INFORMANT: “What’s the difference between a DP [Director of Photography] and God?”
I: “God doesn’t think he’s a DP!”
This occupational joke was collected from a young man with whom I worked on a couple of film sets, who seemed to have an endless supply of quips to be used in the car, during lunch break, and even during the little down time there is in between takes. Like almost all filmmaking jokes I have heard, it is at the expense of a specific group of workers. Although these can be slightly cruel, there are plenty of jokes for every department of a film crew, so although they do most often focus on actual grievances people have with other departments, they are always told in good nature. The expectation is that everyone will get made fun of.
Because my informant aspires to eventually become a director of photography himself, this particular joke is very telling of non-serious attitude with which these jovial criticisms are issued. My informant can recognize the common flaws among those whose ranks he wishes to join—egocentrism and overconfidence—and self-deprecate in a way that can help a crew bond and work together better.