Grip Department

Film Crew Position: Dolly Assitant

What does a Dolly Assitant do?

A Dolly Assistant, often a key member of the grip department in the film industry, is a professional responsible for managing and operating the camera dolly. This role involves working closely with the camera crew to ensure smooth camera movements during filming. The camera dolly is a wheeled platform that allows for the fluid motion of the camera, and a Dolly Assistant is essential for achieving dynamic and cinematic shots that require a moving viewpoint.

What role does a Dolly Assitant play?

The primary role of a Dolly Assistant includes setting up, maintaining, and moving the dolly track upon which the camera moves. They work under the direct supervision of the Key Grip and collaborate with the Dolly Grip, who pushes or pulls the dolly along the track during a take. Their duties also entail ensuring the safety of the camera equipment and any personnel riding on the dolly, as well as making adjustments to the dolly mechanism to accommodate different filming conditions and camera angles.

Do you need to go to college to be a Dolly Assitant?

Pursuing a college degree is not a strict requirement for becoming a Dolly Assistant. However, courses or a degree in film production, cinematography, or a related field can provide valuable knowledge and a competitive edge. The emphasis is placed on hands-on experience and the development of practical skills, which can be gained through on-set internships, working as a production assistant, or through entry-level positions in the grip department.

What skills do you need to be a Dolly Assitant?

To excel as a Dolly Assistant, an individual must possess a combination of technical and physical skills. Proficiency in handling and maintaining grip equipment is crucial, as is an understanding of camera movements and the principles of cinematography. Good communication and teamwork abilities are essential for coordinating with the camera and grip departments. Physical dexterity and strength are also required to maneuver the dolly and track, especially over uneven terrain or for extended periods. Attention to detail, problem-solving, and the ability to follow instructions precisely are further skills that contribute to the success of a Dolly Assistant.

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