Grip Department

Film Crew Position: Dolly Grip

What does a Dolly Grip do?

A Dolly Grip is an integral part of the film production team, operating within the Grip Department. This specialized technician is tasked with the operation of the camera dolly, a wheeled platform that enables smooth horizontal camera movements during filming. They work closely with the cinematographer and camera operator to execute precise tracking shots, where the camera moves alongside the subject, adding dynamic visual storytelling elements to a scene.

What role does a Dolly Grip play?

The primary responsibility of a Dolly Grip is to ensure the seamless movement of the camera dolly, which requires both precision and physical strength. They are in charge of laying down and leveling the tracks on which the dolly will move, if required for the shot. Additionally, they must collaborate with the other grips to position and move the dolly during takes, while also maintaining the safety of the equipment and the crew involved in the camera movement.

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

Becoming a Dolly Grip does not necessarily require a college degree. Instead, the position often calls for practical experience and knowledge that can be gained through on-set work and apprenticeships within the Grip Department. Some Dolly Grips may choose to attend film school or technical courses that provide training in grip work and camera operations, but many enter the field through hands-on experience, starting in entry-level positions and working their way up.

What skills do you need to be a Dolly Grip?

To excel as a Dolly Grip, an individual must possess a combination of technical skills and physical attributes. Key skills include a thorough understanding of camera movements, proficiency with grip equipment, and the ability to execute complex tracking shots. They must also have excellent communication and teamwork abilities, as coordinating with the camera department and director is crucial. Physical fitness and strength are necessary to manage the heavy equipment and endure long hours on set. A keen attention to detail and problem-solving capabilities are also important attributes for a successful Dolly Grip.

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