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Grip Certified dolly jib crane

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#1 Trent Edward Arant

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:39 PM

I'm new in the grip world and I'm eager to work close to the camera. I know that grips often operate dollys, cranes, and lifts but I'm wondering if you have to be certified to have that position? Could someone provide me more information about this? Thanks!


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:31 AM

In which country do you live? The UK has a qualification for grips, because of health and safety regulations. 


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:13 AM

Well, actually, the UK has a qualification for grips because the grips branch wanted to return as much as it could to a closed shop, but who am I to argue.


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#4 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:55 AM

Phil the current grips branch NVQ is a brilliant idea and helps promote the right level of health and safety on sets of every budget. It's very easy to become a trainee grip so I'd hardly call that a closed shop?
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:41 AM

Some more information on grips.

http://www.creatives...icle_4784_1.asp

 

I'm not sure what the problem is about grips needing NVQs, Although, no one is stopping other people from operating various dolly types on a wide range of productions.


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:43 AM

My understanding of it is that in order to get the NVQ you are required to work with an existing grip, which is a course of action open only to people with the right contacts. As a practical matter this is a terribly easy way to make it a mates' club - at least, that's the impression I get.

 

P


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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:03 AM

Unfortunately that also applies to many industries.

 

In film and TV you need to find your contacts, so if you want to be a grip you need to get involved with them and create your own contacts, which takes time. Easier if you've got a relative, but it can still be done.  You need to do it at some stage in order to get freelance work.

 

http://www.creatives...icle_9319_1.asp


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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:32 AM

I won't mention names, but my feeling from having attended a couple of BECTU meetings at which it was discussed was that this was set up quite knowingly and deliberately.


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#9 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:33 AM

Trent - it would help if we knew which country you work in.


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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:44 AM

I won't mention names, but my feeling from having attended a couple of BECTU meetings at which it was discussed was that this was set up quite knowingly and deliberately.

 

I expect there was an element of that. I know grips outside London needed to get qualified and they were talking about making arrangements for the NVQ at the time.


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:06 PM

I don't think there's any reason to moan about people trying to protect their jobs. Training and qualifications help to maintain standards and safety on set. There's already far too many totally unqualified crew members taking up jobs in the industry.


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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 03:45 AM

The catering and hospitality industries are now heavily into qualifying people. With colour coded chopping boards and a huge amount of legislation around everything.  


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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:26 AM

I don't think there's any reason to moan about people trying to protect their jobs.

 

I do. Life in general should be much more of a meritocracy than it is (and - let's be clear - "meritocracy" doesn't mean "richest person wins," it means "most competent person wins", or at least it should).

 

Training and qualifications help to maintain standards and safety on set.

 

This initiative may incidentally do that, but I don't think this was the intention. 

 

Basically, I just don't like being lied to. If people are going to be acquisitive and grasping, they should at least be upfront about it, rather than trying to persuade us it's all about safety and competence. It isn't. It's about being mates with the right people, which will not, ultimately, ensure the best people are in the job.

P


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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:02 AM

Unfortunately the only place you're going to learn is working with experienced grips on a range of productions. I was more concerned about already experienced grips who needed to get the the NVQ, but were outside London at the time it came in. For new comers it's now in the system, although they may have to spend a year or two getting accepted as a trainee.

 

Nothing new about any job in film & TV being about knowing the right people, rather than perhaps being the best. The who you know, rather than what you know thing.    


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:13 AM

It's one thing for that to be the case, but it's quite another to decide it's desirable and put systems in place to actively encourage it.

 

And let's face it - almost nobody in the UK is "working with experienced grips on a range of productions." They're working on music videos and the occasional high-end commercial. All four of them.

 

The only good thing about this is that it's very difficult to enforce on more normal UK stuff, but I guess it's only a matter of time before it's a requirement of production insurance to have an NVQ-certified grip to carry the tripod on the average no-budget music video. That prospect is what really worries me.

 

P


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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 06:55 AM

Quite a few grips also work on the many TV dramas being made.


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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:33 AM

Pfft - how many really decent TV dramas do we have who'd need a proper crew? 

 

Three?


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#18 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:38 AM

Any TV dramas I've worked on have had a grip, plus the usual jobs filled. camera truck, catering bus and the usual bits that come along.


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#19 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:08 PM

Pfft - how many really decent TV dramas do we have who'd need a proper crew? 

 

Three?

Every TV show I ever worked on in the UK had a proper crew.

 

Given the wide range of tasks that the Grips are required to perform, I'm certainly much happier knowing that they've been properly trained.

 

I've worked on shows here where the grip crew were all inexperienced kids. They were being asked to rig car mounts, never having done it before, potentially risking thousands of dollars in damage to the camera and the car. They were building 20x20 frames in weather conditions that were unsafe, because none of them had the experience to say 'No'. There was a whole list of unsafe working practice.

 

Some producers will always hire a cheap, inexperienced person over someone who know what they are doing, but costs more. That's when accidents happen.


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#20 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 12:11 PM

The catering and hospitality industries are now heavily into qualifying people. With colour coded chopping boards and a huge amount of legislation around everything.  

It's like the medical business, too. I hear all those doctors and nurses have to have qualifications these days as well.


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