In film and television crews, the gaffer or chief lighting technician is the head electrician, responsible for the execution (and sometimes the design) of the lighting plan for a production. The gaffer's assistant is the best boy electric.
The gaffer is responsible for managing lighting, including associated resources such as labour, lighting instruments and electrical equipment under the direction of the director of photography (DP, DOP or Cinematographer) or, in television, the lighting director (LD).
The DP/LD is responsible for the overall lighting design, but delegates the implementation of the design to the gaffer and the key grip. The key grip is the head grip, in charge of the labour and non-electrical equipment used to support and modify the lighting. Grip equipment includes stands, flags and gobos. The gaffer will usually have an assistant called a best boy and, depending on the size of the job, crew members who are called "set lighting technicians" or "electricians", although not all of them are trained as electricians in the usual sense of the term.
The name of the position gives its name by association to gaffer tape, a strong cloth-backed adhesive tape used within the film and TV industry. Gaffer tape is typically utilized by set lighting technicians under the supervision of, and not directly by, a gaffer. Many other types of tape are also used in the industry, such as paper tape, pressure-sensitive tape (A.K.A. snot tape), electrical tape, J-LAR, and cloth tape.
Though movie and cinema buffs associate gaffer with Hollywood, the word actually pre-dates motion pictures by about 300 years. The first recorded use of gaffer dates from the 16th century, when it was used as a title of respect for an older gentleman. Later it was used as a generic noun for any elderly man, and then it picked up the sense "foreman" (still used in British English), perhaps because the foreman was the most experienced and, most likely, the oldest person in a work crew. Today gaffer is usually applied to the head lighting electrician on a movie set. The gaffer's assistant is called the best boy.
Our standard grade gaffer tape is ideal for most applications such as securing cables and audio/visual wires, marking floors and stages, and bookbinding. It is extensively used by production crews on film, TV, theatre, photography, live music, and industrial staging work since it can be quickly and easily applied and removed without damaging the floor or leaving behind excess adhesive.
Our standard grade gaffers tape is a polyethylene coated cloth laminated tape, with a low gloss finish film coated with a Natural Rubber adhesive great for all purpose use. A 76 mesh high quality, low gloss finish, polyethylene-coated cloth tape with a...
Our standard grade gaffer tape is ideal for applications like securing cables and audio/visual wires, marking floors and stages, and bookbinding. Because it can be quickly and easily applied and removed without damaging the floor or leaving behind excess adhesive, it is extensively used by film, TV, theatre, photography, live music, and industrial production crews.
We know people are often confused about the difference between gaffer tape and duct tape. Both gaffer and duct tape are classified as cloth tapes, meaning they have a cloth backing for enhanced durability. Moreover, they are sometimes used for the same purposes. However, they have a crucial primary difference: their adhesives.
Our standard grade gaffers tape is our most popular cloth gaffer tape and is ideal for most applications. It is a polyethylene-coated cloth laminated tape with a low-gloss finish film coated with a natural rubber adhesive, making it great for all-purpose use. It comes in 11 different colors so that you can pick the best design for your project. Alternatively, for a discount, you can let us choose by selecting the "Surprise Me" option, meaning:
Cloth gaffer tape is designed with versatility in mind. It features a low-light reflective backing ideal for flash photography and video productions. Stage performers often use it to secure microphones and cables. Using it to tape down wires makes the stage look neater and eliminates tripping hazards. You can also affix gaffer tap to walls, baseboards, and stage surfaces. And when it's removed, it won't peel off paint or damage the surface.
The high-strength backing of cloth gaffer tape is UV and abrasion-resistant and is applicable in many environments. You can buy a single roll or a case of 24 rolls. Case purchases are best suited for commercial use, while single roll purchases work better for small-scale projects. If you work in an industry that involves regular use of gaffer tape, such as set design, you can significantly save by buying in bulk.
Our Black Pro Gaffer tape is easy to unwind and hand tearable. It provides aggressive adhesive without leaving a sticky residue on indoor or outdoor surfaces. It has an anti-slip surface, so you can use it for stage markings without endangering your actors. Some people also like to apply gaffer tape to tool handles for better grip.
Fluorescent gaffer tape has an extraordinary property: it glows under UV light! If you need to know the location of the tape and the equipment it's secured to, all you have to do is shine a UV light around your work area. The UV glow is also helpful during cleanup. Just turn on your UV flashlight to find every last scrap of fluorescent cloth tape.
Fluorescent gaffer tape's vibrant colors make it perfect for stage spikes and other functions where visibility is a high priority. On the other hand, fluorescent tape can also be surprisingly effective at blending into brightly colored environments. Black gaffer tape is commonly used to make equipment disappear into the background, but this doesn't work in all situations. If you're working on a set with many vibrant colors, fluorescent tape can be less intrusive.
Gaffer tape is a high-quality vinyl-impregnated cloth with a non-reflective matte finish. Both practical and artistic, we've heard of a number of ways this tape is used for events, projects, safety, and identification. Get creative with brightly colored gaffer tape, and feel free to mix and match colors and quantities!
Our premium gaffer tape boasts a heavy-duty vinyl coated waterproof cloth backing with excellent flexibility. It is of higher strength than the standard gaffer tape and is better able to withstand heavy use. This high-tech tape with excellent adhesion for superior performance is designed for exterior weather and high/low-temperature applications, with non-reflective backing for low gloss. It retains flexibility and conformability, even in environments with extreme temperature fluctuations.
Cloth gaffer tape is designed with versatility in mind. Similarly, it features a low-light reflective backing which is ideal for flash photography and video productions. The high strength backing is also UV and abrasion-resistant while being applicable in a number of environments.
Black Pro Gaffer Tape is the preferred tape by industry professionals to secure overhead lighting, audio wire, set, and stage decoration. It is also useful for taping down artwork, framing, displays, and large graphics boards. Our black pro gaffer tape is easy to unwind and hand tearable, providing aggressive adhesive without leaving a sticky residue behind on your indoor or outdoor surfaces.
The job title "Gaffer" comes from a couple different meanings in British English. In olden times, even before gas lamps, a gaffer had the job of physically lighting or extinguishing the street lamps each night. To do this, he used a long pole called a gaff that could reach all the way up to the lamp wicks. Hence, he was called a gaffer.
Best boys (a generic term referring to technicians of any gender) are mainly responsible for logistics. They get the right lights in the right places at the right time with the right people to operate them. They also deal with paperwork, including stock and equipment ordering, risk assessment, schedule changes and timesheets. Bests boys may work very long hours. Many best boys work freelance, though will continue to work with the same few gaffers.
Lighting technicians set up lighting equipment, carry out tests, position lights, and manage all light bulbs and traces or filters fitted over lights to create effects. They work to the instructions of the gaffer and best boy. Work may be long and physically demanding and require a good head for heights. They are also responsible for the safe installation and operation of lighting. They access and monitor power supply systems and install wiring.
Of course, there is a lot of lighting work that needs an expert touch, meaning a qualified electrician who can monitor electrical current requirements and make sure there are no overloads. The gaffer needs to hire a professional electrician who can handle the depends on the film industry like the rest of the crew, and most gaffers have one or two electricians that they depend on for the more delicate or dangerous lighting work. Other electric and lamp operators are also beneath the gaffer and take orders from him.
There should be minimal confusion on set, saving time when filming begins. Because your gaffer will have plotted out specific plans, your crew will already know where they should be and when, alleviating stress and confusion.
On set, it is essential that a gaffer be patient, and because they have such high authority and people on your set will be looking to them for guidance, their attitude will be able emanate on set and trickle down to others working on your film. 041b061a72