What is a grip truck?
Grip trucks can be defined as specialized trucks made for carrying film production gear such as lighting and cameras. Every lighting and film production equipment rental company has grip trucks. The trucks offer a safe and effective way of transporting all the required lighting and film production equipment to and from filming locations.
”Grips” is a popular term used to refer to technicians in the filmmaking, lighting, and video production industries in the United States and Canada. Grips run a separate department on a film set. They are solely responsible for building, transporting and maintaining all the equipment supporting the cameras. Their job involves safe packing and transportation of equipment in grip trucks.
What are the uses of a film production grip truck?
In film production, a grip truck is used to transport all film production equipment safely. Typical trucks aren’t ideal for carrying film production equipment. Cameras, lighting among other filming equipment are too expensive to allow any room for error during transportation. Grip trucks are custom-built with crates, racks, carts, tracks that enable safe packing and transportation of filming equipment.
What is the role of a grip truck in a production film shoot?
Besides offering safe and secure transportation and storage of film production equipment, grip trucks also improve efficiency in a film shoot. Since grips store equipment systematically, grip trucks save a lot of time and effort which would otherwise be wasted (finding and retrieving equipment) as is the case when equipment is stored haphazardly in a regular truck. A grip truck offers an efficient way of working in a film shoot setting.
Film production sites can be chaotic. There are hundreds of equipment needed at any given time for typical film shoots. This equipment must be transported to the site and availed quickly when needed. Grip trucks have special layouts and carts among other features that make it possible for grips to find equipment easily without digging around for it.
The best grip truck rentals have enough carts that can be moved by one or two people with ease. The best production grip trucks also have racks on sliders as well as an apple box carts instead of hand trucks which need to be re-stacked when moved. In a nutshell, the primary role of a grip truck in a production film shoot is to boost efficiency.
What is the difference between a 3-ton, 5-ton, and 10-ton grip truck?
As the name suggests, the main difference between a 3-ton, 5-ton, and 10-ton grip truck is the capacity. 3-ton grip trucks are the perfect for handling small to medium film production jobs, a set at a time. A 3-ton grip truck can carry film production equipment enough for shooting a music video or short commercial/feature film. The truck should also be ideal for a photo shoot or webisode. Typical 3-ton grip trucks come with an array of frames, flags, rags, rigging gear as well as basic grip truck equipment. They also have some space for add-ons.
5-ton and 10-ton grip trucks are great for medium to large-scale film production jobs. 5-ton and 10-ton grip and lighting trucks can carry enough equipment for shooting medium to long commercial and feature films on multiple sets. The trucks can carry enough equipment to sustain medium to large-scale film productions.
What is the typical equipment that one can find inside of a grip truck?
A grip truck should have four main classes of equipment namely; lighting and electric equipment, overheads, flags and rags, grip equipment and add-ons.
In regards to lighting, a film production grip truck should have a variety of lights ranging in size and type. Some of the electrical equipment that should be present include stingers, dimmers, and gag switches. The overheads, flags, and rags should be available in different sizes. Grip equipment should include; carts, stands, sandbags, speed rails, steel tracks, crate wedges and cribbing among other equipment such as step ladders and traffic cones. Grip trucks should also come with other equipment on request such as; cameras, lenses, camera sliders, car mounts, teleprompters, generators, etc.
Although it is impossible to find a grip truck that has every single type/size of film production equipment, the best grip truck rental company should be able to provide all the basic equipment. Highly specialized grip truck equipment should be available on request.
It is advisable to call your preferred grip truck rental company ahead of time to discuss your film production equipment needs since equipment availability is subject to change i.e., some equipment may be already on rental or in repair.