Dan Inman, Key Grip

Dan Inman, Key Grip

What was your path into film and TV?

Twenty-six years ago I was given the opportunity to assist a senior Grip at Yorkshire Television, on a drama called A Touch of Frost. As well as a great mentor we became good friends, I later became a staff Grip at YTV and eventually went into the freelance sector.

What are some recent projects that you've worked on in Yorkshire?

The two most recent jobs I have worked on in Yorkshire was a feature film called Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which was shot in Sheffield. I’ve also recently worked on an Aldi commercial involving the Brownlee brothers in Ilkley.

Tell us about any notable challenges that you have overcome during your career in the industry?

‘Challenge’ is one of the main reasons a Grips role in the industry is so important. Every shot conceived needs to be logistically and safely thought through. A good grip will know which piece of equipment to use in order to fulfil the brief and if there isn’t a piece of equipment out there then it usually is created for the job.

One example of this, from my experience, was back in 2006/7 on a job called Ghostboat, which was set mainly on an abandoned submarine. The brief was to create a way of tracking the camera inside the submarine without taking up room and without taking up too much time setting up – access and egress being very, very limited. So we built a couple of monorails on either side of the main section of the Sub. They were fastened to ceiling sections, dulled down and left in shot – as they now looked like pipes. As underslung, single track, tracking shots were few and far between at this time I also had to fabricate the carriage which would support the camera. I later developed the carriage to run on cable, which was used for some very high wide shots on the first series of Peaky Blinders. Before drones I might add.

What do you love about working in Yorkshire?

I love the rural access which Yorkshire provides. You can be filming in a modern city centre or suburban estate and ten minutes down the road you could be in the middle of green rolling hills and not have a sign of civilisation in sight.

I also love Yorkshire because of the concentrated amount of industry talent found here. Every colleague I’ve had the pleasure to work with has such a high standard of work. You know every project created in this region is a success.

Do you have any advice for people starting out in the industry?

Even though the industry is expanding I feel the opportunities to enter into this world are getting harder, especially compared to opportunities that would arise in London. My advice is to be committed, be respectful and not to expect results straight away. Take your time to learn, don’t jump the gun. Most of all persevere.

How do you think the production landscape has changed in the region over the past 5 years?

Production standards are higher. Projects are becoming increasingly more challenging: be it either access, safety, timescale or creativity. Also some productions have grown in scale, for instance, a multi camera drama isn’t just 2 cameras it could be 3 or 4.

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    Olivia Thomas, Film Office Co-ordinator

    Olivia is the first point of call for Screen Yorkshire's Crew Service. She is part of the Film Office team and advises on filming enquiries, including locations, crew, facilities and permitting and also maintains our film locations and crew and facilities databases.