What is a Grip?
A Grip is part of the production team that is responsible for developing and building sets for the production. It is usually an entry-level position and often requires a flexible schedule with irregular working hours.
What is the Job?
As a Grip, you will work primarily on complex equipment that supports the cameras and lighting. It can be a physically-demanding job, as it involves construction and set up, as well as the tearing down of sets once production has finished. It can involve setting up, maintaining and then dismantling backings, which are the large, painted backgrounds. On top of this, you may also have to order and sort out the renting of equipment, and carry out various administrative duties.
There are various types of Grips – the Key Grip, the Best Boy Grip, and the Dolly Grip. Often, individuals will begin as Grips, and then as they gain experience, they will specialise and through promotion may become the Key Grip.
The Dolly Grip will work with the camera dolly (a camera placed at various heights on a platform on wheels). They are also responsible for setting up the tracks that the camera dolly will travel on when filming a scene.
The Construction Grip is mainly responsible for building and then breaking down sets as and when they are needed. They will also have to unpack and pack parts of different sets from storage. On top of this, they will have to build scaffolding, as well as platforms for cameras, for when cameras are required at specific angles and heights.
- Flexibility with working hours
- Willingness to work irregular hours
- Capable of physically-taxing work
Salary & Working Hours
This job will require a flexible schedule and it will likely involve working irregular hours. You may only work two days a week, from 12-18 hours a day but you have to work when best fits the scene – if a scene needs to be shot at night, you must work at night.
Due to the fact that Grips are often hired for one of two days at a time, and so will often change productions and employers, determining the amount made in this job is difficult as salary will vary from job to job depending on the scale of the production.
How To Become a Grip
The role of a grip is an entry-level position, and therefore the level of education that is required is likely to be fairly low, however this will vary from job to job. Most companies will use on the job training, and this will provide you with experience, which is the most important aspect of trying to become a Grip. The more experience a Grip acquires through working on sets, the higher the chances of employment and promotion.
If you’re looking at becoming a Grip, why not take a look at these 5 must know tips when working on set!
Where Can It Take You?
As a Grip is an entry level position, it provides lots of room for advancement and promotion. Many individuals who wish to obtain higher-level positions in the film production industry will start out as a Grips, as it’s a good way of building experience working on set, and it’s a good way to make contacts. Promotion initially is likely to be through specialisations such as Best Boy Grips, Dolly Grips, and Key Grips.
Become a Grip
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Grip vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.