My name is Jim Mitchell and I have worked in the lighting department on many of the films that have visited Massachusetts since the inception of the film tax incentives.
While I’ve been in the business for 20 years, I’ve been working for the last five years primarily as a best boy electric. A lot of people ask me, “What the heck is a best boy?” Well, in my case, a best boy* is a husband, a father, a consumer, a neighbor, a homeowner, a coworker, a supervisor, an employee, a voter, and a Massachusetts taxpayer.
Every film crew consists of lots of unique jobs with wacky names that don’t fit neatly into boxes that everyone recognizes — but everyone needs to know these are real jobs staffed by real people. The film tax incentives put real food on the real tables of the grips, juicers, boom ops, genny ops, camera ops, carps, scenics, drivers, focus pullers, set dressers, drapers, riggers, seamstresses, prop makers, prop masters, paymasters, gaffers, DITs, POCs, ACs, ADs, PAs, and background artists.
All of these people deserve the right to thrive at their jobs AND sleep at home tonight. Please support the Massachusetts film tax incentives — the crew is counting on it.
*Webmaster’s Note: If you still want to know what a best boy is, a best boy is the manager of their department. Job responsibilities include hiring, scheduling of manpower, paperwork, allocation of tasks to crew, paperwork (including payroll and accounting), and liaising with vendors, other department heads, and producers. The title “best boy” applies to both male and female crew members.