Today was my first day as a rigging grip on a very big budget picture. The rigging key Billy seems like a very nice man. The best is Tom Doran. A very nice man who has really done a lot to help me out in this business. Its a very long job. I believe it may go into early July. Its shaping up to be a great experience on a really big picture. There's only one problem. I thinking very seriously about quitting the job in 3 weeks to take another job on a smaller production that will probably be that considerably less lucrative. Why? Because I'm convinced that my long term happiness and success lies in being a full time electric. There are many reasons why I think this so. For one I feel more engaged when I'm working as a lamp operator. You're closer to the gaffer, whose closer to the Director of Photography, which is really what its all about for me. I love movies(Working on and watching) mostly because of the way they look, the photography. 400 Blows was the first film that I fell in love with, when I was 16. I was spellbound. The stark black and white photography was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Its been that way ever since. I love wathching gaffers and DPs work. Grips have as much if not more sometimes to do with the visual style of a film, but the lights are sexy! I'm also not particularly handy with tools. Pretty much a prerequisite for gripping.
There are cultural differences as well. Grips drink domestic beer, period. Electrics favor imports and microbrews. Electrics tend to be better read, slightly more refined individuals. Grips often talk like mobsters. I read the New Yorker cover to cover and have a passion for 90's indie rock and deep house music. I think at heart I'm a set lighting technician. Electrics aren't perfect. If you're a grip, whether for a day or a career, every grip is your brother and will go to the wall for you. Electrics will definitely leave you hanging from time to time.
Anyway, after the first day on the big show, I was definitely feeling the love and the benefit of staying on for the full run and probably making a shitload of money. Stay tuned. I forgot to take a picture. I gotta get in the habit.