Vacancy: Operations Crew

Gripvan's Operations Crew are multitalented creatives with genuine passion for photography. They know their way round a wide range of cameras, lighting and other photographic equipment and are able to provide support for these on set and remotely. Our ideal applicant will have technical knowledge but will also be comfortable dealing with customer enquiries, speaking to suppliers and they will be keen to develop their skills and experience out in the field.  On all these fronts, they will be a delight to deal with as they could be the first point of contact for new customers.  They will have the confidence to discuss projects with producers and photographers when required.  

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The Arri SkyPanel S60-C

Possibly the most versatile light fixture on the market today.

The Arri SkyPanel S60-c is an essential bit of kit for any shoot, and it just got a whole lot better. As far as constant, LED lighting goes, the Arri range is our go-to choice here at Gripvan. The SkyPanel S60-c is flexible, customisable and reliable. The S60’s face is 25.4 x 11.8 inches, making it a powerful and adjustable soft light source.

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Simple, Tuneable, Versatile
One of the reason we use and recommend the SkyPanel range at Gripvan is because of its incredible versatility. It provides a beautiful soft light which can be tuned with a variety of modifiers. The LED mixing chamber, variety of diffusion panels and wide light face gives lovely soft, clean shadows. With minimal effort, you can totally transform the type of light it produces. The simple and intuitive controls give you free range to choose the settings that will work best on any given shoot.
 

Firmware 3.0
The latest firmware release from Arri brings a host of new features. The main additions are a high speed mode, source matching and a range of lighting effects. There’s also the usual refinements that come with a firmware release. Things just became a lot more versatile.

One of the most exciting additions is the lighting effects – and there’s a lot of them. From candle, to colour chase, to pulsing, these prefabs accurately mimic their namesakes. There’s also a new mode; source mode. This allows the user to recreate different types of light, including incandescent, fluorescent and discharge source. The ‘Other' section also has myriad modes that accurately replicate light sources as recorded on a spectrometer.

More Features, More Flexible
The SkyPanel's new High Speed Mode allows users to be as experimental as they like with frame rate and shutter angle. The team at Arri have tested it up to 25,000 FPS with a shutter angle as low as 2° and are confident that you could go faster if you wanted to.  If you do find yourself shooting at uncommon frame rates, the Frequency Selection feature provides 10 different frequencies that can reduce or eliminate slight flicker and roll bars.

In terms of ease of use, Firmware 3.0 brings two super handy features. The first is the Enabled menu. This gives users a snapshot of every setting that is currently enabled, in one concise menu. This means you don't have to hunt through every page to find out what's currently active. The second is the SkyPanel Web Server. By connecting to your network IP you can control all of the SkyPanel settings from your web browser. It's so convenient.


Overall, we love the new additions that come with Firmware 3.0. There's lots of neat things to play with, and we're sure that our customers will enjoy using them while shooting.

Gripvan seek to reduce environmental impact of shoots.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Capturing the natural world around us can be one of the most rewarding aspects of film and photography. At Gripvan we believe it’s important that we take responsibility for protecting that environment too. No matter the role on set; producer, photographer, stylist or assistant, there are changes we can make to reduce the environmental impact of our shoots.

On an everyday level, there are various steps that can be taken to reduce our impact. We can all make sure to recycle any materials associated with our kit, such as packaging, batteries, cameras themselves, and even unwanted photos. 

 

Taking Responsibility

Here at Gripvan, we’re taking action to be as eco-friendly as possible. At our warehouse as well as on our fleet of delivery and location shoot vehicles, we are making changes. As new technology becomes available we hope to continue reducing our environmental impact.

Starting with the basics, our goal is to recycle everything possible. Our friends over at First Mile take care of this for us. Their motto, ‘recycle everything’ is something we can firmly get behind. They deal with all of our warehouse recycling, as well as recyclable waste returned from shoots. We’re even able to provide mixed recycling bags for your use when shooting on location.

We offer a variety of services, consumables and rental items for your unit base, not least the ever essential coffee machine. We use a range of compact Nespresso machines which take single serve portions in a plethora of blends, roasts and flavours, with decaf as an option for those who need a little less caffeine. Keeping things single-serve helps reduce food wastage on set, and the capsules themselves are fully recyclable. The capsules have dedicated recycling bags which are provided with every hire. Once full these are sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.

Take a look at these videos from Nespresso to see how your used capsule can be repurposed, even becoming part of a new coffee machine.

Reusable, Recyclable, Sustainable

Once we’re finished with equipment we no longer use, we make sure to donate it to those who can get use out of it. Colleges, Universities, and our superstar photo assistants working on shoots all benefit. They reuse materials such as gel off cuts, gaffer tape, paper backgrounds and poly boards.


Part of our move towards reusability is to start supplying Ram Board floor protection wherever possible. This stuff is solid. It’s easy to roll out, and has myriad features that make it so robust. It’s perfect for shooting in any location. What’s more, it’s made from 100% recycled material and is FSC certified. They’re as committed to the environment as we are. Of course, whenever we still use corex, it’s sent to First Mile for processing and recycling where possible.

As for the equipment Gripvan provides, we’re making steps towards LED lighting and other low power consumption lighting options. We currently stock LitePanels Astra 1x1 Bi-Colour LED Panels, Arri's Sky Panel, and a range of LED practical lighting.  As for HMIs, we provide the Arri M18 and M40, both of which have lower power consumption than the equivalent standard HMI fresnel without compromising on light output.  
 

Low Emissions, High Ambitions

Gripvan by the very nature of our business employ the use of several vans. Whilst all our current vans meet or exceed Euro 5 standards, as we upgrade the fleet, we’re choosing those that have the most up to date green options. Stop/Start technology on our newest vans and low emissions mean we’re cleaner than ever before, and the trend will only continue. We use cycle couriers and public transport where possible for smaller deliveries, and plan our delivery routes to combine drop offs to reduce the amount of vehicles on the street. 

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At Gripvan we’re making changes to be greener, smarter. and more eco-friendly. We've made good progress so far but we’ll continue improving, and make sure our impact on the environment is as minimal as possible, for us, for our customers and for the people who live and work in the city we call home.

Introducing the Profoto Pro-10 2400

Gripvan are pleased to announce that we now hold rental stock of the world's fastest flash, the Profoto Pro-10 2400 Air TTL.

Profoto Pro10 now available to rent at Gripvan London

Its full name may be a bit of a mouthful, but the benefits that the Pro-10 can bring to your shoots need far fewer words to explain. This thing is bloody fast.

Why the Pro-10?

At Gripvan we take pride in offering our clients in London and further afield the best advice, most reliable rental equipment and a truly personal service. We'd never recommend anything we wouldn't use ourselves, and we have pretty high standards, so when the decision was made to invest in studio generator flash equipment the Gripvan team thought long and hard about what to add to our existing lighting stock.

We tested a wide range of studio packs and drew upon years of lighting experience. We made rigs to test flash duration, we analysed colour and sharpness, we consulted our freelancers and clients, all to make sure that what we offer is nothing less than the best. After weeks of testing we decided to add the Profoto Pro-10 to our rental stock. We are confident that in the Pro-10 we have a pack we can recommend without hesitation for a wide range of situations.

Having the confidence to know you can freeze anything pin sharp at the power you want opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities.
— Iain Crawford, Photographer & Profoto Ambassador

The Techy Stuff

flash duration is extremely impressive and as expected, outperforms any other studio generator that we have used
— Andrew Howe, Technical Director @ Gripvan
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Gripvan cater to your every need:

Alongside photographic and lighting equipment, Gripvan offer a range of production, location and catering equipment for rental in London and across the UK.

From heaters, EZ-UPs, tables and chairs, through to coffee machines and milk frothers, we're able to provide everything you need to set up your unit base. 

We know you're busy, so give us a call and know that your camera, lighting and production lists are being taken care of.

One call, One delivery, One invoice. 

Profoto Pro 10 2400 - Under the Spotlight

It was back around October 2008 when Profoto launched the Pro8A and we were all able to stop working in 1/6th stops and worrying about whether the new assistant had accidentally set the pack to auto bracket.

 

Eight years then of working with the 8A a flash pack which, for most, was a breeze to operate and delivered all the improvements and refinements on the 7A we could have asked for. Now with the launch of the Pro 10 we have not just the successor to the 8A but a new contender for the prize in the flash duration battle.

 

The new user interface is quick to learn and operating the packs is easy to get to grips with. There is enough similarity with the Pro8A to enable anyone familiar with 8As to quickly grasp the Pro10. We like the touch control on the Pro10 finding it an improvement on the 8A in terms of speed of operation and being able to observe the settings at a glance. The ‘model’ and ‘head’ on/off buttons for each output are well positioned, you find them straight away and they are simple and quick to use.

 

Overall the design of the pack is pleasing, the power controls easy to use and precise in operation. Personally I like to have the outputs labelled (A & B for example) it saves confusion on a busy set. The pack feels a little heavier than the 8A and although it is dumpier in form it is actually a little larger and heavier than the 8A. The handles are well placed though and it isn’t unwieldy.

 

I was disappointed to see only one 1/4” jack sync input. Call me old fashioned but I still sometimes like to hard wire my flash packs and I found the double jack sockets on previous Profoto models very useful for linking the packs together.

 

As for the important stuff, flash duration is extremely impressive and as expected, outperforms any other studio generator that we have used. As Profoto always quote the T0.5 figures (1/80,000 in this case) it is difficult to compare to the T0.1 figure (1/10,000) that is generally accepted as the shortest duration for a studio pack until now. Although we had limited time for our test we were able to conclude that the Pro10 freezes motion better than any other pack. What is not clear is the relationship between flash duration and power output.

 

For the 8A Profoto did produce an accurate chart of what duration to expect for each power setting and you can find this stuck on the side of some packs. It would be great if they would consider publishing T0.1 figures for the Pro 10.

 

As is usually the case when working with very short flash durations there is a considerable colour shift when switching between normal and freeze mode, the light becomes a lot colder.

 

When you are working at the edge of your equipments' capabilities and often having to squeeze an extra 1/3 stop out of your lighting it is really useful to have an immediate and exact understanding of how much that 1/3 stop will cost you in flash duration or the compromise you are making in colour temperature. Another factor is that sometimes we want a little motion blur in the image. If we know what the flash duration will be we can fine-tune that without endless testing.

 

Recycle time is also very impressive and even in normal mode at full power its possible to keep pace with medium format backs. We haven’t even tried using the Pro10 and a DSLR synced with TTL but the 50 frames a second Burst mode outperforms anything else we have used so far opening up new possibilities for high frame rate shooting and animated sequences or flash-lit short moving image pieces both of which we have been producing and experimenting with.

 

Overall we are very impressed with the Pro 10, a worthy successor to the much loved Pro8 and we very much look forward to getting to know the new pack a lot better.