This edition of Behind the Scenes looks at just as a mysterious role as the previous. Find out what a grip in film is right here!
If you’ve spent your entire life thinking the grip was responsible for making sure nobody on set slipped over on the floor – don’t sweat it, I was right there with you.
The gaffer and best boy job titles don’t give an awful lot away, either. But, these roles which are shrouded in mystery are so fundamental to the smooth running of a film production. Like a fine-tuned machine, each part whether big or small contribute to the overall result. So, what exactly does a grip in film do?
What is a Grip?
Sometimes called the key grip if they run the team, they are someone who works closely with the gaffer and director of photography (DoP). It is a technical role that revolves around preparing and maintaining all the camera equipment, ready for the camera team.
What Does a Grip in Film Do?
A key grip is responsible for enabling the camera team to perform the shots they wish. This means getting dollies, cranes, jibs and tracks set up ready for the filming to commence. They are very much the practical component to capturing those breathtaking cinematic shots.
There may also be a team of grips working under the key grip. In this case, you can get a best boy grip who will act as the foreman for the key grip. This then turns the key grip role into much more of a managerial position.
The role of a grip is interesting, as it requires a level of delicacy to work with such expensive and fragile equipment, but also strength and firmness to handle hefty gear. The cinematic vision dreamt up by the director trickles down the chain, and it’s the grips who play a big role in bringing it to fruition!