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First Time Key Gripping On A Real Set


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#1 Dillon C Novak

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 09:02 AM

I have gripped at least twelve short films, and one music video in the last year, around 40 days total. They all have been FSU thesis films and had a fair lighting/grip package.

I have now been asked to Key Grip Saturday and Sunday on a professional music video with pay. There will be a gene truck, and some fairly large HMI units. If there are any Key Grips out there, or even Best Boy Grips, I would love to hear what advice you would have from unloading, to setting up a 10K hmi on a (crank)ovator. Or even any first time rookie mistakes.

Where not to get side tracked on a task? Where I should manage my grips? Where does the line cross when dealing with electricity? Does the key grips job end where the distrobox begins when striking the HMI units?

Anything I should bring in my tool belt? I have a decent amount that I usually carry with me when best boy, but if there's anything extra..

Thanks guys.
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#2 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 09:05 PM

If it has a plug, it's for the electrics.
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#3 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

addition to: if it has a plug: its electric


if it needs a sandbag; its for the grips

if it is in shot and does not speak nor move: its Art

if it is in shot and does note speak but does move: ist AD

if it is in shot and does speak: its for the Director


Like the old roady song:

If it is liquid, drink it
if it is warm, eat it,
if it moves, **(obscenity removed)** it,
anything else: throw it in the truck...

good luck,

Onno
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#4 Robert Harper

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 05:54 PM

If you're a Key Grip, you won't have to worry about touching the lights. (If you it's a small shoot where everyone does everything, my best advice is to make sure to have the light on the tail gate of the truck, move the crank up to the gate and load the light from off of the gate onto the stand. It's a lot easier to lift up and over than to lift the whole light from the ground to over the stand and down.)

The biggest thing as a Key Grip is to make sure that things are safe. Don't put up a 20x20 without a lot of weight and ropes tying it off. Have some extra hands stand on the stands if need be.

Always make sure the producers have courtesy flags set for them at video village and make sure the lens isn't getting pinged with light.

Other than that, have fun!
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 06:25 PM

Okay. I just finished DP-ing a short with a very nice, but inexperienced crew. Here's my advice: When using a c-stand, EXTEND THE ARM ONLY WHEN NECESSARY!! WTF are you doing extending the arm every single time?? Keep the rigging as simple and compact as possible, and try not to turn the set into an obstacle course.

Level the big lights.
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#6 robert duke

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:45 PM

Okay. I just finished DP-ing a short with a very nice, but inexperienced crew. Here's my advice: When using a c-stand, EXTEND THE ARM ONLY WHEN NECESSARY!! WTF are you doing extending the arm every single time?? Keep the rigging as simple and compact as possible, and try not to turn the set into an obstacle course.

Level the big lights.


John,

the arm is your first riser. isnt it embarassing when you raise a flag up and you a 12" shy and you have to lower the whole stand to get the arm up. If the gear is worth it salt use the arm first, it is your first riser. I agree keep is simple and clean. work to make the set work for everyone safely.
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#7 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:02 AM

I have gripped at least twelve short films, and one music video in the last year, around 40 days total. They all have been FSU thesis films and had a fair lighting/grip package.

I have now been asked to Key Grip Saturday and Sunday on a professional music video with pay. There will be a gene truck, and some fairly large HMI units. If there are any Key Grips out there, or even Best Boy Grips, I would love to hear what advice you would have from unloading, to setting up a 10K hmi on a (crank)ovator. Or even any first time rookie mistakes.

Where not to get side tracked on a task? Where I should manage my grips? Where does the line cross when dealing with electricity? Does the key grips job end where the distrobox begins when striking the HMI units?

Anything I should bring in my tool belt? I have a decent amount that I usually carry with me when best boy, but if there's anything extra..

Thanks guys.


What are you being asked to do ?
I have never been asked to load or setup 10k's on a crankovator.

Toolbelt ? get a good walkie talkie. Get a good dolly grip. If you get a good crew, your job as key grip is to stay out of their way. Stand by the DP, try and anticipate his needs. Look for what he likes by way of shaping his light and diffusion. Try and stay one step ahead. Do not try and come across as more experienced than you are ... thats a set up for trouble.

Try and enjoy yourself, and make sure you work as a team with your grips. Without them you are f---ked !

Why does your profile say you are a director ?

Edited by Sanjay Sami, 21 October 2011 - 08:05 AM.

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#8 Dillon C Novak

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:09 AM

The shoot went well for anyone that was curious. I was just psyching myself up. We didn't do anything I didn't already know. We played around with a 6K, 2.5K, 800 Joker. The rest was overheads and mirror boards.

Here's the completed video if anyone is interested. I also dolly gripped. Fun shoot!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BClFpTijh1Y


Why does your profile say you are a director ?


I also direct music videos. (http://montaukfilm.com/) Different aspects of film attract me, and one of them happens to actually pay a day rate.

Thanks guys!
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#9 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

Different aspects of film attract me, and one of them happens to actually pay a day rate.

Thanks guys!


Which one ? The directors day rate should be better I would guess :rolleyes:
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#10 Dillon C Novak

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 10:19 AM

Which one ? The directors day rate should be better I would guess :rolleyes:


Nope. Gripping/Gaffing. Music videos are usually underbudget and over delivered.

When it's your own project you want to see succeed, as a director, you're willing to make more sacrifices and deals in order to have a good video for your reel/resume. :( (In hopes that one day it will be you that gets hired by Atlantic, Capitol records, etc.)

Edited by Dillon C Novak, 21 October 2011 - 10:19 AM.

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Metropolis Post

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

CineLab

The Slider