Company: BBC Cymru Wales
Apprenticeship Role: Grip Apprentice
Location: Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff
About the Organisation
BBC Cymru Wales is the nation’s broadcaster, providing a wide range of English and Welsh language content for audiences across Wales on television, radio and on our websites
Roath Lock, is the BBC’s state of the art centre of excellence for Drama, a place brimming with new energy and talent. When the first productions moved into Roath Lock in September 2011, they fulfilled a BBC commitment to create a centre of excellence for Drama in Cardiff.
Located in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, the 170,000 square foot facility, including nine studios and equivalent in length to three football pitches, is now the permanent,
purpose-built home of four flagship BBC dramas – Casualty, Pobol y Cwm, Doctor Who – as well as new productions in the future.
Grips’ responsibility is to build and maintain all the equipment that supports cameras.
This equipment, which includes tripods, dollies (the wheeled platform which carries the camera and the Camera Operator), tracks, jibs, cranes, and static rigs can be as basic as a tripod standing on a studio floor, to hazardous operations such as mounting a camera on a 100 ft crane.
Grips work closely with the Director, Director of Photography (DoP) and the Camera Operator to ensure that all positioning or movement of cameras is achievable.
During shooting days, Grips and their team arrive on set early, unload all the equipment, and ensure that everything is prepared for the day’s filming.
Grips should be ready as soon as the camera starts to roll, and they must anticipate all the camera moves, whilst also keeping in mind the preparations required for the next camera set-up. At the end of each day’s shooting, Grips oversee the packing up of all camera-support equipment.
Although the work is physically demanding, the hours are long and are sometimes performed on location in extreme terrain and/or severe weather the work can be very rewarding.
Examples of the jobs a Grip Apprentice could do in the future –
- Grip Assistant
- Camera Assistant
- Camera Operator
What kind of person do I need to be?
- Physically agile
- Teamwork orientated
- Highly flexible
Key Skills include:
- initiative and the ability to respond quickly to different situations
- ability to collaborate and to work as part of a team
- diplomacy and sensitivity when working with artists and other crew
- a high level of physical stamina and strength
- since a Camera Grip has to lift and pull heavy equipment, an awareness of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures is required
- having a clean driving licence is desirable
- Teamwork – Highly effective team player.
- Managing Relationships – Able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people.
- Communication – The ability to get one’s message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information
- Influencing and persuading – Ability to present sound and well reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change
- Planning and organising – Is able to think ahead in order to establish an effective and appropriate course of action for self and others. Priorities and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources requirements.
- Creative Thinking – Is able to transform creative ideas/impulses into practical reality. Can look at existing situations and problems in novel ways and come up with creative solutions.
- Resilience – Can maintain personal effectiveness by managing own emotions in the face of pressure, set backs or when dealing with provocative situations. Can demonstrate an approach to work that is characterised by commitment, motivation and energy.
- Drive – Demonstrates commitment, motivation and energy.
- Self Development – Demonstrates personal strengths and development needs, and continually seeks to improve performance by learning new skills and behaviours.
- Flexibility – Adapts and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups. Is able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue, to adapt an approach as the requirements of a situation change, and to easily accept changes in one’s own organisation or job requirements.
Whilst working for BBC you will be completing a 12-month Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.