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What is the Geffar Responsibility?


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#1 raafay khanani

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:50 AM

Hi,
Guys
Can any one tell me What is the Gaffer Responsibility or Gaffer job?

thanks
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#2 timHealy

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:30 AM

The Gaffer is the head of the electrical department and responsible for executing the lighting needs of the DP and the film. Sometimes if a gaffer works for a really experienced DP, his job is reduced to a more technical position, and conversely if the DP is weak and inexperienced, the gaffer will have a lot of artistic input and creativity, and may be more of a LD (lighting designer) position.

All in all, a gaffer is the DP's right hand man, along with the key grip.

Best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 12 September 2008 - 09:32 AM.

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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 05:23 PM

Hi,
Guys
Can any one tell me What is the Gaffer Responsibility or Gaffer job?

thanks



This is not something that can be answered in a quick response on a forum, which is why you'll find the COMPLETE answer to your question at www.whatireallywanttodo.com.

However, for a quickie, see Tim's answer above, but know that there are a lot more details that you should know before using a Gaffer or becoming one yourself and there are only two ways to find them out. One is to jump into the job market and figure it all out the hard way through years of trial and error, or follow my advice above for a head start. ;)
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:11 PM

This is not something that can be answered in a quick response on a forum, which is why you'll find the COMPLETE answer to your question at www.whatireallywanttodo.com.

However, for a quickie, see Tim's answer above, but know that there are a lot more details that you should know before using a Gaffer or becoming one yourself and there are only two ways to find them out. One is to jump into the job market and figure it all out the hard way through years of trial and error, or follow my advice above for a head start. ;)


Shameless self promotion.

Best

Tim
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 09:20 PM

Shameless self promotion.

Best

Tim


Not really. :) I'm not "promoting" myself at all.

Like most questions posed on a forum, the true answer takes far more than a quick paragraph or two. The book I wrote began as a compilation of responses to questions like this. It became apparent that aspiring filmmakers who are truly serious about creating a real career were not getting the necessary information from the available books, filmschools, and internet forums. So with the express purpose of helping others in the best way possible, I invested my time and effort far more than I'll ever see come out of it financially.

So while I can appreciate the sentiment from the snide remark above, I wouldn't be giving away free chapters and offering other help that I do behind the scenes. Others helped me get a start in this business. Now it's my turn to give back and the book and consolidated information on the website is just one of the ways I can do that. :)

If someone is interested in fairly useless soundbites or quick definitions, there are a multitude of resources to find those kinds of answers. But for truly useful information, I and a few others have taken the time to compile it for those who are honestly interested in reading it. If letting others know about it is "shameless," then I'll be shameless so long as those who have genuine interest learn what they need to learn in the best way possible.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 12:04 PM

Funny you read that a snide comment. I wrote it in jest.

Best

Tim
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#7 Andrew Koch

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 05:35 PM

One thing that is often misunderstood by students and first time filmmakers is the difference between grips and electrics. The Gaffer is not responsible for the grip department. That is why this post should have been posted under the lighting section of the forum. But to be fair, if you're new to this business, you may have not already known this. This is why I recommend posting these types of questions in the Students and First-Time Filmmakers section. I do not mean to sound patronizing in any way. I have just found that it makes it easier for posters to tailor their responses to your specific needs.

Low budget films and students productions often blur the lines between grip and electric due to a lack of personnel. But sometimes I think it is due to a lack of understanding of what these jobs entail. When I am gaffing a low budget film, I will sometimes get a call or email from the producer asking me how many GRIPS I need. If I wanted to be a smartass, I would say I don't need any Grips, but I could sure use some Electrics, but rather than insult the producer, I bite my tongue and then say how many "grips" I need, knowing full well that I will have these people do electric (don't worry, I tell the people I will hire about this in advance).

If there are enough people, I believe it is better to keep the departments separate, rather than everyone being swings and having to report to two bosses. Swinging makes people's jobs unclear. When are you the one flagging the light and when are you the one setting it? As an electric, if I am on a very small show and the grips are really struggling because of not enough personnel, I will help them out only if they ask. Which they rarely ever do because they do their job better than me because that is what they do and if I start doing things for them, I am probably stepping on their toes and possibly not doing it right. Departments take pride in being self sufficient and jumping in from another department can be interpreted as you thinking that they are not handling their department. I am not saying this is necessarily the case.

Sorry, I just realized I went off topic. Please excuse my hypocrisy.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 10:32 PM

Funny you read that a snide comment. I wrote it in jest.

Best

Tim


;) Sorry, Tim. I've definitely been accused of being a literalist. Most of my smartass humor comes from it! :P
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#9 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:14 AM

Shameless self promotion.

Best

Tim



Okay, HERE is shameless self-promotion! ;)

As of 11pm tonight!

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #23,922 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in these categories: (What's this?)
#1 in Books > Business & Investing > Industries & Professions > Sports & Entertainment
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#10 John Brawley

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:23 AM

One thing that is often misunderstood by students and first time filmmakers is the difference between grips and electrics.
__


When are you the one flagging the light and when are you the one setting it?



The thing is that it's only like this in the US as far as I know. So perhaps you need to take into account where the questioner is operating.

In most other parts of the world a gaffer / electrics set flags and frames etc as well. Grips do camera moves, or maybe blacking out large areas. Anything to do with lighting and altering the light after it's left the lamp is the electrics department.

Certinaly how it works here in OZ....


jb
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#11 Andrew Koch

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 06:25 AM

The thing is that it's only like this in the US as far as I know. So perhaps you need to take into account where the questioner is operating.

jb


That is totally true and I apologize for the oversight. I do work in LA and this is the system I am used to. Let me clarify that this distinction between grips and electrics is in reference to the US. I realize that different parts of the world do things differently and I meant no disrespect. There are many ways to get the same result and no system is necessarily better or worse. Raafay, I am not sure what part of the world you are from because it does not say in your profile. Let us know and maybe someone can answer your question as it applies to where you live and work.
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#12 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 09:15 AM

The thing is that it's only like this in the US as far as I know. So perhaps you need to take into account where the questioner is operating.

In most other parts of the world a gaffer / electrics set flags and frames etc as well. Grips do camera moves, or maybe blacking out large areas. Anything to do with lighting and altering the light after it's left the lamp is the electrics department.

Certinaly how it works here in OZ....


jb


Thank you for mentioning that! I remember being a bit confused by this when I was in Prague last year.
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