is is an in-depth blog breaking down Working as a Key Grip in film and television. Please comment below. As a reader it is your responsibility to help us make this post better! What is it missing? Have any questions?
The Key Grip works with the Cinematographer and Gaffer to help shape and control the light as well as dealing with the movement and rigging of cameras. With the aid of the best boy and the other grips the grip department supports camera, lighting and often times art department.
Being a key grip is a tough job that requires a lot of technical knowledge, creativity and a sharp eye.
In England grips are exclusively part of the camera department and are not responsible for shaping light or supporting the electric department.
Working as a Key Grip:
- The key grip executes the Cinematographer’s wishes in order to shape and control the light.
- Execute and/or facilitate any camera movement or rigging. This includes dollies, cranes or camera placement and rigging on any stationary, moving or floating object
- Run the grip crew. This can includes grips with specific specialties, like dolly grips, crane operators, rigging grips etc.
- Work with the gaffer and translate requested lighting positions and needs into rigging options and equipment needs.
- Crew safety. On larger sets the First AD mainly deals with safety.
- Think ahead and keep an eye out for any problems that may arise. This includes having equipment standing by for close-ups, relights and solving issues before or as they arise.
- Being a Key Grip Involves Creativity. Being a grip involves an amazing combination of creativity and technical skill, but creativity is very important. You might need to do something out of the ordinary or come up with interesting solutions on the spot.
- High level of technical skill & knowledge. Know your gear and always be trying to improve your knowledge and skill.
- Strong problem solving skills.
- Strong communication skills. You must communicate clearly and give solid instructions to your team. Communicate effectively.
- Fast decision-making.
- Patience & tact. Often times you will be dealing with slow departments and crew members or having to discuss and ask for things from other departments. Patience and tact is a must.