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Getting started as a grip


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#1 M Joel W

M Joel W
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Posted 26 January 2011 - 06:23 PM

Hi all, I'm a wannabe-DP of sorts and I've decided to move to Los Angeles and start a career as a grip. My goal is to get on to large productions and see how it's done properly, and be a part of how it's done properly.

I have two big problems: I've been on a fair number of sets but I'm not yet a great grip (my c-stand technique is wanting, etc.) and I've been told that grips frown on wannabe-cinematographers. It's not as simple as that: I would much rather be a grip on a big production than a DP on something I'm not as proud of, but I have to be honest that my long-term (VERY long-term) career goals lie elsewhere and I would like to light student shorts on the side to practice.

I want to make a career of this for at least few years, maybe much longer (though I may go to film school in the interim if I get accepted) and I'm just wondering how to get started as a grip in LA, and how to progress. Is it worth attending a technical school on gripping? I am very serious about moving to LA within a month and making a living as a grip for the foreseeable future.

Thanks,

-Matt
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CineLab

Visual Products

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio