Midweek Movie Quote #5


“The public has an appetite for anything about imagination – anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible.” – Steven Spielberg

A Quick Guide To 10 Crew Roles On A Film, Television Or Commercial Production

CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=515919

No doubt you’ve noticed just how many people there are in a crew who are all responsible for the final production of a television series, a commercial or film.

Just sit through the final credits of any television series or film and you’ll see an assortment of crew titles; some recognisable and some not. So,
if you’ve ever pondered on what the Best Boy or Gaffer do, then read on for our first in a short series of Ray Knight Casting’s

A Quick Guide To 10 Crew Roles On A
Film, Television Or Commercial Production.”

1) Producer.

The film producer creates the conditions for the entire production; responsible for
all phases of the production process from development to completion of a project.
The producer initiates, coordinates, supervises, and controls matters like fund raising, hiring key personnel and ensures that a distribution process for the final production is in place.  


2) Director.

You could think of the Director as the conductor of an orchestra.

The Director has the responsibility of choosing the cast members and directs Blog1the creative aspects of the production.

The Director is the main person who directs the creating of a production.

The Director usually has the very best authority on the set. They control the production’s
dramatic and creative aspects of the production and it’s the Director who turns
the script into a visual element together with the technical crew and artistes.

The Director also plays a key role in selecting the cast members, production style and therefore the artistic aspects of the production.


3) First Assistant Director. photo-of-camera-crew-standing-near-each-other-3062535

Often referred to as the 1st AD, the First Assistant Director assists the director and production manager. Among other duties, the 1st AD ensures that the set is a safe
working environment in which everyone can work safely.

As well as supervising the day-to-day management of the cast and crew scheduling, equipment, script, and set, the First Assistant Director may also be called upon to direct background action for major shots.  


4) Second Assistant Director. photo-of-men-making-film-3062547
The second assistant director (2nd AD) is the 2nd main assistant to the Director and
the immediate assistant to the 1st Assistant Director.

The 2nd AD assists the 1st AD with their tasks including often directing background
action including the supporting artists.

The Second Assistant Director is also responsible for creating call sheets for cast
and crew detailing schedules relating to days of filming.


5) Dolly Grip. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AlamoFilming.jpg#/media/File:AlamoFilming.jpg

The Dolly Grip is the person who operates the camera dolly (the wheeled cart on which the camera is mounted).

The Dolly Grip is also responsible for placing, levelling and moving the dolly track on which the Dolly Grip places, levels, and moves the dolly track on which the dolly is pushed and pulled.  


6) Key Grip.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c2/Camera_grip.jpg/800px-Camera_grip.jpg

The Key Grip is the person on set who is responsible for camera mounting and camera support.

The Key Grip supervises the Grip Department by providing all support for camera and lights on set.

The Grip department help shape the light for cinematic quality on set.  


7) Best Boy.

The Best Boy Grip assists the Key Grip in running the Grip Department by managing the crew, placing gear orders and keeping track of equipment.

The Best Boy acts as foreman for his department.  


8) Gaffer.

shutterstock_247305046.jpgThe Gaffer is the head of the lighting department on a film set.

The Gaffer works in pre-production and production to help achieve the desired cinematic effect via the setting up lights and running cables.  


9) Focus Puller.  

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Focus_puller.jpgThe first camera person’s assistant is termed the main target Puller.

They’re a member of the film crew’s camera department whose primary responsibility is to keep up the camera’s focus on the main matter subject or action being recorded.


10) Clapper Loader.By ?????????? ???? - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68826500

This is the camera person’s 2nd assistant.

Their main responsibilities are to load film into camera magazines, marking the actors as necessary, to operate the clapperboard at start of each take and to maintain paperwork and records relating
to the camera department.    

10 Things I Learned As A Supporting Artist

All of us here at Ray Knight Casting have worked as Supporting Artists or Assistant Directors at one time or another, so we know what the industry is like at the front lines of filming.

In fact, some of us occasionally go out on calls, either to meet up with ADs or to help out on bigger crowd days.

We know about the business and between us have lived and seen it from the SA, crew and agency perspectives.

As for the SA side, we have learned a great deal over the years and so here’s our latest blog post entitled…
10 Things I Learned As A Supporting Artist.

1)  Crews work extremely hard on productions.

action-adults-camera-3062535You’ve had 6 days on a production together with very early starts and the usual long days.

Well done, but have you considered the crew and others on the same production who have been working 27 consecutive days on that production, on just as long days as you’ve had (or even longer)?

Perhaps they’ve also had to stay away from home for long periods.

Be patient and be accommodating.  

2)  You can’t always have the hairstyle you want.

adult-beauty-blonde-973403You’ve got a regular Supporting Artist part on a production which happens to be set in the 1950s.

While working on this production there’s a strict requirement to have your hair cut and styled only when you’re on this job and maintain it for the duration.

You’ve also just seen a casting available for people with slightly shorter hair than you have now and you’re totally sure that you’d get it.

You have 4 more days on your production, and they would overlap with this casting. As they say, “that’s Show Business”.  

3)  Period costumes don’t always have pockets for smartphones.

electronics-girl-hands-359757Great, you’ve got yourself the latest upgrade to your smartphone with the biggest screen you could get.

With smartphones being the obligatory bit of kit for any supporting artist, it’s important to be practical when choosing your new upgrade.

Will your new smartphone, which is almost as large as a phabletbe practical on all calls?

Those Mr. Darcy-esque breeches you’ll be wearing on that next period call aren’t made for your super screened upgrade and tight whale bone corsets aren’t particularly accommodating either.

Why not think in terms of “mobile” phone; one that’s unobtrusive when slipped into the very smallest of pockets?

4)  Nights always feel colder than days, whatever the temperature.

backlit-dark-evening-1136575You’re booked on a couple of night calls in the summer.

You’ve checked the weather forecast and it looks like they’re going to be mild nights.

Take it from us that the same temperatures during the day and night won’t feel the same at 3:00am. 

Your body clock goes through various cycles during 24 hours, so your body will probably be at its lowest ebb around that time of the morning. 

Take another layer with you just in case; it’s better to look at it than to look for it.

5)  Why Complain?

anger-angry-annoyed-987585You’ll work with many people during your tenure as a Supporting Artist. Sadly, you’ll find complainers on many jobs and the more people you work with the more chance you’ll have of encountering a complainer.

They will complain about most of the usual subjects: agents, lack of work, too much work, long days, politics and so on. Complainers drain energy around them and gain a negative reputation.

They’re not always bad people. 

Sometimes they’re just worn out or having a bad day.

Either way, we learned not to be one of them and the value of not getting involved with their gripes, tempting as it can be.

6)  Always be early.

achievement-analog-watch-business-2914700.jpgArriving around 15-20 minutes early will not only help out the 2nd AD in most cases but will often also help wardrobe as they won’t have to deal with a glut of SAs all turning up at the same time.

Also, the queue for breakfast won’t be as long or “competitive” as it will be later when the majority of the other SAs all turn up!  

7)  Buddy Up.

It’s worth finding out whether any SAs with the same agents live near to adult-beautiful-brunette-1549280you. 

Working on the same job? Why not travel together and share the driving?

Company at 4:30 in the morning when on the way to a job can make all the difference.

8)  Learn the rules of your agents.

agree-ankreuzen-arrangement-210585.jpgWhat time can you call into check a payment? Should you call or email?

Likewise, when can you check in with your un/availability? Once again, are you required to ‘phone in or should you email instead?

What are the rules for updating your agent with your availability? New appearance? Contact details? DBS updates?

It’s a complete waste of time if you’ve just had your long hair cut and your agent calls you for a booking because their last photos of you show you with your long hair.

Trust us on this…if you have a question or a problem such as not being able to make a job at the last minute, pick up the ‘phone and call us!

Even if it’s out of hours and you leave us an answerphone message.

Someone is always on call here at Ray Knight Casting and the message will be picked up. Don’t slide in an email or a text at 2.30 am!

If you’ve made a simple mistake or an almighty cock up either way, front it out…contact us ASAP and be honest. If you disappear or spin us a yarn, we’ll find it hard to trust you in future and you may even be taken off out books.

We respect reliability and integrity. If you make a mistake but handle it the right way – no bridges burned. That is the Ray Knight way.

Your agent works for and with you; and you work with your agent.

Work together.  

9)  Share and share alike.

developer-development-friends-1181274.jpgYou’ve just found out that your agent has just changed a couple of points on their terms and conditions or changed their office hours.

Do your colleagues know?

Share it with your colleagues, whether it’s personally or on your social media account if you have one.

Remember, it’s a “people” business.  

10)  Social life or work life?

adult-celebration-cheers-415318.jpgDon’t count on the fact that your call will end early enough for you to make that gig, or the dinner party that you’ve planned for that evening.

Sure, we all need a work-life balance at some time or another, however most agents allow you to “check out” if you need to.

There’s no point in getting edgy and keep clock-watching on a call just because you’re going to be late for a soirée which you’ve known about for months.

The job finishes when the director says “stop”.

Get a good diary… and use it!

So there you are, “10 Things I Learned As A Supporting Artist”.

Do you agree with our list?  What have YOU learned during your time as an SA?  What would YOU add?  What do you agree or disagree with?

Let us know and feel free to leave your comments as we’d love to hear from you.

Don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right sidebar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our posts directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit


Why iPlayer?

2Satisfy the box set binge watch urges with a huge range on offer, from essential drama, comedy and entertainment to Sir David Attenborough and everything in-between.

• The most popular programmes on a particular channel.

• Programmes recommended just for you.

• Dramas, including The Capture and Pose.

• Comedy including Not Going Out, Inside No. 9 and Fleabag.

• Documentaries including The Americas with Simon Reeve and Seven Worlds, One Planet.

• Entertainment shows including RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing and Dragon’s Den.

• Sport including Rugby League, The Women’s Football Show and American Football.

• Travel including Around the World In 80 Days and Great Railway Journeys.

• Children’s programmes including Waffle the Wonder Dog.


Quite a formidable list isn’t it?

Should satisfy most television binge-watchers right?

Well, you’d have thought so.

Actually, that’s only just a tiny selection of what’s available on one of the peak-tv-saturation.jpgmost well-known but least listed of streaming services, namely BBC iPlayer.

Search for lists of the most popular streaming services and you’ll usually find the most common results are:

• Netflix
• Hulu
• Amazon Prime Video
• Playstation Vue
• Sling Orange
• Crackle
• Twitch
• Vevo
• AppleTV+
• Sky Store
• Now TV
• TalkTalk TV
• Wuaki TV…

1-Posting Images8… however, you won’t often find BBC’s iPlayer listed among well-known streaming services.


Who knows?

Let’s take a closer look at the BBC’s iPlayer shall we?

iPlayer is available on a wide range of devices (including smartphones) and its services are delivered to UK based viewers and with no built in commercial advertising.

Although iPlayer is available via other television platforms such as 3View, BT Vision, Freeview, Sky and Roku, it’s technically a “free” service. However, viewing BBC TV catch-up or BBC TV on demand programmes in the UK without a TV licence is against the law.

BBC’s iPlayer launched on the 25th December 2007 following a period of image12Beta testing and by April the following year, iPlayer accounted for about 5% of internet traffic in the UK.

However, in recent years following the rise in popularity of other streaming services (particularly Netflix), for some reason iPlayer doesn’t feature much in the list of favourite streamers for square-eyed television fans.

During its history, iPlayer has gone through many changes and improvements not only with regards to its look and GUI, but also in its available content.

Five years ago, BBC iPlayer had 40% of the streaming market, but recently this has dipped to below 15% and this happened even before other streaming platforms such as Apple TV+ came along and took a bite from its users’ numbers.

Originally, iPlayer offered catch-up of the last 7 days of programming, but in August 2019, Ofcom (the UK’s communications regulator) gave the BBC permission to increase the amount of time that content remains available on iPlayer from 30 days to a year.

There are big revamps in the pipeline as BBC iPlayer fights back against the new(ish) kids on the block, such as Netflix.

BBC-iPlayer-Redesign-1189571Don’t worry, this blog isn’t a comparison between various streaming services and BBC’s iPlayer. Instead, it’s a look at some of the goodies which iPlayer has and will hopefully persuade some of you that iPlayer is worth adding to your list of streaming sites.

It All Adds Up.

Have a surf around iPlayer and you’re bound to come across programmesadd that catch your attention and that you’ll want to watch. Keep looking around and you’ll find more.

Just when are you going to watch all these programmes and how do you make a list of all the goodies that you’ve found?

Easy, simply add them to your “Watch later” list for later viewing.

As you do this and work your way through your chosen programmes, iPlayer’s algorithms kick in nicely and you’ll be recommended other programmes that you might like according to your viewing habits.

Still not convinced?

Take a look at the A-Z index at this link and just the A’s alone will be several pages.

Quite a formidable list isn’t it?”

To make it easy for those of us who like to geek-out with help files and “how-to’s”, comprehensive help pages can be found via https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help .


Download-if-you-want.jpgPrefer to download instead of adding to your “Watch later” list?

No problem.

Once you’ve installed the BBC iPlayer Downloads app, you’re good to go.

Simply download your selected programme and watch at your time-shifted leisure.

Compression seems adequate, with an average of 1/3 of a gigabyte per half hour programme.

For those in slow-internet areas, watching a download means no buffering from any web traffic.


BSL-image-1Subtitles are available for on-demand programmes (and downloads where available) on the following versions of BBC iPlayer:

• BBC iPlayer app for mobiles and tablets on Amazon Fire, Android and iOS
• BBC iPlayer website on PCs and Macs
• BBC iPlayer website on mobile and tablet browsers on Amazon Fire, Androidand iOS
• Most smart TVs
• Freesat G2
• Virgin Media TiVo
• YouView
• BT Vision
• Chromecast (black & white subtitles only)
• Games consoles With Sky on Demand & Apple TV (4th Generation) to

Audio described programmes are available to stream but not to download on all versions of BBC iPlayer (including desktop, tablet, mobile and connected TV devices) with the exception of Sky.

Audio described programmes are sometimes broadcast at a slightly later BBC-iplayerdate than their original counterpart but are still available for a full 30-day period.

Signed programmes are available on all versions of BBC iPlayer. Like audio described programmes, they’re often broadcast a few days later than the original but are also available for 30 days on BBC iPlayer.

Need more help with accessibility?  Comprehensive help pages can be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help/faqs/accessibility


Well that’s it for this post and as usual feel free to leave your comments.

Also don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right side bar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our blog directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting,
please visit


Are We Entering The Golden Age of Television?

Television Vintage ec8f1e700da104436c34c6d4ee320b27 (8)

The “GOlden Days”

Believe it or not, at one time here in the UK we had 3 television channels; BBC1, BBC2 and ITV… and not everyone had BBC2…

… BBC2 was considered posh.

bf7398cf676a083cc558bbc456231538In the “olden days” we’d sit around the television with the family and all watch the same television programme… that’s right, at the same time!

We’d talk about the programme as a family.  That’s right, we’d talk… not Snapchat… not text each other… but we’d talk.

Hard to believe we know.

Then one day Channel 4 dropped into the available channels…

Remember the first night of programming on Channel 4? Brookside? The Paul Hogan Show? Walter with Ian McKellen?

Here’s something that might bring back memories for those of you of a certain age. –

… and then, together with the Spice Girls, Channel 5 joined the foursome.

Television was having a growth spurt.

While all this was going on, satellite television was already making a name for itself.

OK there were casualties along the way; remember Squarials from BSB

No neither do we.

62932299-BF8E-326C-A6E2718AE83855EDNow those millions of eyeballs
that programmes like the Christmas Morcambe and Wise shows could garner when
there were only 3 channels would now be diluted down right across the board.

Hundreds of channels, thousands of new programmes, including the more obscure; programmes that wouldn’t have stood a chance in the “good old days”.

If we had all these channels then we had to watch them, right? Viewer numbers to established programmes diluted.

Advertisers were running scared and even the main channels found it tricky to sell advertising space.

When Tom Was Everyone’s Friend.

In 1999 the term Web 2.0 was coined by Darcy DiNucci and the term would then lie dormant until around 2002 when the internet was blooming with the proliferation of broadband accessibility.

Now the web was developing into a “platform”; podcasting, where you
could “time-shift” your listening habits, blogs, playing movies, social
media.  Remember Myspace when Tom was everyone’s friend?myspacetomjpeg

Slowly and gradually the
web was being used not just to play hosted media, but to stream.

With some foresight
Google was quick to see the future and snapped up Youtube.

Netflix went from renting
DVDs to streaming programmes to securing distribution rights.

There was a revolution in the air…

… but what about television?

Fast forward to now with tablets, smartphones and a glut of other streaming devices. Not only that, but now we have other behemoths having muscled into the streaming world; Amazon Video, Apple, and so on.

… but what about television?

Hang on, we’ll get to that in a moment.

A Global Family

Remember those days when the whole family would sit around the box in the corner of the room, watch the same programme and chat and discuss it as a family? Well the “family” is a bit bigger now… and spread out… and time-shifted.

Now we might not all watch the same programmes at the same time, Family-Watching-TV-e1514910417382-1024x543.jpgalthough we occasionally all get together to binge watch something.

Just like with podcasting, we can now time-shift our viewing habits.

On a given evening each member of the family might all be watching different programmes on various devices, however more often than not they eventually end up watching the same programmes but at different times.

As for discussing and chatting with the family about what we watch, we still do that, but with our extended “family”; our followers on social media.

social-media-axietyWe live tweet the programmes, we blog about them later.

Programmes will trend while they’re on and we’ll share it all with our family; maybe not in the same room but around the world.

We now have a global reach to a potential global “family”.

“Television” now doesn’t just mean the square thing in the corner of the room or hanging on the wall. Channels can still get diluted now, however the weak don’t survive and the good ones have to be really good. As Sky has said for years, “Believe In Better”… and they must be to stand out in an ever-1131660_sky_3dexpanding market.

Netflix has come a long way since its early days where its innovative business model meant you didn’t have to pay for late returns on its DVDs. Netflix now makes its own movies and television programmes as do Apple and Amazon.

What Does All This Mean For Television?

Television is having another growth spurt at the moment, but this time it’s different… and it’s bringing plenty of work with it for everyone; writers, directors, actors and so on.

Netflix is establishing its own studio hubs like the one at Shepperton for example and even changing the rules of the film industry as in the Netflix VS. Cannes Film Festival 2019.

Netflix is just one of the giants vying for to add us to its viewing figures.

Where does this leave advertisers?

Television advertisers are alive and well and looking forward to 2020 and beyond, as television is now in many ways another streaming device. Television, is another platform on which advertising has found its new place together with AVOD such as found on the free version membership on ITV Hub and Youtube for example.

With AI driven algorithms based on our viewing habits and social media profiles, gone are the days when 9 million people had to watch the same paraffin commercial.

Now we’ll be served with commercials that actually interest us

As for our original question, “are we entering the Golden Age of television?”

Well it certainly does look like it doesn’t it?

In fact, it seems that the best is yet to come.

Stay tuned!


Well that’s it for this post and as usual feel free to leave your comments.

Also don’t forget that you can follow our Ray Knight Casting Blog – see right side bar – by signing up you’ll receive each and every one of our blog directly into your in-box as soon as they appear here on this blog.

© Ray Knight Casting – 2019
For more information about
Ray Knight Casting
please visit