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5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set

Logan Baker

Film Riot shares 5 tips for working as a grip that will land you more work on set.

All images via Film Riot.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to move up in the film industry, helping out a friend or a local production is an excellent way to broaden your experience. Film Riot’s latest tutorial can help you land more gigs with tips for almost any job on set.


Courtesy Flag

5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set — Courtesy Flag

As Connolly puts it, one of the foremost duties of a grip is to make sure the DP, AC, or director is comfortable and that they can see the shot, monitor, and setup clearly. A courtesy flag is a great way to do this. The most common flag you’ll run into is a 4X solid or a “floppy.” If you’re dealing with wind, always clamp the flag so it doesn’t smack your DP. (You can also use the clamps to connect two flags for your video village setup.) Remember, your job is to make the lives of your DP and AC much easier.

Operator Support

5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set — Operator Support

Offering support for your camera operator is one of the most important duties you’ll have on a shoot. After you’ve brought the apple box for your operator, making sure they are comfortable is the next step. Whether you use a stadium seat, a happy butt, or a yoga mat, make the camera op’s knees and back a top priority.

Silence your Diffusion

5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set — Quiet Diffusion

One of the biggest issues if the DP decides to use opal diffusion is the sound caused by rough wind. Two avoid this, grab two styrofoam cups from crafty and tape them facedown on the diffusion. This will silence the disruption and make the audio recorder’s life much easier.

Know Your Ferny

5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set — Ferny

A sound blanket, furniture pad, or ferny can serve many purposes on set — it’s up to you how to use it. As the tutorial demonstrates, you can roll it up to help support your camera operator, lay it down to silence loud shoes, or block out unwanted light — among other things. Knowing all the different ways you can use a ferny will speed up production.

Picking the Right Clamp

5 Must-Know Tips for Working on Set — Clamps

If you’re working grips and electric, C-47s (simply a wooden clothespin) are common, but they break pretty easily. However, having a few zero clamps on hand will always improve your lighting setups and cable management. Virtually the same size as a C-47, the zero is the smaller version of a number 2 clamp. If you are in a rush and can’t find a zero clamp in time, little binder clips will get the job done as well, and they are more durable than C-47s.

The duties of a grip change with each production. However, the goal will remain the same, no matter the size of the operation.


Do you have tips for working on set? Let us know in the comments.

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