February 28, 2019 Business Profile en_US Backing You Series - Oscars Edition https://quickbooks.intuit.com/cas/dam/IMAGE/A5bQ0eeA3/df83851355b07c812d4e78a82429f5cd.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/business-profile/bob-novellino-balances-hard-work-with-silliness-as-an-la-grip Bob Novellino balances hard work with silliness as an LA grip
Business Profile

Bob Novellino balances hard work with silliness as an LA grip

By Eric Carter February 28, 2019

Name: Bob Novellino

Business: Grip

Started: 2003

“Cinematic Immunity.”

That’s the term Bob Novellino uses to describe the perks of film industry work. In film, workers visit unusual locations and are free to act with a level of silliness unwelcome in many industries. This attracted Novellino to the industry and keeps him excited about his job.

Novellino was rock climbing full time when fellow climber, stuntman, and aerial rigger (Earl Wiggins) introduced himself in a Moab, Utah bar. Over a beer, Wiggins convinced Novellino to check out his then-current project.

Soon, Novellino was jumping out of helicopters in front of cameras. A film industry career was born.

Novellino started in stunts, but quickly expanded into rigging and grip work.

Grips assist the camera and lighting departments. They setup and operate mounts, cranes, dollies and other structures needed to support cameras and lighting equipment.

“Really, there’s no such thing as a grip company.”

Grips work for themselves and bounce from job to job. Success depends on a quality network and portfolio. Novellino started in Utah and built his network in the Salt Lake City scene. Opportunity called him to LA where he continued to foster a network of contacts.

In LA, he took on more work in television and landed some films. Solid performance in the grip industry creates more opportunities. Novellino has enjoyed the fruits of his performance.

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“Showing up.”

That’s the first key to making a name for yourself as a grip. From there, the job requires hard work, patience, and long hours.

Novellino admits, the work is not romantic. But, for those who can meet the demands, the job is fulfilling, the comradery among the crew is gratifying, and opportunities are plentiful.

Novellino names his grip work on A Star is Born as a particularly rewarding experience. Not only did he work with a great team, the end product was top notch, and the production company appreciated the grip team’s work.

Novellino should continue to benefit from the film. It’s nominated for seven Oscars, which makes him more attractive to future filmmakers.

“It adds another thing on the resume. It shows you are trusted. The people that are in charge, that hire you, give you your street cred.”

No doubt, Novellino has enjoyed his career as a grip. When he looks five to ten years down the road, he hopes to be more selective with his work.

More movies and television, less commercials. That’s Novellino’s ideal moving forward. He wants to continue living in LA, but wants to spend more time with his family.

Once grips accept a project, they lose control of their schedule. More film and television would allow Novellino to go hard for a single project, but take a break in between jobs.

Grip work is demanding, but Novellino brings unique talents to the job. He’s quick on his feet and a great problem solver. All the while, he understands the need for etiquette around the camera.

His skillset, plus his growingly-impressive resume, have transformed this full-time rock climber to an in-demand name in Hollywood.

Coming off the success of A Star is Born, Novellino’s film and TV goals should naturally become a reality.

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Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a global technology solutions provider. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate Development, Virtual Assistant and Mobile App industries. Read more