June 24, 2016

6 Knots Every Filmmaker Should Know How to Tie

When making a film, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be fastened, rigged, tied down, and held in place. That's why you should know your way around some essential knots.

Any grip with their salt knows how to use a rope to rig up or fasten pretty much anything in any situation safely and securely. So, let's take a second to learn which knots come in handy on set, as well as how to tie them. Here are a few tutorials that show you how to tie six useful filmmaking knots, including the Sheepshank, Figure 8, and Clove Hitch.

In these two tutorials, DP Shane Hurlbut shows you how to tie the Sheepshank and Figure 8.

In this tutorial from Repairs 101, you'll learn how to tie six different knots, but pay close attention to the Clove Hitch, Square Knot, and Bowline.

And here's one for the Lighterman's Hitch:

So, there you go—six different knots that will certainly come in handy on set. Just keep this in mind: tying a lot of knots doesn't mean something you rig is secure; that's why it's important to learn how to do these. Safety first!

There are plenty of other knots out there! Share some that you think all filmmakers should know how to tie in the comments below.     

Your Comment


The taut line hitch is another good one. It's a super quick loop knot with easily adjustable tension.

June 24, 2016 at 1:57AM


also, if you know how to do a square lashing, you can easily build your own overhead frame without hardware

June 24, 2016 at 8:45AM, Edited June 24, 8:47AM


Shane Hurlbut might be a top Dop but I wouldn't go climbing with him.
The first knot that he ties is not the figure 8 that mountain climbers use all the time.

June 24, 2016 at 9:24AM, Edited June 24, 9:30AM


Oh sweet lord, Shane has no idea what he's talking about. Don't learn a figure eight knot, it's useless on set. Use a bowline for what he's doing. He clearly has no idea what a sheepshank is for (hint: if you don't already know what it's for, you don't need one), but what he's done with it is create an overly-complicated, modified trucker's hitch that has the added benefit of being INCREDIBLY dangerous. Seriously, it would slip apart if you looked at it wrong. The added "torque" he describes simply doesn't exist. I'm actually shocked by what he did, did he just make that up? Who taught him that? Someone who wants him dead, perhaps. Learn the bowline, clove hitch, trucker's hitch, rolling hitch, sheet bend, round turn and two half-hitches, and square knot.

June 25, 2016 at 2:19PM, Edited June 25, 2:19PM


I've registered just to tell that first video explains a fail knot, it's uncomplete, unsecure, and may cause accidents.
Just review comments on video, there are few explaining what's wrong.

June 29, 2016 at 3:50AM, Edited June 29, 3:50AM