Spotlight on Grips: The Film and Video Industry’s Unsung Heroes

Posted on: August 31, 2023

Spotlight on Grips: The Film and Video Industry’s Unsung Heroes

Grips are the unsung heroes of film and video production, and in this article, we’ll explore who they are.

Crafting a movie or video is no small feat; it requires careful planning and the coordination of many talented people. While actors, directors, and producers usually take the limelight, there’s another group working tirelessly behind the scenes – they’re called grips. These often-overlooked heroes of the film and video production world have a significant impact, and in this article, we’ll dive into who they are, what they do, and why their role is essential in capturing those perfect shots.

Warning! This video contains humor that may not be suitable for some office settings or age groups. Proceed with caution…

What’s A Grip?

Think of grips as the unsung heroes backstage during a play. They might not be the ones handling the cameras directly, but their crucial job involves providing support and assembling the equipment that enables camera operators to work their magic. Grips also collaborate closely with the lighting team to make sure that every scene is visually perfect.

Now, let’s zoom in on the various roles within the grip team, learn why their contributions are invaluable, and explore what it takes to excel in this role. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for the vital role grips play in ensuring the seamless production of videos and movies.

Types of Grips

In the realm of filmmaking, there’s an array of grip roles, each with its own distinct responsibilities. The Key Grip serves as the leader, overseeing the grip team’s activities. Best Boy or Best Girl grips act as essential right-hand assistants, managing equipment, handling paperwork, and ensuring everything is in perfect order. Dolly grips are the go-to experts for achieving smooth camera movements, utilizing tracks or rigs to perfection. Rigging grips specialize in strategically placing lights and equipment in challenging locations. Then there are the versatile “Company” grips, who can adapt to various tasks. While there are more specialized roles, these are the primary ones in the grip department.

Why Grips Are Important on a Film/Video Set

Grips hold a pivotal role on film and video sets because they are the guardians of safety and functionality. Their expertise lies in the swift and secure setup of equipment, always adhering to stringent safety protocols to avert any mishaps. It’s worth noting that on more compact video shoots with smaller crews, a single grip may wear multiple hats, taking on various responsibilities due to the smaller team size.

Vital Grip Skills

To excel as a grip, you should have nimble hands, the physical capability to handle heavy loads (although mechanical and geometric skills can compensate for pure strength), and the ability to collaborate effectively within a team. Additionally, comfort with heights is occasionally necessary. Having a solid understanding of cameras and lighting is a valuable asset. A proficient grip has an in-depth knowledge of equipment, like maneuvering a complex construction toy set.

Grips hold a significant role within any film or video crew. They toil behind the scenes, making sure everything is meticulously arranged, enabling actors and directors to perform at their best. With their expertise spanning equipment, safety measures, lighting, and cameras, grips are akin to the hidden catalyst for a triumphant video or movie project. For filmmakers, appreciating the integral role of grips in maintaining seamless operations is crucial.