What does a Key Grip do?
The key grip is responsible for rigging and shaping lighting on set. They work closely with the director of photography and gaffer to establish the film's look, style, and feel. After discussions with the DP and gaffer, they can determine what's needed in terms of a kit and crew.
After they receive approvals, the key grip works out what they need to purchase or rent. They create a budget for their department and submit it for approval from the line producer. Once the budget is approved, they hire a best boy grip to help assemble the rest of the team.
Other team members include the dolly grip, who assists the camera department with building dolly tracks, camera rigging, and crane shots. Then, there's also the cable pullers who are responsible for laying out electrical cables and making sure there's always a clear path for movement of a smooth shot.
During production, the key grip is responsible for organizing the equipment on the grip truck and must track the whereabouts of all equipment that leaves the truck.
On smaller productions, this position usually has a lot of crossover with the electrical department. The Grip-Electric (G&E) crew generally works with anything that requires electricity and rigging and striking of the lights.
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What does the Best Boy Grip do?
The best-boy grip (who can be any gender- archaic term 🤷🏽♀) is the chief assistant to the key grip. They are second in charge of the grip department and have a similar role to that of a foreman.
During production, the key grip delegates responsibilities to the best-boy grip, including organizing equipment on the grip truck and tracking all equipment that leaves the truck.
On smaller productions, this position usually has to be a lot more hands-on and may have to contribute to rigging and striking of the lights.
Their responsibilities also include:
• Participates in hiring additional crew for the grip department
• Liaises with the equipment companies
• Manages the budget
• Liaises between the production office and grip department
• Coordinates with Grip and Electric
• Manages paperwork
• Creates work schedules for the grip department