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What is a Best Boy Electric?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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A best boy electric assists the gaffer, or chief electrician, on a film set. He or she oversees the team of electricians which rigs lighting for the film, and also acts as a liaison between the electrical department and other departments of the film crew to make sure that everything runs smoothly and on time. The chief electrician counts on the best boy electric to execute his or her orders, manage the crew, and alert the film company to any electrical issues which need to be addressed.

The primary responsibility of a best boy electric is to be in charge of the daily operations of the electrical department. In addition to hiring an electrical crew, the best boy electric also manages the crew, ensuring that they are following workplace safety procedures, filling out time cards properly, and doing their duties. The best boy electric issues written and verbal orders to the electrical crew, and works with them to light the film, and provide power to the departments which need it, such as the camera crew and special effects departments.

In addition, the best boy electric purchases, inventories, and maintains lighting and electrical equipment. He or she is expected to keep an eye out for potential safety hazards, and either fix them or halt filming until the set can be made safe again. The best boy electric also makes plans for working on location and on different sets, and is responsible for loading production trucks and ensuring that all of the venues filmed in are safe and ready to use when the rest of the film crew arrives.

Working with other departments of the film crew is also an important part of the best boy electric's job. Making even a small budget film requires a great deal of coordination and effort for all members of the film crew, and it is important to work smoothly together. Because the electrical crew is such an integral part of the overall film crew, maintaining clear lines of communication through the best boy electric is crucial.

Individuals interested in a career as a best boy electric should plan on achieving electrical safety certifications before approaching a film crew and looking for work. It is typical to apprentice as a general electrician to learn the daily trade before moving up to the position of best boy electric, and a talented best boy can eventually become a chief electrician. A good best boy electric has excellent interpersonal skills, a strong sense of organization, and is confident and competent with electrical equipment. Although the position title is gendered, both men and women work as best boys.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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