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Gaffer tape


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#1 Ckulakov

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:00 PM

What type of tape is the most similar to gaffer tape eg. Masking tape, electrical tape, duck tape?
And what is so special about it? Also why is black wrap so expensive? The ones I found are 20 dollars a roll or more. Where can I find a cheaper kind?

Thanks
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 01:23 PM

Gaffer tape uses an adhesive that is designed to stick to the tape and not remove wallpaper, finishes, etc. from whatever you are taping to. A $20 roll of gaffer tape is a much better investment than an irate homeowner who was promised his wallpaper wouldn't be wrecked during your shoot.
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#3 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:00 PM

Gaffer tape is different from masking and electrical tape.

It's a sticky canvas, so that you can cut it very properly with your fingers. Also it's very resistant, mechanicaly. Masking tape and electrical are not. The first one is paper tape, used for painters, and some usefull uses are known like taping a XLR cable on a boom, so it doesn't leave stick on the boom and the cable ; electrical tape is good for isolating electrical cables because it's much thiner than gaffer tape.

what is duck tape ?
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:04 PM

Duct tape is like Gaffer's Tape, usually silver, 2" wide, but with a much more gummy and strong adhesive, so it leaves a residue and does damage. But outdoors in St. Petersburg, Russia in the dead of winter, I found duct tape to be the only thing that stuck to anything, and barely at that.

Even Gaffer's Tape has to be used carefully, which is why you'll also carry 2" paper tape.

There is a LOT of tape used on a film set, a wide variety of paper and cloth tapes of various dimensions.

Just spend the money on Blackwrap and use it, and reuse it, without too much waste. It's too useful.
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#5 Ckulakov

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 02:14 PM

Mr Mullen,

I am originally from Russia. I moved to the U.S. 5 years ago and visit it allot. What films have you shot there? I heard that you where in the Ukraine too. What connection do you have with Russian filmmakers? It would be great if you can tell me more.

Thanks
or "Spasiba" in Russian

P.S. Have you seen Andrey Rubluv?
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 04:02 PM

A little mix up here. If I may add.

Gaffer's tape should not be used on walls, fine wood floors and furniture with finishes, etc in sensitve locations. It can and most likely will take off paint, varnish, wall paper and the like and the locations people will hunt you down. Paper tape like the typical 1" and 2" black variety David mentioned should be used if tape must be used at all.

If Gaffer tape has been used, special care must be used to take it off slowly or damage may occur.

And as David also pointed out, Gaffer tape can become useless in extreme cold.

Duct tape is exactly that. It is made for sealing holes in aluminum duct work like you find in forced hot air and AC systems in homes...well American homes that is. While Gaffer tape has more of a cloth like material with adhesive on one side, Duct tape is more like a plastic material with adhesive on one side. But becasue of the cloth, Gaffer tape can be stronger where Duct tape will stretch if you pull on it enough.

Two things, sometimes it becomes neccessary to use tape instead of clothes pins to fix gels to the barn doors of a light. Don't use Gaffer tape or duct tape. It'll be a gooey mess. You can use paper tape but it may burn up after a while, but it will get you through the shot.

Electrical tape as noted, will insulate electrical connections, but do not use them on neon lighting connections. With the significantly higher voltages of neon, the connections are insulated with another material. I don't know what it is made of but it is important. You can usually see the connectors insulated by a boot like grey plastic material hanging in any bar or restaurant. The only time I have been hit by electicity on a set (other than a little tingle) was with neon. It really kicks!

Also if you are packing anything for a long time Gaffer tape is not great. It dries out and starts to disintergrate something comparable to dry rot on a rubber tire.

Other good tapes on a film set:

blue colored paper tape set dressers and scenics use.
snot tape (I'm sure 3M has a better term for it)
J lar
double stick

best

Tim

Edited by heel_e, 08 July 2005 - 04:04 PM.

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#7 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 08 July 2005 - 06:03 PM

Beware, definitions are getting mixed up here. Nashua 357 is the definitive gaffer tape. Careless use will pull up parquetry and tiles. Similar looking but very different in purpose is the cloth tape used on mags and camera bodies to label and to seal against light. This is not nearly so strong structurally or adhesively.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 July 2005 - 03:07 AM

I shot a small HD comedy in St. Petersburg in December 2001, called "A Foreign Affair" (aka "Two Brothers and a Bride"). Starred Tim Blake Nelson, David Arquette, and Emily Mortimer -- a wonderful trio of actors to work with on a no-budget shoot in freezing cold.

I reshot a film in Los Angeles that was originally shot in the Ukraine by someone else -- I didn't shoot in the Ukraine myself.

I've only seen scenes from "Andrei Rublev"...
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