Tag Archive for: crime


Katie Gail Smith is a dedicated grip from the Denver market and has been an active member of the freelance film community for over 6 years. After transitioning from stage lighting, she’s worked on national commercials for top Fortune 500 companies, popular television shows, and feature films. Katie gaffed her first feature, Army & Coop in 2016, and is due to gaff her second, A Girl Like Me, coming in July.



Show Notes

Katie Gail Smith, The Grip Girl

[0:49] Katie’s personal background

  • Born in Fredericksburg, TX
  • How Katie ended up in Colorado

[1:23] What is a grip?

[3:00] How Katie got started on her career path

  • Got her degree in Theater Arts to pursue a career in Shakespearean acting
  • Went back to school at Colorado Film School to pursue cinematography

[9:31] The virtues of Tyler Martin

[12:57] What does it take to be a grip?

[14:24] Discussion of upcoming trends in lighting, and comparison between various lights

[17:27] Katie’s take on the merits of film school and networking

Grips do it better in Colorado

[20:30] How Katie started working in the industry, and how freelancers get work

  • “If someone recommends you …”
  • “Fake it until you make it” as a segue into furthering your skillset

[23:04] Why live in Denver? Where does the work come from in this market?

  • “Colorado is wonderful, the people here are wonderful, it’s beautiful here, I love the weather.”

[24:30] Discussion about the quality of life in Colorado versus other markets

  • The quality and varying types of work, especially in documentary filmmaking, has a great appeal

[26:57] How Katie deals with travel

  • How it can impact relationships
  • The support available in the film community

[28:40] Discussion of in-state vs. out-of-state work

  • The importance of networking
  • Examples of being flexible in your duties can helpPushing people around all day on a dolly is how a grip stays in shape

[31:38] How do you plan for slow times?

[33:21] Part-time work

[37:00] Recent and current work

[40:21] The perfect job…

[43:20] When things go wrong…

[46:24] When things go really, really right…

[48:40] Mentors

[51:07] The best books

[55:25] The best advice ever received

[57:02] The best advice for someone wanting to become a grip

[59:59] The best lessons from the past year, and over Katie’s career


Links and Resources


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