Gaffer: Brenden Davis

Posted by Samantha George
July 18, 2017 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Gaffers


Captiva: Road to Ruin




Brenden Davis

“A Gaffer is the Cinematographer’s right hand man…they implement appropriate lighting setups with his Grip team to fulfill the look that the story demands.” – Brenden Davis

No two filmmakers are alike, even if they fill the same crew position. For instance, our EXPOSED crew member of the week, gaffer Brenden Davis, shares his thoughts on the different types of Gaffers, and the work he’s done with Captiva – Road to Ruin.

“There are different kinds of Gaffers; one has more emphasis on the technical side, so a lot/most are certified electricians. And then there are the more creative gaffers – those who know how to shape and mold the light that fills the frame. Thankfully, on this shoot I was the more creative type.” – Brenden Davis

Despite what kind of gaffer you are or have on your set, all gaffers have to be creative and think quickly while problem solving. While Brenden thinks the previous statement can be said of any department, he feels G&E is different because gaffers are always dealing with most of the equipment on set, and it’s their responsibility to build, rig & set up for the the scene. Also, lighting typically takes the most time, which is something gaffers tend to never have enough of on set. Not to mention, as G&E, you are delegating tasks to your grip team and have to make sure they are safe and efficient. Typically, pre-production where you plan everything out to minimize risks, but as we all know, when you’re on set, a couple of curveballs will get thrown every once in awhile.

“One thing I don’t think many realize is that a Gaffer is also the safety officer on set.  Since he is in charge of rigging and equipment he has to make sure nothing falls on anyone, breaks, or just interrupts filming. So Gaffer’s have to be extremely aware of the space, the people in that space, and the surrounding gear. ” – Brenden Davis

Brenden notes that, as a gaffer, it’s always a good time to experiment with new techniques and equipment. For Road to Ruin,  there wasn’t really any discussion on what inspired the look of the project. The cinematographer and Davis just drew up ideas, and conversed over lighting diagrams. When it came to lighting, this project gave him an opportunity to use a Lowell Rifa, which was a first for him. It’s a light that has a collapsible softbox attached, which provides a great soft light.

“The light (the Lowell Rifa) has become one of my favorites and I would love to have it on any shoot. What’s great about this project is that it’s taught me that I will always keep learning on set and that’s always a good thing.” – Brenden Davis

Thank you Brenden Davis for helping create such a fun music video for our viewers.  If you’d like to contact Brenden, please reach him via his email:

We’d also like to shout out to Impose Magazine for the spotlight on Road to Ruin!

Thank you for watching this week’s Exposing the Crew “EXPOSED” indie project!



(We just want to do our part in supporting the indie community!)

We’ll See You All Next Tuesday,

Samantha George (Producer, JJack Productions)