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Something Weird Most People Don't Know About Filmmaking

There are a lot of things most people don’t know about working in film.

For example: did you know…

#1 — the Director doesn’t manage the production #2 — Gaffer, Best Boy, and Grip are real roles #3 — what celery is used for

Here is a list of 4 weird things most people don’t know:

#1 The Director doesn’t manage the film production.

The person who runs the film set is the AD, not the Director. The AD (First Assistant Director) keeps the production on schedule and manages the cast & crew.

The AD is the one calling action and cut.

#2 The names Gaffer, Best Boy, & Grip are real roles in filmmaking.

Gaffer: the chief electrician on a film set, who’s responsible for lighting. Best Boy: often their assistant, who’s typically in charge of the electrical or grip departments. Key Grip: leads the grip department, who are responsible for setting up and operating equipment to support cameras, such as dollies and cranes.

Each play a major role.

#3 The sound of celery is often used… as foley sound for… breaking bones.

The name foley came from Jack Foley (1891–1967), the sound effect artist who developed this technique. Foley sound is added during post-production to enhance its realism.

One example: Frank Warner, sound designer for Raging Bull (1980), used howling sounds to heighten moments in the boxing-focused film. Warner made a career out of the “fresh start approach.”

He created a new sound library for every film, and reused nothing he record before.

For anyone in the industry, this stuff is common knowledge. But to those who haven’t lived “a day in the life” in filmmaking, some of these might come as a shock.

For example, here’s one of the weirdest things most people don’t know about filmmaking:

#4 Chocolate Syrup is a common substitute for Blood. 🍫

To create the illusion of reality on screen, filmmakers use fake blood.

Fake blood is made from a variety of ingredients, such as: corn syrup, food coloring, and even chocolate syrup. For safety, filmmakers don’t use the real thing. And as an actor, it can sometimes get in your… eyes, nose, mouth, etc. So, it’s important that fake blood is safe to consume: edible.

And chocolate syrup can be delicious. 😋

One of the most famous scenes in a film where fake blood was used: Psycho (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock. They created fake blood with watered-down chocolate syrup. Since the movie was shot in black and white, the focus was on the consistency of the liquid rather than the color.

Weird, right? What are some odd filmmaking facts that you can share?

See you tomorrow. Matt Cici

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