Jump to content

Grip Certifications


Recommended Posts

Hello,

I am currently a film student at Full Sail University and I was wondering what certifications,training, books,or workshops would one take if they were looking to be a sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable grip on set. i.e. rig a flyswatter, condor rigging or operation or safety courses that would be good to have under your belt.

Thanks for you're time and I sincerely appreciate any advice or response!

 

-Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure those things exist. As far as I know, the only grip "certification" that exists is the good word of a reputable key grip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the UK the grips now need the NVQ qualification. Here, they operate the dolly and cranes rather than rig flags etc, I know one experienced grip who couldn't get work because he didn't have the qualifications. It's a health and safety issue.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What about work shops or training? aside from film school

 

put the name out there and ask around and get on a feature as a swing or grip intern. it'll probably be low or no pay but you will learn so much more than you would in any workshop that you have to pay for. while on set, be honest about what you do and don't know. people will be far more tolerant of the mistakes you will make (it happens to everybody) if you demonstrate an active willingness to learn than if you pretend that you know it all and screw up. also, don't just make contacts with other grips, make friends. Work hard, ask questions, make friends. That's the way to start getting work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Local 80 offers classes for members, and Contract services has classes that are required to work as a grip on a studio lot. Local 80 is legally the only grips allowed to rig Fly swatters and lights in Condors. ( grips every where still do it). local 80 has an agreement with JLG and Genie, which is covered in the condor rigging class for grips from contract services. If an accident was to happen you can be found at fault. the class covers specific condors which are approved for use and wind/weight restrictions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Toby and Robert, I appreciate the response and the advice I will definitely look into the local 80 workshops and interning as a grip or swing. I work on the grip and gaff team a lot on student 16 and 35mm features at my college currently but I will look into more larger scale shoots.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha yeah I got the grip test on my first shoot, I learned the grip test trick and to never grab or pass a C-stand with your fingers under the long arm hahaha

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Toby and Robert, I appreciate the response and the advice I will definitely look into the local 80 workshops and interning as a grip or swing. I work on the grip and gaff team a lot on student 16 and 35mm features at my college currently but I will look into more larger scale shoots.

 

Step one: Quit calling it the gaff team. There is one gaffer, one best boy electric, and a few, several, or many set electricians. Collectively, they are set lighting or electric.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope this doesn't mean I've just become uninsurable to push a dolly...

 

From what I gather, it seems to be something that the big productions are looking for these days. I expect it would be the higher risk camera rigs and the crane work that the insurance companies would get excited about rather than pushing a dolly. The dolly being such a broad church of wheeled objects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to recall a couple of years ago when the Jem Morton Diva Posse (as they're known, to me at least) were making a fuss about this in a BECTU camera branch meeting; I wonder if this is the upshot of it. My concerns at the time were that they seemed to be much more interested in narrowing the field of employees and cutting people out of work, more than making anything safer.

 

I wonder who controls the qualification.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder who controls the qualification.

 

I suppose, in the end, the grips because they're involved in setting out the course. However, I don't see anything wrong with people being qualified as long as entry is open to people wanting to take the qualification to become a grip, rather than a closed shop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you look at the course notes you'll notice that the assessment is "on the job" and by a member of the gripping fraternity, so it is a closed shop.

 

Well done Jem, that's exactly what you wanted all along...

 

Grah.

 

P

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure who else is going to instruct trainees about a grip's job other than qualified grips. It's pretty standard training for most other industries. The main issue being that you need to be based in London to get the NVQs, which could be a problem if you're already experienced working as a grip elsewhere, not in the other grips stopping someone in this position getting the NVQ.

 

You used to be able to work your way the NVQ paperwork once you'd proved that you've done a particular aspect of a job, now the scheme is more established that may be more difficult.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Precisely.

 

Somehow I suspect nobody will be getting this NVQ who hasn't already had the unofficial nod from some grip who's got delusions of grandeur, which of course will be difficult if you aren't one of the boys.

 

Sorry, I just can't stand all this thinly-veiled job protectionism - and I'm unlikely to be directly affected by it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, I just can't stand all this thinly-veiled job protectionism - and I'm unlikely to be directly affected by it.

 

That's the nature of the film & TV industry anyway, regardless of how open it tries to be, you've got to have or have made the right contacts. Basically, it's no different to quite a few other industries and professions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I appreciate all the advice, and I'm not looking to get job protection through certifications or training, I would like to be able to do complex rigs such as large scale flyswatters on condors and stuff of that nature.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey I appreciate all the advice, and I'm not looking to get job protection through certifications or training, I would like to be able to do complex rigs such as large scale flyswatters and stuff of that nature.

 

It's a UK grip thing, here they're more like the dolly grip and lighting flags etc, which are rigged by the grips in the US, are done by the electricians.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a follow on, I suspect you tend to learn about doing these large rigs by working on the larger productions as a junior grip. It comes through on the job experience, you learn the principles on the courses, but the real learning comes from doing it on productions that use that sort of kit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...