain Man—Oscar winner for Best Picture in 1989—was shot in town. More recently, James Franco filmed a pair of flicks in Cincinnati. Movies can shine a light on a city and its unique charms, but it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the people you don’t see rather than the places you do.

The People Behind Big-Screen Scenes

As a moviegoer, catching the latest blockbuster is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon. But for the professional cast and crew that makes the movies possible, a 90-minute film represents months or years of dedication. Who exactly is responsible for bringing big pictures to Cincinnati screens?

Most of us probably sort of know what a director does. And the duties of a makeup artist or a set designer are self-explanatory. But then there are jobs like “cutter” and “gang boss,” which sound not just confusing but vaguely menacing. In reality, the truth is a little more vanilla. A cutter translates the costume designer's visions into cloth, from finding period-appropriate fabrics to creating patterns and fitting the costumes to the actors. And the gang boss? They serve as the lead man's right hand, typically playing the role of a project manager.

Other titles can seem equally bewildering. Grips are actually lighting and rigging technicians, and the key grip tells them all what to do. The gaffer, on the other hand, spearheads the electrical department and is responsible for the design of the lighting plan.

The culmination of these disparate efforts, of course, is a big-screen blockbuster or, maybe more importantly, an entertaining afternoon enjoyed with a bucket of popcorn and a cool soda.

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