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Creative Skill SET      GRIPS BRANCH     BECTU

THE BECTU CERTIFIED GRIPS AND CRANE TECHNICIANS BRANCH, WITH THEIR PARTNERS CREATIVE SKILLET, are holding two introductory seminars to select a new intake of Grip trainees.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to begin a career in the TV & FILM Industry as a Grip trainee. The initial seminar will introduce the roles and responsibilities of professional Grips and will outline critical aspects and essential craft skills required to pursue a career in this grade of the TV & FILM industry.

Applicants will not need prior knowledge of the TV & Film industry but will need a basic understanding of mechanics, construction and have a mature attitude to health and safety. An aptitude to physically and mentally demanding work would be advantageous. Successful applicants will proceed to a second round of interviews with the goal of being invited to become an official Grips Branch trainee. Successful applicants are then placed on TV & Film productions and trained while working under the supervision of certified advanced Level 3 Grips and other industry professionals. One day seminars will be held in Manchester and London, dates and venues to be confirmed.


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The following Eulogy for Stuart was written and recited by Kylie Warwick his funeral service on May 25th. Kylie is Stuarts son's Lee's partner

Stuart Grassick Godfrey

Stuart Grassick Godfrey was born in February 1958 at Oldechurch Hospital which is now Queens. He went to Abbots High School and was very conscientious - at 11, he passed the 11 plus exams and went to Aveley Tech where his biggest bug bear was wearing the school uniform.

Stuart, his Dad John and his younger brother Phillip often went fishing up the warren in Wharf Road. Stuart had a Saturday job at 13 in Partridges Dairies and he would get up at 4.30am to help the milkman at weekends.

He joined the cubs and the scouts, often going camping and enjoying various activities. At 16, he left school and started a 3-year apprenticeship with G.P.O on the telephones. On his 16th birthday, he got a motorbike, then eventually a car and did the maintenance on both vehicles. He didn't want to stay with the G.P.O once his apprenticeship had ended and moved on to the assembly line at Ford in Dagenham. He was a worker, especially when he started in the film industry, he found something he really enjoyed.

Then he met Susan, she was good for him. They met in 1978 at The Highway Pub Susan worked in. After a short time, Stuart asked Susan if he could take her home after her shift (which later transpired was a bet between his friends as they thought she would say no). Stuart asked Susan out for a drink a few weeks later but turned up late, wearing a white vest top and Bell Bottom Jeans so Susan told him to go home and change.

Stuart was quite the romantic, he whisked Susan away on various weekends to Santa Pod to enjoy the fast cars and particularly embraced the luxurious camping style that Susan introduced. Stuart was a big fan of Drag Racing and followed Vic Hammond at these events - little did he know that only a few years later, they would develop a good friendship and close working relationship; something that Stuart was most proud of; working with his idol.

Stuart married Susan in September 1981 and they moved into their first house in Queens Park, Billericay. Susan fell pregnant and Lee was born in August 1984. Whilst in hospital, Stuart bribed the Sister to move Susan up the list so that he could be present for the birth as he was due to drive to Scotland that day for work. He returned the following Sunday and caused chaos at the ward entrance because they wouldn't let him in, not realizing who he was. It was Stuart that decided on the name Lee, Susan only realized when the baby cards arrived but it was a good decision. They moved again in 1990 to their current home in Billericay and in 1992, Alice came along. Stuart made sure he was present this time and spent a lot of time doting on his children and filming their every move.

Stuart introduced Lee to his love of fast cars and took him karting. A hobby that involved many weekends away competing and travelling all over the country; racing against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Alice wanted a pony as soon as she could speak and after her first pony ride at a friend's birthday party, she was hooked. He loved watching Alice progress with the horses and when the opportunity came along to compete internationally in Spain, Stuart jumped at the chance. He took great delight in capturing Lee and Alice's achievements, all those events, shows and races were photographed, filmed and edited for his vast media library. He was an incredibly proud father and supported his children in all their endeavors.

The family enjoyed holidays to Disneyland, Florida Keys, Lapland and Thailand when work permitted and so many precious memories were made. When tragedy struck in Thailand on Boxing Day 2004, Stuart acted quickly and when he ensured his family was safe, he selflessly turned his attention to those in need. Helping where he could with the search for those who were missing, booking flights, arranging transport to hospitals, providing supplies to the injured and putting his own rescue mission into place - he, as so many of us expected him to, took the lead in a truly heartbreaking situation.

Stuart was a very intelligent man, both in work and at home. He was fascinated by technology and gadgets and was always doing something in the office or around the house. He also loved to teach. One thing that has become quite apparent from the tributes that have been pouring in is that he put a lot of his knowledge and experiences in others to help them grow in the business, in particular, his prodigy, his son Lee. He became an assessor given his extensive work history and superb teaching ability and was looked up to by so many young grips, just starting out in an industry that Stuart began some 30 years before.

He was known as Gordon Godfrey at home, given his love of food and cooking. He was always throwing random ingredients together that would strangely transform in to the most fantastic masterpiece, and if it made it into the recipe folder, then it was a hit. Christmas was always a particularly Beautiful experience, Stuart took the lead in the kitchen and we were his merry elves (merry because he insisted we open the wine at 10am) and if the lavish food wasn't enough, there was the sight of Stuart in his Santa hat and t-shirt that marked the occasion magnificently.

Stuart defines the words Strong and Courageous to a T - taking on his battle with Cancer in a rather matter of fact way and refusing to let it take away what he loved without a fight, and it was one hell of a fight. He held his head high throughout his treatment and found a creative outlet in writing his Blog to inform others of his journey, regularly posting his thoughts, feelings and pictures to not only give him a sense of comfort but also to those around him, keeping them in the loop and giving them a sense of understanding. The blog attracted love and support from friends, colleagues working afar and even strangers that explored his honesty and humor that we know so well.

Stuart was one of a kind. He wasn't cut from the same cloth and they no longer make that material anymore. He is without doubt, the most genuine and remarkable person I have ever met and like so many others I am truly honored to have met and known such an extraordinary character. I am also amazed that he looked so good in shorts, a trademark that you will all remember him by I'm sure.

The hardest challenge for me is putting in to words a fitting tribute for a man who quite honestly is a legend. How do you capture the pure essence of someone who gave so much and took so little? It's humbling to see how loved and admired Stuart was. He was a generous, kind and determined man whose sense of humor always served him well. He's one of those people that would do whatever he could to help, and would just get on with any task in hand. It has been so very heartwarming to see how much of an incredible impact he has had to so many people and they have seen what we always knew and loved.

Stuart, you will be whole heartedly missed by us all but your love of life, strength in character and method in teaching will forever live on. You will always be in our hearts and we take comfort that you are now at peace and thank you for all that you have given us.

So now, we'll leave you alone, you know what you're doing. Goodnight and God Bless.


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On Saturday 23rd April the Certified Branch held its 4th Annual Veterans Lunch, returning to our favourite Italian restaurant, ‘The Ruccola’ in Uxbridge. Call time was 12.30. sharp to meet & greet old friends, quaff Prosecco and warm up before the scoff. About 30 members old and new sat down to enjoy good food & fine wine, and talk a load of old rubbish -as only old pals can- well into the afternoon. Veterans had flown in from America and France to attend. Past chairman Nick Pearson delivered the thank you speech, which included a potted history of the Branch along with some amusing and incriminating anecdotes about how we started and who we have to blame for everything that's happened since, over the last 31 years. Nick who had never cracked under questioning before named names (apart from Billy Geddes), so we can only assume that the Chianti & Amaretto over ice got the better of him by the time pudding arrived. Thankfully there were no other revelations on the day, apart from the fact that Brian ‘Ossie’ Osborne at 91 is our oldest member, Ossie worked on the Dam Busters, amongst other gems!

It was also a pleasure for Branch to welcome some of our sponsors, and to extend our thanks and appreciation for the contributions they make each year to the Grips Benevolent Fund, amongst many other things they do for us. Without this invaluable help Branch would not be able to achieve some of the good works we undertake throughout the year, and their continued support is much appreciated by one and all. Ours is a unique industry, and to have the opportunity for all of us to get together, welcome our veterans, chew the cud and, raise a glass or six in celebration is most welcome.

It would seem that the ‘Veterans Lunch’ has now become a regular fixture in the grips annual calendar which everyone looks forward to. So to that end the committee will meet to set a regular annual date for your diary. It has been suggested that the 1st Saturday in May after the May day bank holiday weekend would be a good one to pick. So watch this space. Committee would also like to take this opportunity to say to ALL branch members that the Veterans Lunch is open to all of you. Young, middle aged or senior, everyone is welcome. That includes Crane Techs too. To all those who attended, thanks for making this lunch such a memorable event. A special thank you to James Sams our joint Treasurer, along with Toby Plaskitt, Louisa Court & Vice Chairman Keith Mead for all their hard work in organising this years event and wrangling the membership. And a special thank you to Ed Lancaster for taking the stills again this year. Enjoy! See you all again next year.

The Certified Grips & Crane Techs Branch announce that a series of 6 Grips Masterclasses

The 2nd Grips Materclass Weekend

The 2nd Grips Materclass Weekend was successfully completed at Dukes Islands Studios on 16th/17th April. Once again Branch was inundated with applications, and so there was inevitably disappointment for those who were unsuccessful in securing a place.

On Saturday everyone was welcomed with a cooked breakfast to start the day in Red Stage canteen, and our continuity tutor David Cadwallader gave an introduction to the weekends classes with his usual flare and enthusiasm, first off introducing guest tutor Kenny Atherfold, who had kindly given up his weekend to assist Caddie in passing on his expertise to those attending. Paul Bickers & Karl Dudley drove down from Ipswich with the Bickers Silverado & their impressive Low Loader, and Camera Revolution supplied a Libra Head & Rob Portus as head tech. Panavision the Car Kit & sundry. Tony ‘R’ & Tom North put in a guest appearance to scoff breakfast, why not? and rush off to collect more car kit from PV Grips. A special thanks to those two for organising these events and getting all this off the ground with Creative Skillset.

Panavision supplied both cranes for our Sunday class, a 30’ Moviebird, GF8 Extreme and Scorpio Remote Head, our 2 crane techs assisting Caddie & Kenny were Laurence Edwards & Jim Folly. Feedback was once again very positive and we would like to thank all those who took part for their interest and enthusiasm over the weekends events. Both tutors were impressed with the candidates and their enthusiasm for learning, so as to raise their standards within our craft skills grade. Once again, thanks to all our Partners this weekend, Bickers Action, Panavision Grips, Camera Revolution, and Steve Giuduci & Pauline Fenner @ Dukes Island Studio’s.

Our final Masterclass Weekend will be announced as soon as we have a date to commence. Get your applications in to the website once you see us advertise a date. Final two classes will be. ‘Lay Complex Track’ & ‘Location Dolly Maintenance’.

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Last weekend our 2 Masterclasses went very well & feedback from those attending was extremely positive. Our thanks to Dennis & Chapman UK for supplying all the equipment. To Dukes Island for hosting the Classes & providing the catering. Our thanks to both Caddie & Kevin for giving up their weekend to participate as Tutors, their input, & sharing their professional skills, expertise & knowledge. To Ed Lancaster for being official Branch stills Man. And to both Tom & Tony for putting it all together. There will be 2 more Masterclass weekends soon. Dates & Venue TBC. These classes will be held with the cooperation of our partners Panavision, Arri Media Grips, Bickers Action Vehicles & Camera Revolution, who are supplying all the equipment & technical expertise to assist the Tutors. Standby for dates to book a place. 10 places max for each class.

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Creative SkillSet

The Certified Grips & Crane Techs Branch along with their Partners Skillset & associated Facility Houses are pleased to announce that a series of 6 Grips Masterclasses will take place over 3 weekends (but not consecutive weekends) commencing on the weekend of March 19th/20th with a Chapman Leonard weekend encompassing assorted Tracking vehicles & Hydrascope Remote & Lenny Fixed Arm Cranes. Each class will be run by 2 guest Tutors & be held @ Dukes Island Studios. Places are limited on all these Master Classes so apply early to avoid disappointment, application can be done through the branch website:

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Metropolitan Police

The purpose of this document is to provide clarity for productions and camera vehicle companies that plan to film on the move in London, as to when a police presence is and is not required during filming. It also provides the same guidelines to Borough Film Services for use when considering filming requests to film on the move on public roads within their respective boroughs.

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Skier Marcel Hirscher nearly killed by falling camera drone

Austrian skiing champion inches from death as camera drone falls from the sky and nearly lands on him during slalom race

Marcel Hirscher, the world champion skier, had a very near miss when a drone filming his race fell out of the sky and narrowly missed him.

The Austrian, who has won the overall World Cup title for the past four seasons, was competing in a slalom race in Madonna di Campiglio in Italy.

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New branch T-shirt to celebrate 30 years of the grips and crane technicians branch.

T- shirts are £10.00 each.

The shirts come in white and black and all proceeds with go to the benevolent fund.

T-Shirt - Celebrating 30 years anniversary

Colours Sizes  

Be a sport! Help us beat prostate cancer: 2015 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

Eugene McDonagh

Message from Eugene McDonagh:

On Sunday the 27th of September, I am going to don my finest threads and motor along in the 2015 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to help find a cure for prostate cancer. Why? Because over 1,300 men a day die of prostate cancer worldwide, and that’s something we aim to stop. Your donation will help The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride reach its goal of a million to fund research into a cure for a disease that claims far too many gentlemen each and every year.

So get involved in the best-dressed way to battle prostate cancer and sponsor my ride — cheers and thank you!

Donate Now

Travelling to work 'is work', European court rules

Time spent travelling to and from first and last appointments by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

This time has not previously been considered as work by many employers.

It means firms including those employing care workers, gas fitters and sales reps may be in breach of EU working time regulations.

BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said it could have a "huge effect".

"Employers may have to organise work schedules to ensure workers' first and last appointments are close to their homes," he added.

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British film industry tax breaks approved by EU

Sandra Bullock starred with George Clooney in the British-made Gravity

Government plans to extend tax breaks for the British film industry have been approved by the EU.

Under the scheme, film production companies can claim tax relief of 25% payable towards the cost of production.

Chancellor George Osborne said he hoped the move - first announced in the Budget - would help attract more blockbuster productions to the UK.

But it needed to be passed by the EU under state-aid rules that control government support for companies.

EU state-aid rules control the giving of a competitive advantage to companies through government support. Read more..

Healthy workplaces make for happy and effective employees

Healthy workplaces make for happy and effective employeesPromoting a culture that improves the health and wellbeing of employees is good management and leads to healthy and productive workplaces, says NICE.

The advice comes from latest public health guidance from NICE which calls for employers and managers to do more to address the effect that poor working environments on people’s lives.

Workplace health is a significant public health issue. Each year more than a million working people in the UK experience a work-related illness. This leads to around 27 million lost working days costing the economy an estimated £13.4 billion. Read more..

Who Needs Sleep? Watch Haskell Wexler’s Call for a 12-Hour Workday

As a cinematographer, Haskell Wexler has brought to life some Hollywood classics and brought home two Oscar statues. But Wexler has also had to put up with the same strenuous working conditions that film crews are often beholden to. Specifically, long working hours that cause sleep deprivation. So he did what any filmmaker might do – he made a movie about it.

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Essential for all trainee grips. All proceeds from the sale of the “trainees logbook’s” goes directly into the grips branch benevolent fund.

Price: £20 (Free Delivery)

Ultimatum to producers on film pay rates

BECTU LogoPact LogoFilm craft branches will launch their own rate cards unless industry agreement talks make progress.

BECTU has written to the film and TV producers' association Pact, warning that from April 2015 its branches representing all the industry's various craft workers will publish recommended pay rates higher than those in a draft BECTU/Pact agreement.

The move comes after Pact refused to include "going rates" in a new industry agreement which has been under discussion for three years. BECTU's previous Freelance Production Agreement contained only recommended minimum pay rates... Read more

Cameron: 'It's Time Britain Had A Pay Rise'

CameronDavid Cameron will call for business leaders to pass the benefits of economic growth and low oil prices to employees, saying Britain deserves a pay rise.

In a speech at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference today, Mr Cameron will say economic success should be reflected in the contents of workers' wallets.

The Prime Minister will argue that business chiefs should share the proceeds of economic growth with their workers.

"Economic success can't just be shown in the GDP figures or on the balance sheets of British businesses ... but in people's pay packets and bank accounts and lifestyles," he is expected to say.

"The most recent figures show that wages are already growing faster than inflation and as the economy continues to grow it's important this continues and that everyone benefits. Read more

Polone: The Unglamorous, Punishing Hours of Working on a Hollywood Set

A week and a half ago we had an unusually long shooting day on the show I’m currently producing, Jane by Design. The crew call time was at 7 a.m. and we wrapped at 10:46 p.m. — fourteen hours and 45 minutes after subtracting our one-hour lunch break. Read more

Learn about the EHIC and apply or renew now

Learn about the EHIC and apply or renew nowThe EHIC is free of charge and you can apply or renew a card via the official EHIC online application form. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them.

An EHIC will enable you to access state-provided healthcare in European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland, at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. It will cover your treatment until you return to the UK. It also covers treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, providing the reason for your visit is not specifically to give birth. For more information about what is covered in each country, see our country-by-country guide.

The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist that you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

If you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment, please read our section on seeking medical treatment in Europe

The Hybrid IV Camera Dolly at Chapman UK

The Hybrid IV Camera Dolly at Chapman UK: Film Grip Equipment Hire UK from Chapman Leonard on Vimeo.



2015 RATES
KEY GRIP £450+ £2250+ 10/12    
BEST BOY GRIP £420 £2100 10/12    
LEVEL 3 GRIP £400 £2000 10/12    
LEVEL 2 GRIP £380 £1900 10/12    
LEVEL 2 CRANE TECH £380 £1900 10/12    
HEAD TECH £380 £1900 10/12    
TRAINEE £110 £550 10/12    
KEY GRIP £300 £1500 10    
LEVEL 3 GRIP £300 £1500 10    
LEVEL 2 GRIP £275 min £1375 10    
TRAINEE £110 £550 10    
LEVEL 2 GRIP £394 min   10 T1.1/4 APA AGREEMENT
KEY GRIP £430   10 T1.1/4 - UP TO 24.00 - T3 THERE AFTER
LEVEL 3 GRIP £430   10 T1.1/4 - UP TO 24.00 - T3 THERE AFTER
LEVEL 2 GRIP £394 min   10 T1.1/4 - UP TO 24.00 - T3 THERE AFTER

Click here to download the printable version (PDF)

Five Specialist Libra Head Technicians welcomed into the membership

Camera Revolution

The Certified Grips & Crane Techs Branch would like to welcome back into the membership five Specialist Libra Head Technicians who have been passed competent by "Camera Revolution Worldwide" and awarded their Certificates within their own specialist craft skills. This is a small highly skilled group of individuals who were originally in the Grips Branch before the division into "Certified & Uncertified" Branches by BECTU. and were then placed into the latter.

As there was no way to enroll these select few onto the current Crane or Grips qualification without writing an individual qualification tailored to their skills, the Branch approached Camera Revolution to devise and construct a qualification unique to these specialist skills and test the technicians accordingly by assessment within the scope and responsibility of their job description around the specialist heads they were responsible for. This process has taken almost two years culminating in the award of a Certificate by the company to those who have the experience and expertise to operate & maintain the heads On-Set.

Branch would like to thank Camera Revolution for their help, dedication and assistance in achieving this goal to enable the five technicians to be transferred back into the Certified Branch now they have completed their assessments by the company and awarded their individual certificates.

New APA Agreement

APA Agreement - Click to download


Revised 1st September 2014


The new PACT film aggreement proposal

pact logoThe PACT negotiations have been going on for over 2 years. Negotiated on the basis and with the hope that conditions would improve and that at the least we would not lose money.

It turns out that all the conditions we currently and reluctantly work under at present would be as bad and contractually imposed. The negotiating committee is a democratic body and therefore if one or two people disagree with the outcome of the negotiations, the draft agreement will still be put before the divisions.

The concerns are many and various. Firstly how the idea of a week based on 40 hours and dailies based on 8 hours. This will result in dailies finishing early for 8 hours money £210 also turnaround days, prep, and all other ways to pay less. Equipment insurance or the lack of it. Overtime in 15 minute increments which will create many discussions with production, who will want to work for the £12 =. Add to this the 15 minute grace period at the end of any form of working day. Flying Economy! A maximum ceiling on overtime of £48 on a minimum terms agreement!? There are many more anomalies which if you read the proposal) should be brought up at the Certified Grip & Crane Technicians Branch meeting on the 6th of September.

Seeing the opposition to this proposal it is time to put a rate card with terms and conditions on the Branch web site and Bectu web site. After branches have had their say the draft agreement will go before London and Regional Production divisions where it will be decided whether or not to put it to a ballot of acceptance or not. At this point with enough support it can be put down.

Click here to download the proposal in PDF format.

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