UK Film & TV Craft Certificate Grip

UK Film & TV Craft Certificate Grip

Applications closed on18th January 2021

Many people ask what is a Grip?

Grips are responsible for the equipment that supports the cameras, whether that be a tripod or a 100-foot crane. While the director is responsible for the artistry of the shots, grips work out how to position cameras so they move to achieve the desired effect. Whether they are setting up minicams in cars, cranes (jibs) or wheeled carts (a dolly), grips help achieve smooth, continuous shots.

If filming is on location, they might go on a recce ahead of the shoot with the camera operator. They look at the practical issues of where cameras will be placed and work out what supports will be needed. Grips hire suitable equipment from rental companies and on occasion may have to work with them to devise tailor-made pieces of kit.

During filming, they set up the equipment and are responsible for helping the jib or dolly operator. At the end of a shoot, they are responsible for de-rigging and re-packing the grip equipment. Read more about a typical day in the life of a grip on ScreenSkills website.

If this sounds like something you are interested in then this is the course for you. We welcome applications from all genders.

Qualified Grips are in huge demand across the UK’s booming film and television industries. Our 5 month (March to July 2021) course aims to take entry-level students and give them basic gripping training, as well as preparing them for the specific rigours of working within the film and TV industries.

It is taught by industry professionals and a work experience module is intended to be included in the programme (if COVID restrictions permit), with professional grip equipment rental companies and on active film or TV sets. The course has been created in response to increased demand for grips on UK-based productions, with the role identified by the BFI and ScreenSkills as an ‘in demand’ skill-set across film and high-end television production.

'Ackley Bridge' @The Forge, Channel 4

Students will study with some of the UK’s most experienced Key Grips. With the support of delivery partner the National Film and Television School, they will take part in two ‘boot camps’ designed to prepare them for the specific requirements of gripping technicians in film and TV, such as their role within a department, the way departments interact with other departments during production, set etiquette and preparation for freelance life (including tax, invoicing and networking). The progression system for a grip will be explained, starting with Trainee, Grip, L2 grip, L3 grip, Key Grip.

They will also receive valuable Health & Safety Production Passport training, including first aid, and attend a one-day scissor lift-training course. Because of the Equipment Grips use the Health and Safety is paramount and you will need to abide by all guidelines to be able to progress in your chosen profession

We are immensely proud of everything that our first year students have achieved and having had the opportunity to help them springboard their careers as grips. Most of our 2020 trainees are now actively working in the film & TV industry, which is a huge testament to the success of the programme and the support and collaboration our partners, including NFTS Leeds, ITV and ScreenSkills.

Key Grip David Cadwallader, Craft Course Tutor

The 'hands-on' part of the Grip Trainee Course was very valuable and probably the best, most beneficial training I have ever received! It was great to benefit from the knowledge, experience and encouragement of the on-site teaching with two key grips. I only really learnt what a grip actually does on this course, fell in love with it within days and now I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Nele Wöhlk, year one grip trainee

What you will learn

On completion of the certificate, you will:

  • Understand how to communicate effectively with colleagues in both prep
    and on location/set
  • Be able to develop and maintain good working relationships during the
    production process
  • Understand hazards and risks in the workplace and be able to evaluate
    and minimise risks
  • Understand the relevant equipment, accessories and related issues
  • Be able to help prepare, organise and manage relevant equipment for a
    shoot
  • Understand the basic principles of the safe handling & maintenance of grip equipment
  • Be able to help organise effectively the accessories, including track support, cables, ties and other ancillary equipment
  • Demonstrate an awareness of production issues related to sustainability
    and the environment
  • Be able to operate effectively as a freelance worker
  • Be ready to continue your training to become a qualified Film & Television grip.

Hear from one of our tutors, Key Grip Dave Holliday, on what the role entails

Entry requirements

No previous qualifications are required.

The course is entry level and is specifically targeted towards students who have identified the goal of establishing a career path as a Film & Television Grip. Training is an investment both for the candidate and the provider and so should only be undertaken by candidates with a clear commitment to achieving a high level of proficiency and dedication to the craft. Entrants will be 18+ and some applicants may choose to undertake this award instead of going to University. Graduates are still welcome to apply, as are people looking to change career later in life.

Assessment and accreditation

The qualification will be assessed on the basis of workplace performance and evidence of technical understanding. Successful students will achieve a UK Film & Television Craft Certification as a Grip Trainee, endorsed by the National Film & Television School and ScreenSkills and recognised by film and television production and production insurers.

Fees and scholarships

Applicants who will be 18 years old on 28 February 2021 will not be required to pay a fee for this course. For students over this age the course fee is set at £3,000, however you may be eligible for bursary support for all or part of your course fees. If you are 19+ and would like to apply for a bursary, please fill out the bursary application form linked in the main application form.

Course dates

The course will run between March and July 2021. Students should note that learning commitments throughout this period are full-time (approx. 20hrs per week), and there are limited term breaks and holidays depending on placement activity.

Application process

Applications closed at 11.59pm, Monday 18th January 2021. Applications received after this date will not be considered. If for any reason you need to submit your application by an alternative method or have any other queries then please contact NFTSLeeds@nfts.co.uk.

You may be invited to a phone/online interview during the time between the 21st and 28th January. Successful applicants will be offered a place in the first week in February and will be expected to accept within 3 days of the offer. We will endeavour to contact everyone by mid-February.

Dan Inman, Key Grip, talks about his career and a typical day on set in our interview below.

Dan Inman, Key Grip

The UK film & TV craft courses are part of Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire, a ground-breaking pilot delivered by Screen Yorkshire and NFTS, supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills programme.