Working as a grip or electric on a film or TV set can be an exciting job with a lot of responsibilities. These jobs play an essential role in the production of movies and TV shows, ensuring the lighting and camera equipment is set up correctly and is safe to use. If you are considering pursuing a career as a grip or electric, it's crucial to understand your responsibilities on set to ensure a successful production. In this blog post, we will cover the key responsibilities of working as a grip or electric.
One of the primary responsibilities of a grip or electric is to set up and maintain the lighting and camera equipment. This includes ensuring that all the equipment is in good working order, and electric cables are safely secured to avoid accidents. The electrician is also responsible for setting up electricity, lighting, and grip equipment to provide ample light for filming. The key is to ensure the equipment is ready for filming as soon as the cameras start rolling.
The grip department works closely with the camera team and provides essential support. This includes operating cranes, dollies, and jibs to assist with camera moves and ensure shots are framed correctly. They are also responsible for setting up and operating grip equipment, such as clamps, stands, and rigging, to ensure the lights are in the right position. In essence, the grip department is responsible for ensuring the camera team has what they need to create the perfect shot.
Safety is a top priority on any film set, and grips and electrics play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the crew. They are responsible for securing all equipment, ensuring cables and cords are not hazardous to crew members. Additionally, they must ensure that all equipment, including lights and cameras, are safely secured, so they don't fall over and injure someone. The grip and electric teams also have to adhere to appropriate safety protocols and ensure that equipment is appropriately tagged.
The production team relies heavily on grip and electric teams, making it vital to stay organised and well-prepared for a shoot. You must prepare and maintain all equipment inventory, ensuring essential grip and lighting gear is in stock and in working order. Additionally, you must clean and maintain all equipment so that it is in top condition for each production. Pre-planning also includes transporting equipment to and from locations, tracking equipment usage and handling returns and repairs.
Working on a set is a collaborative effort, and a grip or electric must be willing to work with multiple departments to ensure a smooth shoot. This means working alongside the production design team to fit lighting within their aesthetic, collaborating with sound teams to ensure equipment placement doesn't interfere with sound and being a team player during the fast-paced environment of a film shoot.
Grip and electric teams are essential to any film or TV production, responsible for making sure that lighting and camera equipment are set up correctly, and the crew is safe on set. It's crucial that those entering these professions understand their responsibilities, including setting up and maintaining lighting and camera equipment, supporting the camera team, ensuring safety on set, preparing and maintaining equipment inventory, and collaborating with colleagues on set. By doing so, the team ensures that the production runs smoothly, and the final product is of high quality.