Common Mistakes New Gaffers Make on Set

Common Mistakes New Gaffers Make on Set

Common Mistakes New Gaffers Make on Set


As a gaffer, you are responsible for the lighting and power requirements of a film set. It's no small task, but it is one that can be learned with experience. Unfortunately, many inexperienced gaffers make the same mistakes over and over again. However, these mistakes can easily be avoided if you know what to look out for. In this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most common mistakes inexperienced gaffers make when setting up lights and power on set.


Not Accounting for Power Loads

One of the most common mistakes new gaffers make is not taking into account how much power each light will draw from the generator or main power source. If you don't account for the total wattage required by all your lights and equipment, you may find yourself in an unexpected blackout situation during filming. To avoid this issue, use a wattmeter to measure how much power each light draws and add it up to get an accurate number of watts your generator needs to produce in order to meet your lighting needs without any issues.

Not Calculating Lighting Levels Properly

Another mistake many inexperienced gaffers make is not calculating their lighting levels correctly. Lighting levels refer to how bright or dim your lights need to be in order to achieve the desired mood or atmosphere on set. This calculation should be done before you even start setting up your lights as it will save time later on when you don't have to adjust every single light individually in order to get them just right. A good way to calculate lighting levels is by using lux meters which measure brightness levels accurately and quickly so that you can tweak each light accordingly with minimal fuss.

Not Checking Equipment Beforehand

Finally, another mistake that inexperienced gaffers tend to make is not checking their equipment before they arrive on set. This includes making sure all cables are working properly and that all bulbs are functioning correctly. By doing this pre-check beforehand, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle later on as well as ensure that everything runs smoothly during filming without any unexpected surprises popping up due to faulty equipment or cables that suddenly stop working during production.



Making mistakes while working as a gaffer is inevitable—especially if you’re new to the job—but by avoiding some of these common blunders outlined above, such as not accounting for power loads or checking equipment beforehand, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of problems arising while filming. For more tips on being a successful gaffer, contact Tiki Grip & Electric today! We provide grip electric & lighting rentals for film production sets so our team has plenty of experience dealing with these kinds of issues firsthand! Reach out today with any questions about our rental services or advice on how best to avoid common mistakes made by inexperienced gaffers!

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