A best boy is the first assistant to the grip crew or the lighting department and fills a number of roles on a television or film set. While the gaffer and key grips work closely with the director of photography (cinematographer), the best boys take care of everything topside to ensure a seamless production. The best boy generally keeps the day-to-day operation of the electrical or grip departments running smoothly. Common best boy responsibilities include:
- Hiring crew members.
- Creating work schedules.
- Managing the film crew and equipment trucks at the behest or in the absence of their department head.
- Delegating the workload to other crew members.
- Identifying the needs of the crew in relation to the production.
- Communicating with the proper parties to solve problems.
- Tracking inventory, like the lighting equipment, rigging equipment, and the trucks that transport the equipment. Best boys know where all the gear is at all times and what is or is not available for use.
- Checking equipment quality and noting if any gear is broken or damaged, and replacing it with working materials.
Best boys are the second pair of eyes and hands to their department heads, and necessary for any crew.