People who want to work as gaffers in the film industry must be skilled in a variety of areas. One of the most important qualifications for these positions is the ability to visualize how a scene or setting should look. Lighting, heavy equipment positioning, and electrical functions are all responsibilities of gaffers. Gaffers are frequently the people who other staff members turn to when technical issues arise, so they must be able to think quickly when the situation demands it.
The ability to work well with a variety of people is a definite asset for anyone aspiring to be a gaffer. This is the type of job where people are rarely allowed to work alone or in a remote location. Gaffers should be able to climb because lighting is sometimes placed at great heights. They will occasionally be required to climb to heights that may be unsettling for some, so having an adventurous spirit is a plus.
People who want to work as a gaffer must meet some basic educational requirements. Classes can usually be taken at a community or technical college. In most cases, degree or certificate programs can be completed in one or two years of full-time study. Many studios and film companies, on the other hand, do not require gaffers to have any kind of degree or certification.
Anyone interested in becoming a gaffer should try to gain some basic experience working with electrical systems and lighting in order to have the best chance of getting an interview. It may be possible to find an apprentice position depending on where you live. These jobs usually don’t pay well, but they can provide you with valuable experience for your future career.
If you want to be a gaffer, you should have a good understanding of color in addition to having a good understanding of electricity and lighting. Specifically, you should be able to determine how color schemes will appear under various lighting conditions. Being able to make such decisions will aid you in obtaining and maintaining employment throughout your career. It may also be advantageous if you can design sets, supervise others, and enjoy working in a constantly changing environment.