I.A.T.S.E. Studio Mechanics Training, Local 489
The Studio Mechanics Training is a training partnership with I.A.T.S.E Local 489 to prepare early-career professionals for successful union careers in the Grip Department in film and television production. This paid intensive training is taught by union members with essential work readiness skills provided by Reel Works staff. Graduates will qualify for placement on the permit list for local union productions, thanks to the IATSE Local 489.

What does a grip do?

A grip’s main functions are working with the camera department to move and secure the camera for the shot. Shape, diffuse, and sculpt the raw light produced by natural sources and the electricians. Support lights that are not on stands. Assist the carpenters and the art department.

To learn more visit IATSE498.org.

What does it cost?

There is no fee for this program. Each trainee is paid a stipend during the training. Trainees will be responsible to have the following basic tools: hammer, measuring tape, crescent wrench, 3/16 speed wrench, box cutter, pencil, marker, flashlight, gloves and tool kit/bag. Tools will be provided as needed. 

Where and when will the training take place?

The training will take place in-person at various locations in Pittsburgh. The training will run this July- August 2022. Specific dates to be determined.

Who should apply?

  • At least 21+ years of age, with a high school diploma or equivalent, and legally eligible to work in the US.
  • Must be able to provide proof of residence within our jurisdictional area (Pennsylvania within a 50-mile radius around Downtown Pittsburgh – proof can be a valid driver’s license or State ID from Pennsylvania showing residency in the jurisdiction of Local 489, or if you do not have that we will also accept the documents that the DMV requires to establish residency)
  • A highly flexible, team-work oriented person who is capable of physically taxing work.
  • A person with a fundamental knowledge of construction and use of tools who is comfortable with heights.
  • Prior set experience is not required. 
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination encouraged.


We acknowledge that the media and entertainment industry can do better when it comes to access for media professionals from marginalized communities, including people of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ people. Therefore, we strongly urge those with the following identities to apply: BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQIA+, women and non-binary people, people living with disabilities, and others with lived experience being part of marginalized communities to apply for this training.

How to Apply?

  • Step 1: Email [email protected] for more information
  • Step 2: Submit a resume and 2 references with a completed application
  • Step 3: Attend an in-person interview

This training is made possible from the generous support from the Pittsburgh Film Office, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Partner4Work and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Allegheny County Gaming Economic Development Tourism Fund program.