Monday, September 24, 2007

The English System

I recently recieved an email from a British DP (whose work I really like) and this got me thinking about the British system of filmaking as opposed to the American system. I realize (or realise) that grips in Britain are mainly camera grips with the juicers actually handling the flagging chores that we all spent years learning how to do. I have always thought of myself as a camera grip, borrowing from the British tradition. I set up the sticks, carry handheld cameras, and (when the assistants aren't freaked out by it) will carry the camera anywhere it needs to go. Americans are really not used to this but once they experience it, they generally like it. I would appreciate it if any British dolly grips reading this would email me or comment on their experiences. What exactly are your duties? What do you experience in a given shooting day? How can you trust a lowly juicer to flag a light? (they're lucky if they can find their way to work in the morning). Also, I would like information on surfaces. Do you lay dance floor the same? Track? What dollies are used most frequently in the UK. (I should mention here that I'm a shameless Anglophile and fascinated by the British in general. I even listen to your talk shows online). So send an email or leave something in the comments section. Cheerio!

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