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A film set, whether it's for movies, TV, or commercials, is an exciting yet chaotic place. It's filled with the hustle and bustle of activity, but usually, crews are forced to work in a compact place with very little room to maneuver and store their equipment.
"Grips" are no different. The people responsible for setting up the camera and the lighting equipment usually have a unique balancing act on their hands — they have to set up expensive yet delicate equipment, and they have to do it at just the right angle in order to get the shot right.
What's the best choice to store it? Usually, it's a grip truck.
What is a grip truck?
A grip truck is a standard box truck that has been modified to fit the needs of a grip. It is the optimal way to transport equipment from studio to set without having to worry about a light falling in the back and breaking.
Most grip trucks have been equipped with specialized latches and ropes to hold the equipment in place while it's being transported.
What kind of grip truck do you need?
Depending on the amount of equipment you're transporting, you have the option of hiring a 3-, 5-, or 10-ton grip truck. The only difference between the three different sizes is capacity: if you're transporting a lot of equipment, opt for the larger size.
Generally, smaller vehicles are also modified to serve as grip trucks, specifically large cargo and even off-road vehicles. It's best to take the shooting location into consideration in deciding what size and kind of truck you need. If it's a short-term shoot, instead of buying a grip truck, consider a grip truck rental, which is far more convenient (and safer) than storing all of your equipment inside of your personal vehicle.
How are these grip trucks "modified"?
Grip trucks are not just large storage spaces; they can also include rails, tracks, stands, movable carts, and even traffic cones. This allows the grip to work more efficiently as they're able to grab different equipment as the day progresses. No truck will have everything that every grip needs, but there should be enough storage equipment for the basics. Some grip truck rentals will also include lighting equipment, such as cameras, teleprompters, mounts, and even lenses, upon request.
Having the right equipment can make all the difference in the world. Even if you're not a full-time lighting technician, renting a grip truck can turn a day of chaos into a stress-free and exciting work environment.