Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why I'm Not a Key Grip

I've been keying this three day commercial this weekend and I've discovered one thing. I'm a Dolly Grip. My hat is off to you guys. I work as a key every now and then. The DP I usually push dolly for calls me when his commercial key is unavailable. He is a twice nominated, one time Academy Award winner. Would you turn him down? I sure can't, but let me tell you, I'm exhausted. I don't know how my key, or any of you do it for months at a time. It's endless phone calls and prepping and planning and changes and I'm worn out....and it's only a three day commercial. I like pushing dolly. I'm good at it. When the day is over, I come home, relax, and sleep well. A Key Grip comes home and wonders if he's ordered enough 12x 12 solids, or if the special car rig he's assured the DP who pays most of his bills will work, will, in fact, work (that's an awkward sentence). I've discovered one thing about Key Gripping..... it's all in the prep. Thank God for my Best Boy, who's actually a great Key Grip, for whom I usually push dolly. He gives truth to the saying,"hire people who are better than you are." I can work a set pretty well, but it's the endless logistics, and changes, and talking to office people who don't understand why you need 20 more sandbags and 2 more guys that makes me realize that pushing dolly is really a great gig. I just wish I could get back to it. Anyone hiring?

3 comments:

azurgrip said...

I'll second that motion

Andrew D said...

Why do you think I never wanted to be a Propmaster? Working as the assistant was all I needed. There's a point at which all that extra money doesn't mean a hill of beans and my ego was perfectly content with the "Assistant" in front of it.

Ted said...

I think both jobs can be exhausting. As a dolly grip all the focus is in the here and now. The closest you guys get planning is where is the end of the track! But that isn't to say it isn't stressfull of difficult mentally. The most exhausted I have ever been was when I was pushing dolly. I have never been closer to walking off a job and crying uncle! If it wasn't for a phone call to AR I absolutely would have quit! And like an idiot I am about to start 9 weeks of a series as "A" dolly. This is NOT what I want to do for a living.

I think it all boils down to the fact that as a key you can kinda "hide" behind your crew; if they look good, so do you. As a dolly grip there is no where to hide, and lots of very highly paid people count on you moment to moment to be 100% on your game.