At 17, Jon Brooker knew what he wanted – a career behind-the-scenes in the movie industry. While still a senior in high school (and now a college student and a member of Local 80) he bought a truck and tricked it out with every grip tool he could afford. He’s living the dream of most Grips–creating his own company to rent out his equipment, Grip Works, while still working different shows to keep his skills sharp.
Grip Works is growing, thanks to his dynamic approach to adding the most advanced tools that empower his customers (and himself) to create. “We’re now servicing commercial and high-end music videos,” Brooker explains. “Each project – videos for Drake or The Chainsmokers, feature films like LithiumX or commercials for Netflix, Google, and The Stanley Cup Playoffs–often requires unique and different support.
“My normal three-ton truck carries the standard gear from stands, rags, flags, and clamps. When we have a need for more – we pull from the shop. But often the DP or Gaffer wants a light in a certain place – and most key grips won’t be able to make that happen. They usually don’t have access to state-of-the-art equipment.
“That’s why I recently bought MAX MENACE ARM,” he adds. “Now I can get those shots – where it’s difficult to get a light in a certain place or where you can’t place a normal arm due to the light’s weight. MAX can manage anything.
“Same with CAM TANK,” he continues. “It’s great because I can now achieve the DP’s ideal shot while being level on the ground and accomplishing the smooth moves of a tripod head – but lower.”
Today, every project seems to be demanding something new. Just like Matthews, Brooker realizes this. With the addition of MAX and CAM TANK to his inventory, he’s ahead of the game. When DPs and Gaffers rent from Grip Works, they arrive on set with the most functional and creative gear on the market. Brooker is able to grow his business, with Matthews’ help, because he provides MAX value.