In the context of photography and cinematography, "grips" refer to the skilled technicians responsible for setting up and handling various equipment to support the camera department during a production. Grips play a crucial role in ensuring that the camera and lighting systems are positioned correctly to achieve the desired shots and visual effects.
Grips are responsible for tasks such as setting up camera support systems like tripods, dollies, and cranes, as well as mounting cameras securely. They also handle camera accessories such as matte boxes, filters, and follow focus systems. Additionally, grips assist with lighting setups by positioning and controlling light fixtures, diffusers, and reflectors to achieve the desired illumination and mood for a scene.
The term "grips" is derived from their role in gripping or holding various pieces of equipment. They work closely with the director of photography (DP) and camera operators to ensure that the camera setup and lighting contribute to the overall visual storytelling of a film or photography project.