How to be a Key Grip

Posted on June 30, 2007

Pancakes are for sitting

  1. Before production, oversee checkout and make sure everything is loaded on the truck properly. You’re responsible for its safekeeping.
  2. Pickup truck from the Film School during production. The Key Grip is the driver. Make sure you get to set before call time, because nothing can happen until the truck arrives.
  3. Unload all equipment from the aisle and get the dolly ready.
  4. Attend the New Deal. Find out what is needed for the setup.
  5. If it doesn’t involve electricity or the camera then you’re in charge of it. C-Stands, flags, sandbags, apple boxes, dolly, dolly track, etc.
  6. Hang by the truck to get equipment as needed. Or craft services.
  7. Wrap equipment when it’s finished.
  8. Pack up the truck.
  9. Drive back to the Film School.

Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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6 Comments

  1. Bill Witthans

    lol….. poor definition of a Key Grip but I guess its “film School” attend the “new Deal”? …lol.. most people dont know what that is, EVEN in the “Biz” The original new deal was a NEW scene called out by the First AD, and the “cards” delt were the shots you di for that DEAL. Once you shot all the shots you need for that scene you heard the Call “New Deal” lately people have misused the term for every “next shot” when they were usally called by the shot set up, IE, “over” two shot” crane shot” thus giving a general discription of what we were moving onto…

  2. C47

    Yeah, it’s not going to make it into Webster’s anytime soon.

    New deal varies a lot from set to set, but doing it every shot is too much.

  3. joe timko

    a seriously poor definition of a key grip

  4. joe timko

    key grip is the driver???? dont tell that to a teamster, LOL!

  5. John Arnold

    you didn’t even mention anything about safety on set. The Key is in charge of everyone being safe aka: making sure the crazy rig you just built isn’t going to drop a 30 pound light on your actor’s head.