Original image
Getty Images

11 Strange Movie Job Titles—Explained!

Original image
Getty Images

Here's what the key grip, best boy, and gaffer actually do, plus the origins of those titles.

1. Foley artist

A person who creates sound effects in post-production.

Film sets don’t necessarily have the same acoustic properties as the real-life locations they portray. Foley artists eliminate extraneous noises and add convincing sounds. For example, they stamp their feet to match footsteps on the screen. Also, (spoiler alert!) movie fistfights are faked. The blows never land, but Foley artists, shall we say, “punch up” the sound.

The job takes its name from Jack Donovan Foley, who rounded up employees with experience in radio sound effects to help Universal Studios survive the transition to sound in 1927.

2. Gaffer

The head of the electrical department for a film production.

Although some sources point to the fact that gaffer (probably an elision of grandfather or godfather) has long been used in British English for an old man, or the foreman of a work crew, Media-Match gives a more likely explanation: "The term was also used to describe men who adjusted lighting in English theater and men who tended street lamps, after the 'gaff' they used, a pole with a hook on its end."

3. Grip

A member of a camera crew responsible for building and maintaining all the equipment that supports cameras, as well as moving and setting up the equipment.

The term was adapted from the American theater where it was used for a stagehand who helps shift scenery.

4. Dolly grip

A grip who moves camera cranes and dollies (the wheeled platforms that carry the camera and the camera operator).

5. Key grip

The supervisor of the team of grips.

6. Best boy (grip/gaffer)

Second in command, assisting the gaffer or key grip.

According to IMDb, "The origin of the term is from 'pre-union' filming days when the line between Grip and Electric departments was less rigid. When the head of either department needed another body temporarily, he'd go to the head of the other department and ask him to 'lend me your BEST boy.' By default the 2nd in charge of either department came to be known as best-boy. This term may also have been borrowed from early sailing and whaling crews, as sailors were often employed to set up and work rigging in theatres. There are no 'best girls' per se; female chief assistants are also called 'Best Boys.'"

7. Child wrangler

“Animal wranglers”—like wranglers who manage horses and other livestock on a ranch—control, instruct and care for animals used in filming. Similarly, “child wranglers” manage child actors on a set, coaching them in acting and keeping them entertained and quiet when they are not in the scene being filmed.

8. Python wrangler

A jocular term for the utility sound technician who performs a variety of tasks in the Sound Department, most typically pulling cables.

9. Fixer

Someone who provides logistical support, facilitating whatever's needed relating to permits, customs, location, talent, crews, equipment, accommodation, and transportation for filmmakers who wish to conduct filming abroad. The term is apparently a wink at the colloquial term fixer, meaning a person who makes arrangements for other people, especially of an illicit or devious kind.

10. Craft service

The people who assist the crafts (camera, sound, electricians, grips, props, art director, etc.) during shooting, with tasks including providing snacks and cleaning the set. (“Catering” provides the main meals.)

11. Concept artist

A person who creates a computer-generated 3D model that allows the production designer to determine how a scene will ultimately look. The concept artist renders the desired shots, camera angles, focal lengths, camera movements and choreography. The computer-generated model can also depict surface textures, lighting schemes and costumes.

Sources: “Film Crew Glossary,” Film in Colorado“Film Crew,” Wikipedia; "Glossary." Daily Variety 24 Aug. 2004: A1+ General OneFile. Web. 12 May 2013; Media-match: Job Descriptions; “Movie Terminology Glossary,” IMDb; “The Story of Jack Foley,”

Original image
5 Things We Know About Stranger Things Season 2
Original image

Stranger Things seemed to come out of nowhere to become one of television's standout new series in 2016. Netflix's sometimes scary, sometimes funny, and always exciting homage to '80s pop culture was a binge-worthy phenomenon when it debuted in July 2016. Of course, the streaming giant wasn't going to wait long to bring more Stranger Things to audiences, and a second season was announced a little over a month after its debut—and Netflix just announced that we'll be getting it a few days earlier than expected. Here are five key things we know about the show's sophomore season, which kicks off on October 27.


The first season of Stranger Things consisted of eight hour-long episodes, which proved to be a solid length for the story Matt and Ross Duffer wanted to tell. While season two won't increase in length dramatically, we will be getting at least one extra hour when the show returns in 2017 with nine episodes. Not much is known about any of these episodes, but we do know the titles:

"The Boy Who Came Back To Life"
"The Pumpkin Patch"
"The Palace"
"The Storm"
"The Pollywog"
"The Secret Cabin"
"The Brain"
"The Lost Brother"

There's a lot of speculation about what each title means and, as usual with Stranger Things, there's probably a reason for each one.


Stranger Things fans should gear up for plenty of new developments in season two, but that doesn't mean your favorite characters aren't returning. A November 4 photo sent out by the show's Twitter account revealed most of the kids from the first season will be back in 2017, including the enigmatic Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown (the #elevenisback hashtag used by series regular Finn Wolfhard should really drive the point home):


A year will have passed between the first and second seasons of the show, allowing the Duffer brothers to catch up with a familiar cast of characters that has matured since we last saw them. With the story taking place in 1984, the brothers are looking at the pop culture zeitgeist at the time for inspiration—most notably the darker tone of blockbusters like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

"I actually really love Temple of Doom, I love that it gets a little darker and weirder from Raiders, I like that it feels very different than Raiders did," Matt Duffer told IGN. "Even though it was probably slammed at the time—obviously now people look back on it fondly, but it messed up a lot of kids, and I love that about that film—that it really traumatized some children. Not saying that we want to traumatize children, just that we want to get a little darker and weirder."


When you watch something like The Americans season two, it's almost impossible to catch on unless you've seen the previous episodes. Stranger Things season two will differ from the modern TV approach by being more of a sequel than a continuation of the first year. That means a more self-contained plot that doesn't leave viewers hanging at the end of nine episodes.

"There are lingering questions, but the idea with Season 2 is there's a new tension and the goal is can the characters resolve that tension by the end," Ross Duffer told IGN. "So it's going to be its own sort of complete little movie, very much in the way that Season 1 is."

Don't worry about the two seasons of Stranger Things being too similar or too different from the original, though, because when speaking with Entertainment Weekly about the influences on the show, Matt Duffer said, "I guess a lot of this is James Cameron. But he’s brilliant. And I think one of the reasons his sequels are as successful as they are is he makes them feel very different without losing what we loved about the original. So I think we kinda looked to him and what he does and tried to capture a little bit of the magic of his work.”


Everything about the new Stranger Things episodes will be kept secret until they finally debut later this year, but we do know one thing about the premiere: It won't take place entirely in the familiar town of Hawkins, Indiana. “We will venture a little bit outside of Hawkins,” Matt Duffer told Entertainment Weekly. “I will say the opening scene [of the premiere] does not take place in Hawkins.”

So, should we take "a little bit outside" as literally as it sounds? You certainly can, but in that same interview, the brothers also said they're both eager to explore the Upside Down, the alternate dimension from the first season. Whether the season kicks off just a few miles away, or a few worlds away, you'll get your answer when Stranger Things's second season debuts next month.

Original image
NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in October
Original image
NBC - © 2012 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Netflix subscribers are already counting down the days until the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. But, as always, in order to make room for the near-90 new titles making their way to the streaming site, some of your favorite titles—including all of 30 Rock, The Wonder Years, and Malcolm in the Middle—must go. Here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in October ... binge ‘em while you can!

October 1

30 Rock (Seasons 1-7)

A Love in Times of Selfies

Across the Universe

Barton Fink


Big Daddy


Cradle 2 the Grave

Crafting a Nation

Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest

Daddy’s Little Girls

Dark Was the Night

David Attenborough’s Rise of the Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates (Season 1)

Day of the Kamikaze

Death Beach

Dowry Law

Dr. Dolittle: Tail to the Chief

Friday Night Lights (Seasons 1-5)

Happy Feet

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison




Love Actually

Malcolm in the Middle (Seasons 1-7)

Max Dugan Returns


Million Dollar Baby

Mortal Combat

Mr. 3000

Mulholland Dr.

My Father the Hero

My Name Is Earl (Seasons 1-4)

One Tree Hill (Seasons 1-9)


Picture This

Prison Break (Seasons 1-4)

The Bernie Mac Show (Seasons 1-5)

The Shining

The Wonder Years (Seasons 1-6)


October 19

The Cleveland Show (Seasons 1-4)

October 21

Bones (Seasons 5-11)

October 27

Lie to Me (Seasons 2-3)

Louie (Seasons 1-5)

Hot Transylvania 2

October 29

Family Guy (Seasons 9-14)


More from mental floss studios