6 Grip Tips and Tricks

6 Grip Tips and Tricks

6 Grip Tips and Tricks

Being a grip is not for the faint of heart; it is hard work that takes serious commitment. Being rushed when you are loading or unloading heavy equipment is frustrating. Our grip lighting experts recommend these tips and tricks to help alleviate some of your on-the-job stress:

Sandbag transport

Depending on their weight, it is usually best not to load more than a dozen sandbags on a tongue dolly. Any more than a dozen might end up breaking the tongue. Many of these dollies are labeled with the maximum number of bags they can handle, but a dozen is a safe default if yours isn't marked.

Safe lifting

If you want to avoid injury, lift with your legs, not your back. Grips handle all sorts of heavy equipment and gear, so please don’t injure yourself in the process. You will need to learn proper form if you are interested in sticking with grip work for the long haul. When moving sandbags, kick them off of stands instead of lifting them to preserve some precious energy. If you need to carry sandbags, never carry more than two at a time to save some energy and avoid hurting your back.

Sandwiches aren’t just for lunch

If someone asks you for a sandwich, they probably aren’t hungry. A sandwich in the grip world means one of each type of silk and net sandwiched between two flags. However, if you hear someone announce “sandwiches" while working a union set, food is really on the way.

Gear resting

Never lean c-stands, flags, or other items against the dressing or set walls. You do not want to represent the grip department by propping the primarily metal grip gear and damaging the dressing or scratching the walls. Even when you do it carefully, the set decorators will probably be annoyed. It is always best to be considerate with everyone on set.

Managing spill

The Director of photography might request that you box the lights. This is usually done to prevent light spills on the walls and other areas of the set. Depending on the situation, the spill can also be managed using flags or black wrap.

Light flagging

It is the grips' responsibility to keep undesired flares from hitting the camera lens by flagging lights. Depending on set limitations, this can be done close to the lens or close to the lamp. If the grips can achieve the desired outcome, the camera team may be able to assist with black tape, sider, or an eyebrow.

Recognizing the pretty side

When you work with grips, you may hear them talk about the pretty side. It is critical to recognize which side of a textile is the pretty side. Your key grip will definitely be impressed if you do. The pretty side is the side that faces the camera or the cleanest, white side of the green screen or textile. It is crucial to fold fabrics with the pretty side in to keep the material clean and safe.

Follow these tips and tricks from our grip electric experts to alleviate some of the stress of the job. And when you need grip equipment, contact us first. We have everything you need to do your job effectively.

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