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The Grip Book, 6th Edition

Book Description

Gain the essential skills of a professional grip to become the jack and master of all trades on any movie or television show set. Discover vital insider tips ranging from how to operate cutting-edge rigging and lighting equipment to performing difficult camera mounts on aircraft, boats, trains, and cars.

In The Grip Book, seasoned Hollywood grip Michael G. Uva teaches you to install, set up, maintain, and ensure the safety of all equipment on a set, such as C-stands, cameras, and any specialty gear needed for a shoot. Guidelines for on-set etiquette and how to succeed as a technical crew member will jumpstart your career and make you a valuable asset on any film or television crew.

This new 6th edition marks the books 30th anniversary and has been fully revised and updated to include expanded coverage of on-set scenarios, such as gripping near water and at heights; a brand-new chapter dedicated to providing insider solutions to various gripping problems that can often appear insurmountable to the uninitiated; and a brand-new companion website featuring a downloadable reference guide on grip equipment, and extensive how-to video demonstrations.

Other features include technical expertise on maintaining the latest and greatest filmmaking equipment; an updated self-test section containing over one hundred questions and answers; a comprehensive appendix containing a robust glossary of insider and equipment terms; and guidelines on what a grip has to be physically able to perform in their day-to-day duties.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Warning
  7. Contributing companies, manufacturers, and suppliers
  8. Note from the author
  9. About the author
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. What could happen on your way to the throne!
  12. A bit of encouragement
  13. The Grip Book companion website
  14. 1 Introduction
    1. What this book is about
      1. About the equipment
    2. A professional’s tips on the trade
      1. Self-test
      2. Let’s get going!
      3. Grips in general
      4. The name “grip”!
    3. A little grip history
    4. The grip department
      1. Key grip
      2. Best boy grip
      3. Grips
      4. Grip zones
      5. High person
      6. Hip pocket grip
      7. Call time
    5. A typical day for a grip
      1. Setting up a shoot
      2. The schmooze
    6. Call sheet
      1. Front side of call sheet
      2. Back side of call sheet
      3. Warehouse stages
      4. How it may go on the set
    7. Grip job description
      1. Tools
      2. Physical requirements
      3. What to expect; the unexpected
      4. Pace on the set
      5. What key grips like
    8. Warning/disclaimer
    9. The big break (strictly for the brand-new grip!)
    10. Ron’s words
      1. Set etiquette
      2. Being a professional crew member
      3. Being professional when you’re boss
      4. Location etiquette: getting along with locals
      5. Some thoughts on equipment
      6. Last thoughts and parting advice
    11. Ron Dexter’s suggested book and source list
    12. Finally – your new career
  15. 2 Essential equipment
    1. Apple boxes
    2. Baby plates
    3. Bar clamp adapter pin
    4. Basso block
    5. Bazooka
    6. Bead board holder
    7. Big Ben clamp
    8. Branch holder
      1. C-clamp branch holder
      2. Tree branch holder
    9. Cable crossovers
    10. C-clamps
    11. Camera wedge
    12. Cardellini clamp
    13. Chain vise grips
    14. Clipboard
    15. Condor bracket
    16. Cribbing
    17. Crowder hanger/no nail hanger
    18. Cucoloris
    19. Cup blocks
    20. Dots and fingers
    21. Drop ceiling scissor clamp/cable holder
    22. Drop-down, 45-degree angle
    23. Empty frames
    24. Flag box/scrim box
    25. Flags and cutters
      1. Cutters
    26. Flexarms
    27. Furniture clamp
    28. Furniture pad
    29. Gaffer grip
    30. Grid clamp
    31. Grifflon
    32. Grip clip
    33. Grip/electrical stage box
    34. Grip helper
    35. Grounding rod/spike
    36. Hand truck
    37. Ladder
    38. Lamppost system (by backstage equipment)
    39. Mafer clamp
    40. Matt pipe adapter baby
    41. Matt poles – polecats
    42. Meat ax
    43. Miniboom
    44. Muscle truck/cart
    45. No-nail hanger/crowder
    46. Offset arms
    47. Parallels
    48. Pipe clamp, baby
    49. Pipe clamp, junior
    50. Pony pipe clamp
    51. Poultry bracket (Matthews)
    52. Putty knife
    53. Reflector
    54. Reflector slip-ons (scrims)
    55. Sandbags
    56. Scrims – grip
    57. Single net
      1. Double net
      2. Lavender net
      3. Silk
    58. Scrims, butterfly kits
      1. Silks
    59. Scrims, flex
    60. Side arms
    61. Stair blocks
    62. Stand adapter pin
    63. Stands
      1. C-stand
      2. C-stand operation
      3. Lowboy stand
      4. Reflector (combo/light) stand
      5. Overhead (high roller) stand
      6. Overhead stand usage
      7. Stand extensions (riser)
    64. Studio overhead grip arm
    65. Taco carts
    66. T-bone
    67. Telescoping hanger-stirrup
    68. Trapeze
    69. Trombone
    70. Tube stretcher
    71. Tubing hanger
    72. Turtle
    73. Umbrella
    74. Wall bracket (set)
    75. Wall plate-junior
    76. Wall sled
    77. Wall spreader
    78. Wedges
  16. 3 Expendables
    1. Automatic tape gun (ATG) tape (aka snot tape)
    2. Baby powder
    3. Bead board
    4. Black wrap
    5. Bobbinet
    6. Butcher paper
    7. Clothespins (C-47s)
    8. Drywall screws
    9. Dulling spray
    10. Duvatyne
    11. Foam core
    12. Grip chain
    13. Laminated glass
    14. Layout board
    15. Lexan
    16. Penny nails (#8 and #16)
    17. Plywood
    18. Pushpin
    19. Sash cord #8
    20. Show card
    21. Silicone spray
    22. Spray glue
    23. Spray oil
    24. Staples
    25. Stovepipe wire
    26. Streaks ‘n’ Tips®
    27. Tapes
      1. Camera tape
      2. Double-faced tape
      3. Gaffer or grip tape
      4. Paper tape
    28. Visqueen
  17. 4 Knots
    1. Bowline knot
    2. Clove hitch knot
    3. Half hitch knot
    4. Square knot
  18. 5 Basic tool descriptions
    1. Standard screwdriver (common or blade type)
    2. Phillips screwdriver
    3. Reed and Prince screwdriver
    4. Files
    5. Hacksaw
    6. Lineman pliers
    7. Torpedo level
    8. Crosscut saw
    9. Circular saw and blades
    10. Drill bits
    11. Matt knife
    12. Tape measure
    13. Reel tape measure
    14. Claw hammer
    15. Personal tools
      1. Personal tool belt
      2. Everyday basic tools for a grip’s personal toolbox
      3. Power tools
      4. Useful items to also carry
      5. Recommended personal gear
      6. Clothing and items for location
      7. Personal electronic equipment (a must)
  19. 6 Filters and gels
    1. Fluorescent light filters
    2. Tungsten conversion filters
    3. Neutral density filters
    4. Daylight conversion filters
  20. 7 The rental house
    1. Day 1
  21. 8 Techniques for mounting the camera
    1. Speed-Rail® tubing and fittings
    2. Power grip or super grip (mounting technique)
    3. Camera clamp
    4. Mini-slider SR-71 dolly (mounting technique)
      1. Slider
    5. Truss system
  22. 9 Cables, slings, and hardware
    1. Miniature cable
    2. Wire rope
      1. Wires
      2. Strands
      3. Core
    3. Spreader beams
    4. Sling types
    5. Dynafor MWX miniweigher
    6. Glossary of cables and slings
    7. Staging systems
      1. Ferrellels
      2. Steel deck
  23. 10 Lifts
    1. Condors and cherry-pickers
    2. Scissors lifts
    3. Suppliers
    4. Additional equipment
  24. 11 Cranes, jibs, arms, dollies, and heads
    1. Cranes and communication systems
    2. Spotting the post
    3. Motorized cranes
  25. 12 Cranes mounted on wheeled bases
  26. 13 Lenny arms
  27. 14 Cablecams
    1. General information
    2. Cable cam motion control system
  28. 15 Dollies
    1. Doorway dolly
    2. Western dolly
    3. Tube dolly
    4. Fisher #11 crab dolly
      1. Features
      2. Standard accessories
      3. Optional accessories
    5. Fisher #10 crab dolly
      1. Standard accessories
      2. Optional accessories
    6. Fisher #9 crab dolly
      1. Features
      2. Standard accessories
      3. Optional accessories
    7. Chapman Pedolly
    8. Chapman Peewee
    9. Chapman Super Peewee IV
    10. Chapman Hustler
    11. Chapman Hustler II
    12. Chapman Hustler III
    13. Chapman Hybrid
    14. Chapman Hybrid II
    15. Chapman Hybrid III
    16. Chapman Sidewinder
  29. 16 Precision Cadillac Track and Chapman Lencin
  30. 17 Fluid and remote heads
    1. Flight head (remote)
    2. Hot head (remote)
    3. Kenworthy Snorkel camera systems (remote)
    4. Libers III (remote)
    5. Oppenheimer Spin-Axis 360 head (remote)
    6. Pearson fluid head
    7. Power pod (remote)
    8. Weaver/Steadman fluid head
    9. Weaver/Steadman’s “ds Remote™” (remote)
  31. 18 Field operation
    1. How to build a dance floor (for the dolly)
      1. Leveling the sub-floor
      2. Lay the plywood
      3. ABS/Sintra
    2. Dance floor wedges
    3. Setting your dolly marks
    4. Accessorize your dolly
    5. An exterior tee marker
    6. Dollies
    7. Laying dolly track
    8. Installing the dolly on the track
    9. Making a correction
    10. Marks
    11. Courtesy grease cover
    12. A complement of tapes (dog collar)
    13. Setting dolly planks
    14. Rolling track cart
    15. Dolly tricks of the trade that will help you
    16. Stake bed racks (grip manufactured)
      1. Ladder rack set-up
    17. The “Putter Scooter” (aka butt dolly)
    18. Other butt scooters (Putter Scooters) (grip manufactured)
      1. The Studebaker
      2. Butt rail dolly (four foot long shown)
      3. Shopping cart dolly
      4. Dolly ramps
      5. Protective caps for dolly track (made from PVC)
    19. Quick tricks
      1. Rainproof your microphone
      2. Truck load chart
      3. Make a city skyline on a set
      4. Aircraft on flatbed
      5. Cover unwanted sprinklers
      6. Shower cap
      7. Hiding a frame’s edge
      8. Tying down an easy-up leg
      9. Proper bagging (“see, the full weight is off the ground”)
      10. Wind stick on floppy flag
      11. Push pin in crouch tip (for ready use)
    20. Tape shim
      1. High-roller transport
      2. Camera safety shields
      3. Making diffusion frames
      4. Using newspapers at a “cutter and light diffusion” (clever!)
      5. Chinese lamps with “rubber dip” blackout paint on top
    21. More tricks
      1. Bus roof mount (key grip: Rocky Ford)
      2. Plumber’s putty
      3. Cutting rope
      4. Use a tennis ball as a safety cover
      5. Wall seams
      6. Use wood under feet (on any lawn)
      7. Mark your equipment
    22. Just don’t!
    23. Another don’t!
    24. Don’t be a pig!
      1. Blue screen: building the structure
      2. Tying down a platform system
      3. Setting a “wag” flag
      4. Freshly painted floor protection
      5. A “walk and talk” scene
      6. The cloud
      7. Movie trucks
      8. Catering truck
      9. Called a hoodie! (simply a tug and a trailer)
    25. Green screen
      1. Mounts
      2. The insert trailer
      3. Hard gels
      4. Dollies
    26. Rigging on stage and location
      1. The perms
      2. The perms/rafters
      3. Meat ax
      4. Rigging
      5. Mock-up cockpit
      6. Set bracing
      7. Set snow
      8. Sets
    27. Rigging on location
      1. Rigging of the face of a building
      2. Building a cove to black out a window/porch
      3. Rigging a lamp on parallels
      4. High hat package
      5. The cloud
      6. Making a burrito roll
  32. 19 A professional’s tips on the trade
  33. Glossary
  34. Canadian versus USA grip equipment terms (some … not all)
  35. Gripping solutions
  36. Grip self-test
  37. Index