Understanding Terms that Grip Lighting Technicians Use on Set

Understanding Terms that Grip Lighting Technicians Use on Set

Understanding Terms that Grip Lighting Technicians Use on Set

Are you interested in video and film production?  Have you been avidly watching films for many years, and always excited about the newest ones to come out?  When you are interested in the film industry, you may find yourself considering a career as one of the crew members on set.  There are many different technicians on set.  If you enjoy the technical side of lighting and camera rigging, becoming a grip might be the perfect job for you.  Before you decide, let's look at some of the terms that you'll learn when you work behind the scenes in the film industry.

Flex Arm

The flex arm is a mount that has lockable ball joints.  It is best used for mounting dots, fingers or scrims.  It is also great for facilitating the precise movement or adjustment of the camera.


A gaffer on set is the individual who is placed at the head of the electrical department.  They are responsible for designing and executing the lighting design, and they also oversee the grips that work beneath them.


Grips are technicians that are responsible for rigging cameras, operating cranes and dollies, constructing sets and scaffolding, and controlling light.  They are expected to respond quickly to any of the demands of the gaffer and the director of photography.  Typically, they come equipped with many pieces of grip equipment to make the job more efficient behind the scenes.


Blondes are 2,000-watt light fixtures that are also open-faced, which means they project light over a large surface area.  Typically, these are made by an Italian manufacturer.


These are large or unique-shaped flags used to stop, or "cut," the light off from particular areas of the set.  When these are large in size, they are often referred to as cutters by the technicians on set.


Dailies are actually the unedited footage of the shots each day.  These can be pieced together during editing to create the perfect reel of film.

Side Arm

A side arm is a clamping mount that can allow light or a lighting device to securely sit on any surface.  They can host two different sizes of light fixtures -- baby and junior.  Side arms should also be used in conjunction with sandbags in order to provide weight to the opposing leg to keep it stable.

Sound Blanket

A sound blanket is used as added sound insulation or to lessen the intensity of the sound.  This is particularly important when shooting films in areas where sound travels quickly, like in tunnels or places with many hard surfaces.

These are just some of the common terms that you may hear when you work on the sets of film.  Many technicians, including grip lighting technicians, often follow this line of work because their interests evolve into passions.  If you are looking for key grip technicians to work on your film set, contact us to hear how we can help you today.

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