One of the most important things a grip can learn is tying proper knots. There are dozens of situations where the right knot can save you a lot of time and maybe even save someone’s life!
Knots are something all grips should take very seriously! If you are ever unsure of your knot tying, step down and allow someone else to take on the responsibility or ask a friend to double check your work.
Below are some YouTube videos that will teach you some of the knots you might need on set!
Learn them and practice often. Practice these knots until you can do them with one hand behind your back while jumping on one leg and singing your country’s national anthem.
Michael Uva’s Grip Book has a section on knot tying. This book might be hard to find in traditional book stores. Amazon.com is usually your best bet.
There are also many free phone apps for knots, check out your app store! Is there a particular app you really like? Share it with our readers in the comments.
Knots for Grips!
These were collected from various YouTubers because no one had examples of every knot. It is almost worth someone creating an overall tutorial video that shows all the grip knots used on set in various situations…hmm…
Standard Shoe Lace Knot
I’ll start with the simplest and probably most used knot. On most sets you would be using this daily to tie textiles to 6,8,12 or 20×20 frames. You should have learned this one in kindergarten, but there are dozens of YouTube videos that can teach you. Hell, learn “Ian’s Knot” and tie super fast!
Probably one of the most commonly used knots on a film set. I was taught this knot on my first legit grip job and forced to even learn it behind my back. It was tough, but next time I’m in a pinch I wont even break a sweat tying this knot!
This knot will come in just as handy as the bowline. A clove hitch is perfect for attaching rope or sash to an overhead pipe or beam. Although extremely confusing for some people, this knot is a must!
Great for tying 6, 8, 12 and 20×20 frames down to things when shooting outside or even trying stuff down in the truck after wrap. Perfect for grips and Production Assistants that care to do things right!
Square knot / Reef Knot
A basic knot that can be extremely handy. As basic as it is, we still mess it up from time to time.
A Lighterman’s Hitch
I’ve seen this knot with 2 half hitches at the end used to secure things to handrails. The key with this knot is to tie it with out losing any of the weight. So, be sure to practice with something solid before getting on to set.
I feel like I’ve seen an alternative that might be better. Does anyone know?
Cow Hitch Knot
Use this to replace the sash on textiles. Rather than doing it like the video shows, you can fold the rope in half and feed the fold through the grommet, then feed the other end back through the fold. Simple, but handy.
Those are the knots that will save your ass as a grip. Learn them, practice often and be sure you are safe! Safety is just too important on set and all it takes is using the wrong knot or forgetting to tie something down and someone care be seriously injured.
What am I missing? List other knots and their uses in the comments!