What is a lighting technician or gaffer

What is a Lighting Technician, or Gaffer?

The Lighting Technician is responsible for designing and setting up the necessary lights needed in order to carry out the look of the video as decided by the Director. He works directly with the Director and Videographer to make sure the lights achieve the correct look.

In Corporate video production, the most challenging aspects of the Lighting Technicians job are:

  • Setting up 3-Point Lighting for interviews to remove unwanted shadows, especially if the interviewee is wearing glasses, while maintaining contrast and depth of field in the shot.
  • Tuning the temperatures of the lights to blend with ambient lighting, to avoid complex colour correction in post production editing.
  • Properly lighting subjects in front of a "green screen"

The term "gaffer" originally related to the moving of overhead equipment to control lighting levels using a gaff.


Who should play the Role of Lighting Technician?

In simpler production set-ups these responsibilities are often taken over by the Videographer or DOP.

For medium-sized productions, the role of the Lighting Technician is often combined with the role of the Audio Technician.

For larger productions, specialized Lighting Technicians are available as experienced freelancers.

Additional Insights on Lighting Technicians