Genny Operator

Transport equipment and generators Directors need to shoot a film.
picture of Genny Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$32,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Genny Operators do?

Some movie scenes must be filmed outside to provide an authentic look to the movie. The cameras, lights, and electrical equipment that the scenes require can cause problems, however, as running an extension cord from the studio to the location isn’t always safe. A Genny Operator solves this problem by hauling an appropriate generator to the site and setting it up.

Equipment used in the film industry sucks up a lot of electricity, so the generators you use when you’re a Genny Operator are huge. Long before shooting begins, you talk with the Gaffer and Cinematographer about what equipment is needed, and as the Genny Operator, you determine the size of the generator you’ll need.

Using a crane, you load the generator onto a tractor-trailer, and then you haul it to the site. Hauling a large piece of equipment through crowded city streets in the dark takes skill and bravery, and you cross your fingers as you drive.

Once you arrive, you determine the best place for the generator, and you slowly lower it to the ground using a crane or forklift. Then, you test it and the diesel engine that powers it to make sure both are operational. Throughout the shoot, you make sure the generator has enough power to keep the action rolling.

In the rare instances that a generator or its engine breaks down, you must be able to step in and correct the problem. Even small delays in a shoot could cost thousands of dollars, so you work quickly to solve problems as they appear. Testing the equipment and maintaining it long before you need it at a shoot help you avoid catastrophic delays.

Should I be a Genny Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Driver Generator Operator, Lime Filter Operator, Needle-Valve Operator

    How to become a Genny Operator

    We recommend at least a Certificate. Check out these schools offering Genny Operator-related education!
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