In grip & electric Atlanta, the cinematographer has a key grip and also a gaffer. Between the two of them, grips understand his lighting vision. Grips also deal with moving walls and set construction. If you reached a location and the cameraman needs a light up on the 23rd floor of a building, you find out how you can accomplish that. You also handle all of the camera movements.
The key grip is considered the person in charge of the grip department. The grips take their instruction from the director of photography. You install, rig, and run all of the machines the cameras need: jibs, dollies, and so on. Whether a camera is installed on an automobile or a chopper, the grips often accomplish the rigging. You also work very closely with the electrician, the gaffer. You rig just about any lighting that should be rigged. You bend, shape, and texture light with flags. You basically work together with the camera department and the electricians with the lighting and cameras, but you also help the other divisions. Basically, you do anything that has to be done; if a bridge needs to be built across a stream, and it’s doable, you will put a bridge across the stream.
The strength to lift up and hold equipment, woodworking skills, electrical expertise, as well as mechanical skills are assets to working as a grip. A work as a production assistant or day player is a good way of getting on the set, see what grips do, and also make contacts that might result in a future job. Although their tasks overlap to the point that they sometimes have difficulty explaining their tasks, lighting and grip departments do distinctly different functions. The grip department sets up all of the lighting and the equipment to film a scene. The gaffers then come in to set up and focus all the lights, as well as run the equipment.
Positions in the electrical or lighting section include: 1) Gaffer (Head Electrician): the head of the lighting department; light the set according to the cinematographer’s specification. 2) Electrical Best Boy or 2nd Electric: the gaffer’s chief assistant and foreman of the lighting crew; responsible for all the electrical hook-ups. 3) Lamp Operator or Electrician: put, focus, and maintain all of the lights.
Larger productions of Grip & electric Atlanta may need a splinter crew, which includes a Rigging Best Boy, Rigging Gaffer, Rigging Electric or Riggers, that work parallel with the electrical unit, handling electrical supply, running power and wiring, and setting the broad strokes of the lighting on set in advance of the shooting staff. Jobs within the grip department include: 1) Key Grip: The head of the grip department, having the dual role of helping the lighting as well as camera departments; these people rig lights, move cameras, cranes and dollies, as well as other equipment. 2) Best Boy Grip: the key grip’s primary assistant and the foreman of the grip team. He is responsible for all the equipment as well as materials. 3) Dolly Grip: push the dolly or crane that supports the camera. 4) Grip or Rigger: carry, move, and set up lights, camera dolly track, and move some other lighting and camera equipment.
Although not as glamorous as numerous other movie jobs, a grip & electric Atlanta works behind the scenes on productions moving equipment, securing as well as removing video cameras, sets and scenery. An Atlanta grip & electric also ensures all the required items work correctly in order to get the best shots and provide the film the ambiance the movie director wants.