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AC vs Gaffer


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#1 Bart Miller

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:57 PM

Whenever I ask people if it is better to work as a gaffer or ac to become a DP, they always say that working as a gaffer is better becuase you can learn the technical stuff (camera) quickly. However, most big ASCs are usually credited as having started out as AC or Cam Op with little experience as gaffer... Can anyone explain this?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 05:02 PM

Well, some Gaffers may like what they are making, money-wise, too much to take the financial hit of starting at the bottom again as a DP.

I think one reason why more operators make the transition to DP than Gaffers is that sometimes they get opportunities to shoot as part of a b-camera/splinter unit where the production sends the operator out to grab some shot. So they get a chance to shoot footage and be known as a DP, and sometimes get promoted. Sometimes a Gaffer gets this opportunity if what needs to be shot needs to be lit well, but usually a Gaffer is too important to be allowed to run off and shoot independently, unlike the b-camera crew.

So experience and knowledge-wise, work as a Gaffer is actually more in line with what a lot of DP's need to know, but job-wise, the chance to shoot is more likely to come if you're in the camera department already.

"Bart", you need to go to My Contols and edit your Display Name to a first and last name, as per the forum rules listed when you registered (but for some reason, half the new people registering seem to miss that instruction.)
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#3 Bart Miller

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 10:46 PM

Thanks for the reply that helps a lot. I have changed my name.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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