The Grip Department Explained

The Grip Department Explained

The Grip Department Explained

Making a TV show or feature film requires hundreds of people to complete, whether it is a low-budget, indie project, or a big-budget movie. A lesser-known team in the film industry is called the grip crew.

Grip crew

A grip department is responsible for all rigging behind the scenes. Film production rigging includes all equipment that helps hoist or lift other equipment. In addition, a grip department specials in camera rigs use to achieve specific camera angles or stabilize camera movement, and lighting rigs used to achieve precise lighting effects and techniques. A grip crew is led by a key grip and the best boy, who is second in command.

Responsibilities of a key grip

A key grip's responsibilities start far before filming does in pre-production. First, the Director of Photography works with a key grip to determine lighting equipment and camera setups for filming. Once they choose needed equipment, a key grip develops an equipment list, constructs a grip crew, and specifies all filming parts requiring innovative rigging solutions.

What a grip crew does

A grip crew supports the electrical and camera departments during production. Grips do the following for a camera department:

  • Set up all camera equipment and rigs a camera operator requires, like cranes or camera dollies.
  • Operates cranes or camera dollies during every take.

Within an electrical department, a key grip. typically coordinates with a gaffer who oversees the electrical department. Grip electric includes the following:

  • Set up all lighting rigs needed by lighting technicians.
  • Set up and operate all other non-electrical lighting equipment like gobos or diffusing materials.

Grips do not operate the lights themselves or with any other electrical equipment. This responsibility rests on the lighting technicians.

Skills you need to be a key grip

A key grip job is a management position, so some experience on a film or working as a grip is required. However, a key grip does not need to have a degree from a film school. Working your way up through the grip department is the best training to gain the skills for becoming a key grip. A key grip must know the following:

Technical knowledge- A key grip must have practical experience with every kind of grip equipment,including mounting cameras to cars, setting up steel cables, operating pulleys, and taking down cranes.

Creative problem solving- A key grip works closely with a film's director and Director of Photography, who generally have particular camera and lighting crews requests. The key grip is required to use creative problem-solving techniques to make the equipment they use achieve the desired effects.

Communication skills- A key grip is a manager, so they must have patience. They must be exact and concise while directing crew members to keep their department operating safely and smoothly.

Contact us today if your project requires grip electric. We have the expertise and experience to provide the level of service you deserve to make your project successful. Our assistance goes above and beyond client expectations to provide you with the most professional services in the industry.

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