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Grip with Marcus Zaiser

Start date:
Sep 22, 2017
Ability Level:
Beginner to intermediate

In collaboration with the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
As part of Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture

The key grip is a problem-solver. This seminar teaches participants how to realise complex camera movements with the help of grip tools like dollies, jibs and car mounts, among other utilities. They learn how to operate the dolly, build dolly tracks in difficult terrain and other essential grip-mounting techniques. The seminar also focuses on safety and the responsibilities of the grip department.

Dates: 22 to 25 September
Application Deadline: Out of consideration for the Eid holiday, the submission deadline has been extended to 9 September.
Friday 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sunday to Monday 2:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Language: English
Fee for single lab: 1000 QAR
Package fee for 3 labs (lighting, grip and cinematography labs): 2500 QAR
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Group Size: 10 to 12 participates

Submission Requirements
Please send the following as Word documents or in PDF format to, including your full name, email and contact number in all text documents:

  1. Specify in the email subject line which practical lab or labs you are applying for
  2. Brief letter of intention explaining why you are applying to the lab (maximum one page)
  3. Showreel, examples of previous work, or link to website (if available)
  4. CV or short biography
  5. Copy of Qatar ID

Submission Process and Selection of Candidates:
Please submit all required documents listed above to After the application deadline, the lab mentor and the DFI team will review applications. Candidates may be invited for a supplemental interview during the selection process. Please note that submission of your application does not guarantee a place in the workshop. Depending on the number of submissions, some applicants may be waitlisted or declined. All applicants will be notified of the results of their submission in a timely manner.


Day 1

  • Overview of essential equipment
  • Hands On: Proper use of grip equipment and experimenting with equipment
  • Basic description of tools – your personal tool belt
  • Rigging techniques for mounting the camera
  • Overview of camera movements
  • Camera dramaturgy – finding the right rhythm for a scene
  • Hands On: Solving all required tasks with grip equipment from an example scene

Day 2

  • Camera movements: Dolly and Jib
  • Hands On (studio): Setting up tracks, rehearsing and recording dolly movements that correspond to previously imagined scenes. Analyzing the footage

Day 3

  • Camera movements: Dolly and Car-mount
  • Hands On (outdoors): Setting up tracks in difficult terrain, rehearsing and recording dolly movements that correspond to previously imagined scenes. Setting up a car-mount and record a car scene. Analyzing the footage

Day 4

  • Camera movements: Handheld versus Stabilized
  • Hands On (studio or on location): Designing a long take. Recording this scene two times with different techniques – once with handheld camera, once with a stabilized camera system. Analyzing the footage

Lab Mentor
Marcus Zaiser

Marcus Zaiser was born in 1976. He has been active in the film industry since 1998, and has worked on more than 100 productions in various positions. From 2000 to 2006, he studied Film and Media with a focus on Cinematography at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. He also studied at the renowned PWSFTViT Film School in Łódź, Poland. Since 2007, Marcus has been working as a cinematographer in both cinema and television, and since 2010, he has been a consultant for stereoscopic film projects in addition to his jobs behind the camera.

Lab Advisor
Thorsten Schütte

German documentary filmmaker Thorsten Schütte has worked for more than 20 years as a writer, director and producer. He has produced and directed numerous television films and series, including WORLD JAZZ (1998), TRIP TO BRAZIL (2001), THE CACTUS OF KNOWLEDGE (2001) and NAMIBIA GENERATION X (2005). His thought-provoking and well-reviewed films have been widely shown at international film festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Parallel to his passion for music documentaries, Schütte dedicates a substantial part of his work to film-based environmental and labour activism in Southern Africa. Some of his documentaries, like LAND MATTERS (2008) and THE FORGOTTEN (2015), deal with subjects like land ownership, affirmative action and farm workers’ rights.

As a founding member of the Stolen Moments-Namibian Music History Untold Research Group, Schütte and his team members have for several years been exploring the Namibian music culture that was almost forgotten, suppressed under apartheid. He currently runs a digitalisation campaign in co-operation with the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, and is co-curating an international exhibition that is scheduled to open in Berlin in the Fall of 2017.

Since 2002, in Germany, Schütte has co-ordinated documentary and fiction studies at the internationally renowned Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

This workshop is in collaboration with

To learn more about the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, please click here.

To learn more about the Qatar Germany 2017 Year of Culture, please click here.