How many light bulbs does it take to change a sound recordist?
You may well ask, as we enter the boom-shadowy world of the person with a dog on a stick and a cute earring ... er ... sorry, that should be "acute hearing".
Mr                Sound Recordist with apologies to Roger Hargreaves PPM designed                by Mike FeltonHow many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Do I look like a bloody electrician?"
How many freelance sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
Six. One to change it, and five to stand around saying "I was offered that job."
How many gallery directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Three!  No, two!  No, five, damn it!"
How many production managers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Forget it.  We don't have the budget for a new one."
How many entertainment lawyers does it take to change a light bulb? 
How many can you afford?
How many production assistants does it take to change a light bulb?
One.  And she/he will do it really well.
How many film directors does it take to change a light bulb? 
"Just one more, guys, I promise."
How many grips does it take to change a light bulb?
"That's an electrician's job, but I'll hold it if you hammer it in." 
How many Trotskyist sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"It's no use trying to CHANGE it, it's got to be SMASHED!"
What's grey, crispy and hanging from the ceiling?
A sound recordist, trying to change a light bulb.
How many sound recordists in a field does it take to change a light bulb?
Two.  One to change it, and one to make everyone wait for ten minutes until that aeroplane has gone away.
How many researchers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Oh, you wanted a light bulb, here?  I thought you wanted me to send some cabbages to the Pope."
How many sound recordists who ask stupid questions does it take to change a light bulb?
"Change it to what?"
Do you know a better TV/film joke?  Email it now.  These people did... email
I reserve the right to edit submissions for reasons of space, or totally to change their meaning.  Given half a chance, I'll rip off an embarrassing picture of you and include it too.  There are no prizes except the knowledge that an obscure corner of cyberspace has honoured you.
You're welcome to copy any of these submissions onto your own site, but please acknowledge the source and link back to this page.  Thanks!  This page has been amassing contributions since 1996 - sad but true.
Brooke WilsonAustralian flagThis one from Brooke Wilson, formerly a bunny girl, prize-winning Sydney-based producer and Triple J newsreader.

How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
"I don't know ... what do you think???"

A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost.  He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below.  He descended a bit more and shouted, "Excuse me, can you help me?  I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
   The woman below replied, "You are in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground.  You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude." 
   "You must be a production manager," said the balloonist. 
   "I am." replied the woman, "How did you know?" 
   "Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is, I am still lost.   Frankly, you've not been much help so far." 
   The woman below responded, "You must be a producer." 
   "I am," replied the balloonist, "But how did you know?" 
   "Well," said the woman, "you don't know where you are or where you are going.  You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air.  You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem.  The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault!"

Union flagBill Clark of Origami Films (rumours that they've folded are completely untrue) asks...

How many production designers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Well, just one.  But does it have to be a light bulb?"

Mary                          Milton, like most sound recordists, is really                          a herd of invading aliens...
Union flagBristol's Mary Milton (above) says "Let me be the first sound recordist to contribute to your light bulb jokes, although I think you are a bit tough on us and our furry friends - Rycotes have feelings too, you know."  (No they don't - Ed)

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why should I care?  That's a picture thing."  ...or... 
"Better not - without it, you won't see the boom in shot."

How many old cameramen does it take to change a light bulb? 
Three -  one to change it and two to reminisce about how much better they were in the good old days of film.
"Some of my best friends are old cameramen - I keep them on the end of a mixer cable so I know where they are" says Mary.

Malcolm Shaw in 1995Union flagITV Meridian news reporter and badger-worrier Malcolm Shaw says that he looked like a supermarket vegetable supervisor in that jacket...

How many news editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Can't you just film it so it doesn't look broken?"

Michael Danks on camelUnion flagMichael Danks, seen here on a camel, is a Sussex-based new media-type person..  He has several hats.

What's the difference between a sound recordist and a camel?
A camel has always got the hump.

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"What?"
How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Eh?"
How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Hang on - I've got a little problem."
How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Sorry, can we cut for a moment while I sort this out?"

Chris GreavesUnion flagChris Greaves is head of sound at Yorkshire Television and says "Love the website!"

A YTV sound supervisorwas concerned that his wife was going deaf.  He consulted his doctor who suggested that he go home and ask his wife a question, starting at 40 feet and getting 10 feet nearer until she could hear him.
   He went home and stopped at the front door, "What's for tea tonight dear?" he said.  Nothing came back.  He moved another 10 feet closer to the lounge door, 30 feet, and asked again, "What's for tea tonight dear?"  Still nothing so he went to the dining room door, "What's for tea tonight dear?" She must be really deaf he thought as he walked to the kitchen door, just 10 feet from her. "What's for tea tonight dear?" 
She replied, "For the fourth time, it's chicken!"

What's the difference between a DoP and God?
God doesn't think he's a DoP! :-)

Union flagAnother sound recordist writes!  Roger Slater from Worcestershire has the sauce to say...

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"I asked for that light bulb to be changed half an hour ago!"

How many production managers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five, but you can only have three.

How many sparks does it take to change a light bulb?
Five.  One to change the light bulb and four to tell you about the one they changed in LA last year.

Sonja HenriciGerman flagSonja Henrici is from Germany, and learnt English from sheep in New Zealand.  She often ponders in monochrome...

How many feminist sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
Five - one to change the bulb and four to celebrate the passivity of the bulb.

(alternatively, the other answer is: "ONE!!!!!")

Andy FairgrieveUnion flagAn absolute bumper bundle comes from amphibious Andy Fairgrieve of Prima Vista in London...

Why are sound recordists such balanced people?
They've got a mixer on one shoulder and a chip on the other.

What's the difference between a sound recordist and a coconut?
You can get a drink out of a coconut.

How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
"LIGHT BULB?  WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE TO THE LIGHT BULB?"

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Can I see it again without the light bulb?"

How many continuity girls does it take to change a light bulb?
"What light bulb?"

Union flagBruce from Brighton describes himself as a "nextgen always aspiring grip"...

How do you know when a grip is dead?
When the doughnut falls out of his mouth.

Why do grips use dollies?
To stop their knuckles from dragging.

King                          RolloUnion flagBlues guitarist King Rollo writes...

How many clients does it take to change a light bulb?
None. "Can't we make do with the one we've got?"

King Rollo lives in the sewers under the fast lane and is "one of Britain's best acoustic blues performers" or so said Paul Jones on BBC Radio 2.
King Rollo's website

Nige Fox - g'day miteAustralian flagThis from Sydney-based multi-skilled sound recordist Nige Fox...

How many sound recordists does it take to break a light bulb?
None - the woolly dog did it.

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
None - that's a production assistant's job!

What do you get asked if the production assistant has a bachelor of arts degree?
"Would you like a large fries with that?"

How do you get a sound recordist to change a light bulb in 15 minutes?
Put two of them in a bra.

NoŽl Greaves-LordUnion flagDouble-barrelled cameraman Noël Greaves-Lord asked his butler to send the following...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, but he's been driving round for ages trying to find it.

How many news editors does it take to change a light bulb?
None.  "Can't the crew just pop out to change it on their way to the next job?"

How many programme managers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why do we have to change it?  Can't it be repaired?"

How many news cameramen does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, plus a journalist to take all the credit.

Paul                          BelverstoneUnion flagPaul Belverstone used to present sport and read the news for ITV Meridian...

How many people at head office does it take to change a light bulb?
Head office never changes light bulbs - they prefer to keep the rest of us in the dark.

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
50.  One to insert the bulb and 49 to screw the whole thing up.

How many boring sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
One.

Union flagSound recordist Ken Kidston is from lovely Slough...

How tall is a sound recordist?
No idea?  Neither have I, I've never seen one standing up.

Jeremy RothmanUSA flagMeanwhile Jeremy Rothman (we think he's the one on the left), who runs Jeremy Productions in Van Nuys, California, is thinking along similar lines...

A producer walked over to his cameraman and asked "How tall is your sound recordist?"
The operator replied, "I'm never quite sure, he's always sitting either hunched over his mixer or sitting up drinking a coffee!"

DafyddWelsh flagCarl Edwards is ITV Wales's top sheep correspondent...

How many Californian sound recordists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Six. One to turn the bulb, one for support and four to relate to the experience.

Union flagOld film recordist Nick Flowers sent these before giving up sound recording to become a signalman on a steam railway...

How many sparks does it take to change a light bulb?
One - but don't let on to the production manager.

How many old film recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"'Course it wasn't light bulbs in the old days. We used carbon arcs. We got paid a decent whack then as well. Remember the ITN White Book? You youngsters don't know you're born. The weight of the Nagras, bloody noisy film cameras mutter mutter..."

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Better train the cameraman to do it, they're doing so much bleedin' sound now."

How many cameramen does it take to change a lightbulb?
"Better train up a journalist, they're shooting so much video now."

From the dear, dead days of a strong union...
Cameraman, while shooting a countryside piece: "I see the snowdrops are out."
Union-minded sound recordist: "That doesn't affect us, brother."

Union flagAudio visual producer and self-confessed media tart Steve Thomson from STPP says...

How many BBC directors general does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why do we need to change it? This one's done us very well for forty-five years!"

How many riggers does it take to change a light bulb?  Thirteen.  One to hold the light bulb and twelve to turn the ladder.

How many floor managers does it take to change a light bulb?
Five...four...three...two...and...

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Six.  One to change it and five to say "I could have done it better."

A production assistant walks into a bar, with a clipboard under her arm and a parrot on her head.  The barman asks "Where did you get that?" and the parrot says "Outside mate, there's hundreds of them."

Jonathan PagdenUnion flagJonathan Pagden, "ex-BBC graphics, sound recordist, OB sound etc etc (in other words, freelance!)" writes "Love the site!"...

How many BBC managers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two.  One to mix the gin & tonics and one to call 'Head Of Light Bulbs, Television' and get him to send a man round.

Union flagSound recordist Alan Hill, who divides his time between Portsmouth and London, says "Loved the website, bloody fantastic!"  What a nice man.

In the playground how can you tell which are the sound recordist's children?
They're the ones at the back watching the other kids play!

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"I've got equipment that will do that but it'll cost you extra."

New                        Zealand flagNew Zealand sound recordist Grant Finlay (see remarkable picture below) asks...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"You can't change it now, it will never match"
Grant Finlay - just                          don't ask!

John D WilsonUnion flagThis from Bristol-based sound recordist John D Wilson...

How many BBC managers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Ah, you want a decision that quickly?"
 

John also suggests these crew collective nouns...
A pardon of recordists A soft of cameramen
An oops of boom ops A strain of grips
A stumble of presenters A scavenge of supporting artists
A drift of extras A hoover of extras
A picky of script girls A chatter of make-up
Malcolm DaviesUnion flag"Just three alternative collective nouns for your page" says Oldham production sound mixer Malcolm Davies...
A bitching of wardrobe girls A thicket of drivers
An incompetence of runners

The film set of today is really the palace of the 16th century.  There, one sees what Shakespeare saw;  the absolute power of the tyrant, the courtiers, the flatterers, the jesters, the cunningly ambitious intriguers.  There are fantastically beautiful women, there are incompetent favourites.  There are great men who are suddenly disgraced.  There is the most insane extravagance and unexpected parsimony over a few pence.  There is enormous splendour, which is a sham; and also horrible squalor hidden behind the scenery.  There are vast schemes, abandoned because of some caprice.  There are secrets which everybody knows and no one speaks of.  There are even two or three honest advisers.  These are the court fools, who speak the deepest wisdom in puns, lest they should be taken seriously.  They grimace, and tear their hair privately, and weep.  And they all want headphones!!  (apologies to Christopher Isherwood)

Union flagShaun FentonProducer/director Shaun Fenton from Diesel Films writes...

How many commissioning editors does it take to change a light bulb?
Six.  One to change the light bulb and the other five to say it was their idea first.

How many commissioning editors does it take to change a light bulb?
All of them, they just all try to do it slightly differently.

How many TV presenters does it take to change a light bulb?
Five.  One to call the agent, one to remember what they are supposed to do, one to try it without Autocue, one to have a hissy fit and another one to remember what they are supposed to do.

Union flagPortsmouth's Richard Austin, a sound and VT operator, comes up with...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"One two.  One two.  One two..."

Dan                        MartlandUnion flagA similar oldie but goldie from cameraman Dan Martland...

How many soundmen does it take to change a light bulb?
1, 2,2,2,2

It's a DalekUnion                        flagPat Heigham did the sound effects on Doctor Who in the 1960s and now finds himself  "fighting back for sound recordists!"

What's the difference between a dog and a sound recordist?
You can train a dog.

USA flagCharles Minx from Crescent City, California says "This retired cameraman couldn't stop reading and laughing.  May I add one to the list?"

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Four.  One to go up the ladder and three to say "That ought to be me up there!"

Andy Barnett from                        ArriUnion flagAndy Barnett works in lighting technical support at Arri GB...

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"... just fix it in post!"

Union flagTrudi Davies - no matte boxSussex producer, camerawoman and merchant of vintage cloth Trudi Davies sends this gem...

What's the difference between a camera operator and a lighting cameraperson?
A matte box!

JyothiIndian flagJyothi Kapur Das is an editor, director and scriptwriter in Mumbai...

How do u know when a producer is reading a script?
U can see his lips move.
(Only for male producers - women are smart! :)

"That's me with my producer - he's really demanding, and I gotta carry him around a lot, BUT I can tell when he's reading my script" says Jyothi.

John GarrettUSA flagJohn Garrett of Boston, Massachusetts exclaims "Dammit Jim, I'm a sound man, not a miracle worker!"  Don't they all say that?

How many lighting cameramen does it take to change a light bulb?
One.  Better make that two.

How many PBS producers does it take to change a light bulb?
Six.  One to research, four to fly to London to buy the light bulb and one to screw it in.

How many mystery writers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two.  One to screw it in and one to give it a surprising twist at the end.

Australian flagDerek Pascoe is an Australian cameraman...

Why do soundos prefer working weekends?
The papers are bigger!

Mary TulipAustralian flagMary Tulip in Australia is a "once-upon-a-time producer / director / editor who preferred outdoor docos" and has heard it all before...

We've all heard the jokes about changing light bulbs - how the producer seriously questions the need for such an expense; the writer refuses to change a thing; the director hmmmmms, defers to the nearest person then asks to see it again without the light bulb; the DoP rather likes it dark; the cameraman flicks in gain while set design/props (read PA/DA/work experience kid) question if it really has to be a light bulb and would anyone like milk and sugar with that.  The talent inevitably want to know their motivation for this new, light bulb challenged role (and take offence because they weren't referred to as actors). Audio, on account of the time of day, change their tune from expressing a need to replace every light because they're all buzzing, to suggesting they'll fix it in the mix; GFX mumbles something about rendering and the editor simply says "You don't make changes in online."

By this stage, the production has made its way to the new media department. "I can change the light bulb," says the web designer, "but you'll need the right plug-in to see it."

So how did we get here?  Let's face it, it's all the grip's fault - he broke the light in the first place.

Union flagCGI animator Chris Gledhill from GraphixAsset in Bristol asks...

How many animators does it take to change a light bulb?
"That depends on the size of your budget."

David GeorgeUnion flag"Great site" says David George who reports on sharks and surfing for BBC Spotlight in Cornwall.

How many planning desk editors does it take to change a light bulb?
TBA.

Swiss flagtwo-channel location recorderStefan Lang is a Swiss sound recordist who announces "the use of some special kind of sound equipment (see pic), especially to producers who underestimate the conditions for good sound."  He describes it as a "two channel location recorder"...

How many sound recordists who are happy with their job does it take to change a light bulb?
Both of them.

How many sound recordists who use rental equipment does it take to change a light bulb?
Two.  One who is holding the bulb, standing on a Nagra to reach the ceiling, the other one assists by turning the soundcart under him, using the boompole as a grip.

Nigel FrancisUnion flagSound recordist Nigel Francis sends this anecdote from Roland Rivron's autobiography...

"Soundmen always seem to be preoccupied with other things. It's as if being a soundman, he's heard a lot of things, some of which he's still coming to terms with."

Union flagRichard Leney from London writes "As a trainee sound recordist I thought I would pose this question to a camera operator..."

How many light bulbs does it take to change a camera operator into a DOP?

How many PR executives does it take to change a light bulb?

The answer is 28.  One PR executive needs to hear on the grapevine that a light bulb will soon be changed; one will confirm the rumour; one will discover the light bulb being changed lasted a record length of time for bulbs of its type; and one will decide whether a media event is needed to celebrate the changing.  This represents the preparatory research phase. 
   It is then necessary to draft in one executive to calculate the number of people on whom the bulb has shone (including dignitaries, by name) and another to discover the replacement will last longer and cost less.
   The next requirement is a PR to research online the history of light bulbs and prepare a white paper on the subject.  Another will need to arrange a Light Bulbs Through the Years display at a prominent museum. 
   One PR will prepare a statistical analysis of the number of workers who could be affected by the change, and another will write a news release, two background features and update the factsheet.
   So, on to the nuts and bolts of media placement.  One PR is needed to compile a media list of appropriate trade publications; one to suggest using a VNR or B-roll to reach broadcast media nationwide; one to schedule a press conference and/or media tour; one to write an invitation letter; and one to make follow-up calls.
   One is required to prepare the press kits; one to develop a comprehensive Q&A to deflect any tough questions about light bulb usage; one to handle arrangements for travel to and from events; one to handle news enquiries after the release goes out and another to rehearse the speakers.
   Then, of course, there's one to test the replacement bulb before the media arrive; one to get a spare in case something happens to the first bulb; one to hold the chair for the maintenance worker who will actually do the changing; one to write a "home town" news release about the maintenance worker; one to mail press kits to reporters who missed the event; one to prepare a report for top management explaining who attended and what the event accomplished; one to study how a similar event could be handled more efficiently in the future; and, finally, one to work out the hours involved and mail an invoice to the client.

Ripped off from an article by Mark Borkowski

A mosque larkUnion flagAmos Clarke is a California-based British rockabilly cameraman and web designer.  He does kung fu, likes motorbikes and has a long history of fearsome quiffs.

"I moved to LA to forget" says Amos.  Forget what?  "I can't remember".

How many cameramen does it take to change a light bulb?
"None. Whaddya think gain is for?"

Australian flagDana Hughes is an editor in Australia...

How many on-line editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"I'm sorry - you can't make changes in on-line."

Peter Henley - here is the NEWS!Union flagBBC South's political editor Peter Henley used to read the news against a tasteful background on commercial television.  He suggests these splendid jokes...

How many BBC press officers does it take to change a light bulb?
"If you leave your name and number we'll get back to you next week."

How do you get three Pikachus on a bus?   You Pokémon!

Australian flagOne from someone dare nunder who would rather remain anonymous.

How many Australian sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Strewth mate, I'll do it by myself.  Bugger the union rate, I'll do it for my beer money.  Stone the crows, I've flamin' broken it."

David SouthamUnion flagAnd two more from David Southam, on-line editor here in sunny Sussex...

How many on-line editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Are you really sure you want to change that light bulb?"

How many BBC 6 O'Clock News picture editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Oh just leave it in for now, we don't have time to change it.  We'll change it for the 10 though."

Union flagTom Mountford is a graphic designer and VT editor in Norfolk...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
However many it took to break it!

How many make-up artists does it take to change a light bulb?
"It depends what shade you want"

How many pyros does it take to change a light bulb?
"Sod the lights, look what they've done to the rest of the house!"

Wayland Twiston-Davies before and after                            sound recordingUnion flagBroadcast engineer Waylaid Twisted Deviant (surely "Wayland Twiston Davies"? Ed) was once exposed to sound recordists as part of a cruel medical experiment.

How many production assistants does it take to change a light bulb?
Six.  One to stand on a ladder changing the bulb and the other five to stand at the bottom saying "Well, we all know how she got up there."

What's the difference between an outside broadcast engineer and a toilet?
A toilet only has to deal with one arsehole at a time!

Two senior engineers are in an OB truck; one says to the other: "I say, Ken, when did you last have sex?" 
Ken replies sadly "1959."
"That's not bad" says Dave, glancing at his watch.  "It's only 2030 now!"

What do broadcast engineers use for contraception?
Their personalities!

Irish flagMulti-skilled Declan Browne does camera, sound and editing in Dublin...

What's the difference between a sound recordist and a generator?
The genny stops whining when the shoot's over.

Charles TannerFrench flagNews and OB cameraman Charles Tanner who's based in Strasbourg, writes...

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Just shoot it!"
Combien de réalisateurs faut-il pour changer une ampoule?
"Moteur!  On verra après"

How many directors of photography does it take to change a light bulb?
"A light bulb? Where?"
Combien de directeurs photo faut-il pour changer une ampoule?
"Une ampoule?  Où ca?"

Danish flagMorten Furst, seen below, murdering a crocodile with sound recording, has found a niche market as a Danish sound recordist in Queensland, Australia...

Why is it that a sound recordist can only count to two?
Because on three, you usually have to lift something.
Morten Furst murders a crocodile with                              sound recording

Union flagKent-based sound recordist Geoff Smyth claims to look like a cross between Ricky Tomlinson and Clement Freud.  Sounds beardy...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
"Yes yes, change 'em all, please.  Every flippin' one is buzzing."

How many "actooooors" does it take to change a light bulb? 
Just the one;  all he has to do is hold it up in the air, because the entire world will revolve around him.

His favourite song is Simply the Best by                          Tina TurnerWelsh flagNotorious Welshman and Eddie Izzard-lookalike Greg Hughes is a director of Solutions Audio Visual in Somerset, quite near Wales...

What did the sound recordist get on his IQ test?
Saliva.

What's the difference between a sound technician and a terrorist?
You can bargain with a terrorist.

Steve BurrellUnion flagLighting man Steve Burrell has more twirly lights than you can shake a stick at...

Why doesn't a cameraman open his office blinds in the morning?
Because that would give him fanny all to do in the afternoon.

Ha ha, very funny Steve.

Union flagThis one arrives from Lorna Wilson "on behalf of Matt Holdich,VT op extraordinaire"...

How many executive producers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
One - he/she just holds it up there and waits for the world to revolve around him/her.

Lorna also asks... 
Why does it take three female VT operators with PMT two days to change a light bulb?
"LOOKFUCKINGHELLWE'REDEALING
WITHALLTHISSHITASFASTASWECAN
CANYOUJUSTGIVEUSABREAKFOR
FIVEMINUTES? NOWFUCKOFF!"

Union flagLaurence LeeFormer glum Gosport cameraman Leonard Lee is now smiling from Southsea...

A director walks onto the set and sees the sound man hanging onto the top of one of the redhead stands.  He turns to the cameraman and asks "What's your sound man doing up there?"
   "Oh, nothing. He just thinks that he's a light bulb."
   Confused, the director says "Why don't you tell him to get down so that we can get on with the shoot?"
   "What, and work in the dark?"

Chris BurtonUnion flagCameraman Chris Burton from Manchester is king of all the lizards...

How many camera assistants does it take to change a light bulb?
None - it's already been done!

Union flagDaniel Clarke is a sound recordist who likes to live dangerously...

How do you know if there's a cameraman at the dinner table?
He'll tell you.

Union flagEditor Cliff Homow from Editgarden writes...

How many directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"What?  There's more than one director?"

Union flagBBC News cameraman Jon Brotherton specialises in filming his workplace being bombed...
BBC Stage 6 being                          exploded
How many VT editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Look I'll tell you if it needs f**king changing, OK?"
Tom CurleyUSA flagOur first contributor from the USA is Tom Curley, a sound recordist in Hollywood, who has the look of recordists the world over...

How many set decorators does it take to change a light bulb?
"Does it have to be a light bulb?"

How many teamsters does it take to change a light bulb?
"Fifteen. You got a fuckin' problem with that?!"

A producer, a DoP and a director are walking down the beach together discussing their upcoming production. They happen upon an ancient oil lamp, which they decide is the lamp of the genie.  They wrestle it out of the sand and polish it up.  The genie appears!
   He decides that each one gets just one wish.  The DoP steps forward. "I want to be whisked away to a mountain-top where I will be bathed in eternally perfect light from daybreak to dusk."
   Poof!  The DoP is gone.
   The director steps forward and says "I want to be the king of my own island where I will raise a race of perfect human beings for me to control forever!"
   Poof!  The director is gone.
   The producer hangs up his cell phone, and the genie asks "What is your wish?" to which the producer screams "I want those two fuckers back here right now!"

USA flagThis huge collection is from veteran Hollywood sound recordist and author of Sync Sound with the New Media Wolf Seeberg "who sometimes wonders about everything and most anybody."

How many union lighting technicians does it take to change a light bulb?
"It's not a bulb, it's a globe."

How many directors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Just one ... but how do you get him in there with the cute blonde?

How many DoPs does it take to change a light bulb?
"One. No, two. No... how many do we have on the truck?"

How many art directors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Does it have to be a light bulb? I've got this fabulous rococo candelabra."

How many stuntmen does it take to change a light bulb?
Five. One to screw it in and four to tell him how bitchin' he looked doing it.

How many wardrobe people does it take to change a light bulb?
"Nobody said I needed doubles on that!"

How many over-eager PAs does it take to change a light bulb?
"Done!"

How many executive producers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Executive producers don't screw in a light bulb, they screw in a hot tub.

How many agents does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Actually, agents will screw in just about anything.

How many development executives does it take to change a light bulb?
"Well, first let's talk about the concept behind this whole 'light bulb' thing."

How many development executives does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two.  One to take notes while the other screws it into the faucet. (He means "tap" - Ed)

How many screenwriters does it take to change in a light bulb?
None - "The bulb's IN and it's staying IN!"

How many 1st ADs does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why the f**k are you asking me that question?  Can't you see I'm busy!"

How many 2nd ADs does it take to change a light bulb?
"Uh...standby, (finger on the walkie) I'll check on that."

How many UPMs does it take to change a light bulb?
None!  "If you'd just make it a day exterior we wouldn't be screwing around with all these damn light bulbs!"

How many fire safety guys does it take to change a light bulb?
One - but it's an 8 hour minimum.

How many studio executives does it take to change a light bulb?
No one knows.  Light bulbs last longer than studio executives.

Union flagKevin Bryant is a student member of the Institute of Professional Sound...

Question:  How many sound engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer:  Five
Explanation (technical):
One to drive the switch.
One to change the bulb.
Three to debate endlessly whether the bulb should be wired base hot or thread hot such that it doesn't radiate out of phase and cancel out the other lights.

Union flagBlonde camera-bird Annabel Watts writes...

How many natural blondes does it take to think of a light bulb joke?
"I'll let you know when I've thought of the answer."

Mal Hamilton cleaning roo spit off his                          lensAustralian flagSydney cameraman Mal Hamilton, seen here doing what Australian cameramen do, "borrowed" several gags from here for his own site, so here's some stolen from him in an act of senseless retribution.

How many Avid editors does it take to change a light bulb?
"Well, the Mac's crashed again, Avid Support won't come because we used non-Avid paperclips on the script but I did one version WITH the light bulb, one completely without and a variation sort-of using the light bulb and sort-of NOT, you know, just a hint of not-light bulb but with a definite light bulbness.  I'll just reboot to show you."

How many production managers does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, first, it depends on the total cost; then if there's any overtime required and third, if a reliable supply of light bulbs can be found locally. Otherwise the light bulb has to be replaced entirely with something else.  Maybe a pot plant, we've got some spare pot plants, couldn't we use those?

How many ABC staff (apparently the ABC is a bit like the BBC - Ed) does it take to change a light bulb?
Nobody really knows but you'd need one to check the stores situation, one to fill in the TVLtBlb Req Form (TV-LBR-01), one to send the form to HdTVOps (LtBlbs) (NSW) (Acting) and triplicates to HdMnglssFrms (Acting).  Plus another three to form an assessment panel to decide if the bulb was changed efficiently.  Another to act as union rep to make sure Staff Association rules are strictly adhered to.  Then again, you'd need to count the one or two away on a flexiday, one off on a management course, two on an assessment course being assessed and another four doing the assessing, with one spare who is job-sharing and it's not their day today anyway.  Two off on stress leave, one acting as replacement for another off somewhere nobody actually knows.  Last, you'd need someone to order a replacement bulb before the one in the store can be let go because it's a SPARE and if it gets used then there'll be no spare in the store will there?

Union flagAndrew Rendle is a freelance sound engineer in Plymouth who loves this web page...

How many runners does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten. One to change it and nine to say "why didn't I get that job?"

Netherlands flagOnno Perdijk, a key grip at Solid Grip in the Netherlands says "Hello there, for the x-th time I have enjoyed the jokes ... great"

How many grips do you need to change a light bulb?
Grips don't care

A grip solution could be to put down a circular track with a crane on it with the platform in the centrepoint. Sit on it and let the PAs travel around the base of the crane.  The first would hit the glass of the bulb and conclude that the wire is broken and since then it is an electro's job!

How many grips do you need to change a light bulb?
You should call them in from their fishing-job...

How many grips do you need to change a light bulb?
Just one, and a lot of patience.

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
None, every bulb less is a shadow less...
None, it would make him standing up.

Brooke Wilson - ears looking at you, kidAustralian flagHere are some more gags from this page's longest-standing contributor, Sydney's Brooke Wilson, seen here attracting men the only way she knows how, latterly a commercials producer and globetrotting ambassador for her country's traditions of temperance and subtlety...

Two assistant producers were walking around on set when one said "Where did you get that great titanium bike?" The second one replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike.  She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said "Take what you want."  The first one nodded approvingly, "Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn't have fitted you".

To the optimist, the glass is half-full...
To the pessimist, the glass is half-empty...
To the producer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be...

USA flagSteve Malis is a soundman at ABC News in Atlanta, Georgia...

How many producers does it take to change a light bulb?
Two, no three, no two.

John BullardUSA flagJohn Bullard is cameraman and chief flapper at Lip Flap Productions, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia and "...has been telling stories with pictures and sound for more than twenty-eight years."

How many ENG co-ordinators named Elizabeth does it take to change a light bulb? 
"Can't you use available darkness?"

(My first year at ABC News in Washington I was sent on an ambush interview in a hotel hallway.  We used electricians at that time for lighting.  I'm sure you remember those days.  We had this co-ordinator who was working at ABC to pay for her masters degree in microbiology.  When I went to the desk and requested an electrician for lighting the dark hallway, her response was "can't you use available darkness?")

Union flagFrank Jackdaw, a pseudonymous screenwriter from Buckinghamshire, says "I didn't want to cheese off any composers I might be working with in the near future but who did contact me when I clearly wasn't looking for one!"  No chance of that happening here.

How many freelance composers does it take to change a light bulb?
The light bulb doesn't need changing, but they'll email you constantly in the hope of sending you examples of them changing other bulbs.

How many amateur screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?
Any number, as most of them will be trying to fit a screw-in into a bayonet socket, and it's going to be the wrong wattage anyway.  And the wrong colour.

Indian flagCinematographer, director and soap opera writer Niranjan Thade is from Mumbai and says "GREAT SITE!"...

The film fraternity is like monkeys changing light bulbs up a tree.  All on the top see monkeys below them and all at the bottom see assholes above them.

USA flagNew Orleans sound recordist Jeff Colon sends "Greetings From the Big Easy (the northernmost third world country in America)"...

How many sound recordists does it take to change a light bulb?
Why worry, they'll just ADR it in post.

Mark DunlayCanadian flagMark Dunlay is a news cameraman for CTV in Ottawa, Canada...

With his request approved, the CTV-Ottawa News cameraman quickly called the local airport to charter a flight.  He was told a twin-engine plane would be waiting for him.  Arriving at the airfield, he spotted a plane warming up and jumped in with his camera, slammed the door shut, and shouted "Let's go!"  The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and took off.  Once in the air, the cameraman instructed the pilot "Fly over the valley and make low passes so I can get shots of the fires on the hillsides."  "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm a cameraman for CTV-Ottawa" he responded "and I need to get some close up shots.  The pilot was strangely silent for a moment.  Finally he stammered "So, what you're telling me, is ... you're NOT my flight instructor?!"

There were these twin sisters just turning one hundred years old in St. Luke's Nursing Home and the assignment editor told a cameraman to get over there and take the pictures.  One of the twins was hard of hearing but the other could hear quite well.  The cameraman asked them to sit on the sofa.  The deaf one said to her twin "WHAT DID HE SAY?" "WE GOTTA SIT OVER THERE ON THE SOFA!" said the other.  "Now get a little closer together" said the cameraman.  Again, "WHAT DID HE SAY?" "HE SAYS SQUEEZE TOGETHER A LITTLE".  So, they wiggled up close to each other.  "Just hold on for a bit longer, I've got to focus a little" said the cameraman.  Yet again, "WHAT DID HE SAY?" "HE SAYS HE'S GONNA FOCUS!"  With a big grin the deaf twin shouted out "OH MY GOD - ME FIRST!"

Union flag"Being a freelance composer, I clearly have a lot of time on my hands" says Paul Rogers, who realises that drummers have much in common with sound recordists...

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
None - it's all done by computers these days.

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
"Why?  Oh, wow, is it, like, dark man?"

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
Ten - one to hold the bulb and nine to drink until the room spins round.

How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?
Just one, so long as the roadie does it for him.

Union flagAdam S Leslie is an extra and screenwriter...

How many extras does it take to change a light bulb?
About 350.  And they'll gripe about having to turn up so early to change it, they'll gripe about the step ladder and the person holding it, they'll gripe about the conditions in which they have to change the bulb, they'll gripe about the uncomfortable 'bulb-changing' clothes they have to wear, they'll gripe about how long it's taking to change the bulb and how they just want it to be over so they can go home.  And they'll gripe about not getting enough bulb-changing jobs.

How many bad screenwriters does it take to change a light bulb?
[beat]  One.

How many production drivers does it take to change that pesky bulb?
Four.  And they're going to do it perilously quickly, and be very very angry about it and everything else.

How many third ADs does it take to change that bulb?
"Sssh."

Union flagSound recordist Sean Taylor MIPS has got in touch to answer the question on everyone's lips...

Why do you see lightning before you hear thunder?
Because even God has to wait for sound!!

Christian GillUnion flagChristian Gill is an assistant director.  He says "Excellent response to your light bulb page - hilarious!!!"

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
"What's my motivation for this?  I mean, I'm not really 'feeling' the light bulb here."

Union flagBrian Powell - complete arseThe last word goes to sound recordist and complete arse Brian PowellBrian was brought up by puffins.

Why did the light bulb cross the road?
There was an Englishman, a Scotsman and a light bulb...
Two light bulbs walk into a pub...
I'm not saying my light bulb's ugly but...

I'm not saying my light bulb's fat, but I was making love to her last night and I burnt my arse on the mother-in-law"
Sexist, sizeist and bulbist!

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