What does a trainee grip do?
Trainee grips start the day by helping to unload the truck with the gear that supports the cameras. Under supervision from the qualified grips, they move the equipment to the right place on location.
Trainee grips are on set throughout the day. At the end of each shot, they help put equipment away that’s no longer needed and set up the kit for the next shot. They do this until the end of filming and then they help put all the equipment away.
The main role of trainee grips is to learn the trade. Grips’ equipment, cranes, jibs and dollies (the wheeled platform that carries a camera and a camera operator), can be used in different ways. Trainee grips watch everything that’s happening; learn how the gear is used and how to operate it.
What’s a grip trainee good at?
- Cameras and their support mechanisms: have a desire to learn the technical requirements of cameras and of the baseplates, dollies, cranes and jib arms on which they are mounted
- Watching film and TV drama: have a passion for the genre and a love of the industry
- Learning by watching and asking: observe what’s happening and ask questions at the appropriate moments
- Reliability: be able to get to set on time and do what’s asked
- Communication: listen to the grip, work as a team, communicate well, especially when under pressure
- Lifting: learn how to lift, have stamina