The good news is that the decreasing gender gap behind the scenes in Canadian TV seems to be filtering down to all levels of production. Early on in her career, grip Felicia Sims said that she often found herself working as the only, or one of the only female technicians on set. However, she says that’s been changing as of late and more and more women are filling these roles. The Coroner and Mary Kills People grip recently spoke to The TV Junkies about diversity behind the scenes as part of our Women Behind Canadian TV series.
Grips are technicians who work behind the scenes to ensure that the camera crew has all the equipment needed for the various shots that will be done that day. That equipment can include dollies, jibs, cranes, or tripods, and grips help construct everything needed to help operate and move the cameras. As Sims starts to see more and more women join her in the position, she also spoke to the importance of finding a crew that you work well with, and how a simple gesture from a Lost Girl producer led to her finding a lot of work behind the scenes.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
The TV Junkies: Can you share a little about your background with us? Did you always want to work behind the scenes in film and television?
Felicia Sims: I was all over the place. When I was a kid I always wanted a camera, an SLR for photography and a video camera for shooting movies with my friends. But still photography was always the greater interest. I was inspired by exploratory shows like Popular Mechanics for Kids, and later, anything on the Outdoor Life Network. I wanted to be like the journalists who featured each country by immersing themselves in the culture. Midway into high school, I wanted to make travel documentaries, so I took television broadcasting in college.