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Grip, Key Grip, Best Boy Grip


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#1 Gino Terribilini

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 06:26 PM

What exactly is the difference between a grip, key grip, and best boy grip? I know how a dolly grip differs from a regular grip, but that's about it. Any ideas?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 07:52 PM

What exactly is the difference between a grip, key grip, and best boy grip? I know how a dolly grip differs from a regular grip, but that's about it. Any ideas?


Key Grip is the head grip, Best Boy Grip is his chief assistant. Then there are just the grips below those two positions, including specialized grips like Dolly Grip.
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:04 PM

What exactly is the difference between a grip, key grip, and best boy grip? I know how a dolly grip differs from a regular grip, but that's about it. Any ideas?



The Key Grip is the head of the Grip Department. He works in coordination with the Gaffer to help achieve the wishes of the Director of Photography.

The Best Boy Grip's primary responsibility is to track and maintain equipment. He is like the "mother" of the department, making sure the Grips have everything they need. He also handles all the paperwork.

There are usually two on set Grips who work closely with the Key and the Dolly Grip in setting flags, stands, moving walls, laying track, building jibs and cranes, etc. They can also be affectionately called "Hammers."

The Dolly Grip works very closely with the Camera Department in mounting and moving the camera. He lays dolly track, "dance floor," builds and operates jib arms, operates dollies, secures the camera for safetey, and pitches in the help the other Grips when necessary. He does more than "push" the dolly. He contributes nearly as much "operating" to the camera move as the Camera Operator.


Stay tuned for my upcoming book, What I Really Want to Do on set in Hollywood, for a lot more about the Grip Department and everyone else working on set.


Hope this helps!
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#4 Wilkin Chau

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:34 PM

The Key Grip is the head of the Grip Department. He works in coordination with the Gaffer to help achieve the wishes of the Director of Photography.

The Best Boy Grip's primary responsibility is to track and maintain equipment. He is like the "mother" of the department, making sure the Grips have everything they need. He also handles all the paperwork.

There are usually two on set Grips who work closely with the Key and the Dolly Grip in setting flags, stands, moving walls, laying track, building jibs and cranes, etc. They can also be affectionately called "Hammers."

The Dolly Grip works very closely with the Camera Department in mounting and moving the camera. He lays dolly track, "dance floor," builds and operates jib arms, operates dollies, secures the camera for safetey, and pitches in the help the other Grips when necessary. He does more than "push" the dolly. He contributes nearly as much "operating" to the camera move as the Camera Operator.
Stay tuned for my upcoming book, What I Really Want to Do on set in Hollywood, for a lot more about the Grip Department and everyone else working on set.
Hope this helps!



To add to that the Best Boy usually leads the pre-rigging of the next set (unless you have a rigging team), does all the fun paperwork, makes sure all the equipment is there at the end of the day, hires (sometimes key does this) and makes sure the number of crew is adequate for the day. The best is usually around doing something. Lighting the next set. Lighting the current setup. inventory checks etc.

The Key Grip, you will usually find beside the gaffer and DOP. Key grip is in charge of ordering the equipment, greenlights whether or not something is safe and delegates what needs to be done (setting up a lenser for the camera, tenting windows etc.).

Grip or 3rd grip is someone who hopefully has a decent working knowledge of equipment and procedures and does whatever is needed. You'll find some of them at the package (where the most used equipment is), on set, on the next set or wherever.

As for the definition of a grip I'd say it would be part lighting and part camera support. But really we get stuck doing a lot of things. Helping build things to putting blankets on walls to help out the sound department.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 01:18 AM

I know a guy who always calls the grips "Macguyvers." Not a bad name considering the variety of things grips usually handle and the resourcefulness often involved in doing so.

The same guy joked that if you give a grip a full gas can and some speedrail, they can build a car.
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