Good Day To Be A Grip

Jane Russell by Frank Worth "The French Line" 1954
Jane Russell by Frank Worth 1954 set of “The French Line”

According to gorillafilmonline.comthe grip is the person in charge of setting up equipment to support the camera, and on some sets, support lighting equipment (but not the actual lights. Never touch the actual lights). It’s a physically demanding job where experience is invaluable.

The grips set up all the rigging which allow the camera to move about within a set in a way that captures the shot as the director wants it, so this can involve working on camera dollies, cranes, tracks and other camera setups. When a grip does his job well, the camera movement through the scenes will be seamless, so much so that you don’t even think about it, meaning you don’t think about the grips.

The grips below are moving a camera dolly onto a track. I hope they have a chiropractor on set. Or at least a masseuse and a couple ice packs. states that the term “grip ” dates from the days of silent movies when cameras were hand-cranked. The cranking action would make the camera wobble, and so the camera operator would call for anyone with a “good grip” to grab the camera tripod legs and physically steady the camera.

'Get a grip.'

12 thoughts on “Good Day To Be A Grip

    1. I know he had a string of girlfriends. Who could blame him on that one? Although I do recall a pic of him with Katherine Hepburn, and I didn’t get that attraction at all. I guess there’s a lid for every pot. I think he also dated Olivia de Havilland. She’s still alive; let’s call her and ask the hard questions.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. So cool. I had a girl friend some years ago who was a TV producer for Century Three Teleproductions in Boston (at the time) . I used to visit while she was working – that is a totally different world with very different rules than you and i live by. They found out I was a truck driver and wanted me to source cocaine and meth for them – I politely declined. If you deal drugs those guys (production crew and talent) are amazing customers, except they have big mouths.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I can drive a truck 😜
    Jane Russell was always my favourite, but I was a kid and I think it was Paleface that did it 😀
    Yes a fascinating post, I always wondered what that meant at the the end of a film, so what does ‘Best Boy’ do? Or in this climate shouldn’t I ask x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see what you mean when a best boy can either be a best boy electric and best boy grip. I wouldn’t write “best boy grip” on my tax returns. These days, I don’t think you can even say boy. It would have to be best person. Maybe best implies that someone is worse. How can we say that if it hurts somebody’s feelings?

      Liked by 1 person

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