Skip to main content
Create interactive lessons using any digital content including wikis with our free sister product
. Get it on the
Pages and Files
Add "All Pages"
What is this role?
What part does this role play in the film production process?
Gaffer is an electrician which is responsible for the design and the execution of the lighting on a movie or in television set. They use different lighting techniques to get the right light on an object. An experienced gaffer can also coordinate the entire job of lighting, given knowledge of the time of day and conditions to be portrayed, can manage resources such as electrical generators, lights, cables, and manpower. Gaffers are responsible for knowing the appropriate colour of gel (plastic sheeting) that goes on the lights or windows to achieve a range of effects, such as turning midday into a beautiful sunset. They can re-create the flicker of lights in a subway car, the motion of light
inside a turning airplane, or the passage of night into day.
What is required of the role for each stage of the film production process (pre-production, production, post-production)?
In the pre-production process, the Gaffer will need to set up the lights for a photo shoot of the actors for posters or the cover of the of the movie.
In the production stages of filming, the Gaffer will have to light up a certain scene if needed or to recreate things like lightning or the flickering lights of a train.
In post-production, the Gaffer will be needed if there is a re-shoot that has to be done.
What other roles collaborate with your role? How do they? List at least 3.
The best boy is the gaffers assistant.
The gaffer works with the key grip,who is in charge of some of the equipment related to the lighting.
Depending on the size of the job, there will be crew members known as 'electricians', but some crew members wont be trained as actual electricians.
What training is required to take this role?
Gaffers are fully qualified electricians, and usually rise through the levels of the Lighting Department, but some may have a degree in Electrical Engineering. They may have added bonus qualifications during their career. They work for several years in different lighting roles before becoming a Gaffer. They need to attend trade shows to keep up to date with their knowledge of the equipment that is available to them. Many Gaffers work freelance and are self-employed, although in practise they often work with the same few DoPs (Director of Photography).
IATSE (The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees)
offers an apprenticeship program to learn the craft, and requires members to complete specific training and safety courses.
What equipment is required for this role? You may want to include images.
The main tool that the Gaffer uses is their lights.
they also have light screens to dull the lights down so there not as yellow.
They also use cranes to hold the lights on and would have a numerous amount of extension cords.
Are there any notable examples of this role in operation in specific films?
Its not a film but this is a Gaffer lighting up the channel 7 news for a promo in Brisbane.
They have all of the lights and screens set up and also have the cranes out to hold some lights up higher.
by bevan heazlewood.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"