A key collaborator
As much as I value every crew member I work with greatly, it could easily be argued that it’s the gaffer who is the cinematographer’s closest collaborator and right hand man (or women).
Simon was always someone I wanted to get on the podcast. His experience on set & knowledge of lighting, combined with his easy going character was always going to make him a great guest.
Flash lighting vs Continuous Lighting
Simon worked as a photographer for the better part of 25 years prior to transitioning to working as a gaffer. He talks about the challenges moving from flash lighting to continuous lighting.
Time is money!
With budgets becoming tighter and shooting schedules adjusting to the fact, we talk about the importance of getting involved in pre production as early as possible. Simon shares his insight on scheduling and how to save countless hours over the duration of a production when this is done well.
We discuss how valuable reference images are for a gaffer and how sharing them early on in pre production eliminates a lot of potential miscommunication when it comes to the aesthetic of a project.
Head of the lighting department
While the Director of Photography is the head of both lighting and camera. The Gaffer is then responsible for managing the lighting department. Simon goes on to talk about his process on set and what he expects from his crew members.
With so many exposure tools available to the cinematographer on todays moderns sets we’re at the point now where everyone has their own process for monitoring light levels. I chat to Simon about his workflow for measuring light levels both on set and for a pre light.
I really enjoyed taking the time to sit down with Simon and find out how he likes to work and what motivates him as a gaffer.
As always I hope there is something of value in this episode and that you’re able to take these insights and hopefully help you on your next job!