Gaffer: The Painter

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February 23, 2016 | 1-Exposing The Crew, Gaffers


The Painter




Matt Gonzales

A Gaffer is the chief electrician in a motion-picture or television production unit. “It’s about painting with light, and knowing where not to paint.  Notice this films use of darkness.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack Productions).

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!  

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is “The Painter”.  The story of a young boy who lives in a world surrounded by violence.  His only escape is by creating art.

An experienced Gaffer assists in the telling of a story by executing the lighting plan for a production.  Knowing what lights, gels (plastic sheeting that goes on lights or windows) are needed based on the time of day and what conditions are to be portrayed.  This film was beautifully told with lights and shadows by a talented Gaffer, Matt Gonzales.

A Gaffer must have a vast knowledge of lighting, from the way the light flickers on a subway to the glow of a beautiful sunrise.  The Gaffer must know how to achieve these type results.  Without proper lighting, an audience would have a very difficult time understanding the time, place, and tone of a story.

Working side by side with the DP (Director of Photography),  they work long hours performing physically demanding tasks that require close attention to detail.  The DP creates the vision, and the Gaffer (along with a team under him/her) makes that vision come to life.  This short film is a great example of what a talented Gaffer can do with light.

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our new blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!