The Key Grip is responsible for helping arrange rigging cameras for filming. As head of the grip department (lighting and rigging technicians), it is a senior role for a highly experienced professional. They must collaborate with the director and director of photography in pre-production to understand their vision of how the project will look and decide the requirements of the production. They must hire the appropriate personnel to get the job done as required. They must decide what support equipment is required to get the desired shots as well as the vehicles and crew needed to get the equipment to various locations. They work with the director of photography and camera operators during filming to determine what grip equipment is needed and where. This includes dollies, cranes, camera placement and rigging on any stationary or moving object. They must plan ahead for the following series of shots during filming.
For this role, you will need:
Creativity as well as technical skills and experience.
Ability to understand the director and Director of Photography’s (DOP) vision for the project, and how to achieve this technically.
Ability and knowledge to be able to source the required crew and equipment while working to a budget and schedule.
Leadership skills and experience in managing a team of grips, standbys and other crew and ability to delegate and communicate effectively.
Ability to problem solve and adapt to the constantly changing conditions on a film set due to weather, budget, schedule etc.
Strong understanding of camera movement, equipment and the latest advances in technology.
There are no typical career paths for the Key Grip often they would have worked their way through the Grip Department. Extensive experience on set is essential.