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Gaffer Job Description

What does a Gaffer do?

In the film and television industry, a gaffer is responsible for the lighting on set. They work closely with the director of photography to achieve the desired visual style and atmosphere. The gaffer oversees a team of lighting technicians and electricians, ensuring that all equipment is in working order and set up properly. They also collaborate with the art department to make sure the lighting complements the overall design of the production. The gaffer may also be involved in rigging lights for special effects or stunts. Overall, the gaffer is a vital member of the crew who brings the director’s vision to life through the use of lighting.

Our Gaffer job description includes the Gaffer responsibilities, duties, skills, education, qualifications, and experience.

Gaffer Example


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If you need an example job description for a Gaffer download the one below, alternatively we have many other Media job description samples and a job description library with over 3000 job descriptions templates that you can download for free.

What does a Gaffer do?

Gaffer is a position in the film and television production industry. The primary job of a Gaffer is to manage the lighting department and to provide support to the Director of Photography (DP). They work closely with the DP to set up and maintain the lighting for the production, ensuring that it meets the artistic and technical requirements of the project. Gaffers are also responsible for managing a team of lighting technicians, and for ensuring that the lighting equipment is in good working order. Gaffers must have a good understanding of the production process and the technical aspects of lighting, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with other members of the production crew.

Gaffer Role Purpose

The purpose of a Gaffer is to be the head of the electrical department on a film, television or theatre production. The Gaffer is responsible for the overall lighting design of the production, ensuring that the lighting is suitable for the production's requirements. The Gaffer will also oversee the electrical crew, ensuring that they are working safely and efficiently. The Gaffer is often responsible for the selection and ordering of all equipment and materials needed for the electrical department.

Gaffer Role

Gaffer is a job title used in the film and television industry for the chief lighting technician, who is responsible for the design and execution of the lighting plan for a production. This involves setting up, operating and maintaining lighting and rigging equipment, including the selection and placement of lights, and making sure that the lights are functioning correctly. The gaffer is usually the head of the electrical department and works closely with the cinematographer to achieve the desired look for the production.

Gaffer Duties

  • Planning and managing the day-to-day running of a film or television set
  • Ensuring that all of the necessary equipment is in place
  • Coordinating activities between various crew members
  • Maintaining records of expenditures and budgets
  • Staying up-to-date on relevant safety regulations

Gaffer Requirements

  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Ability to work independently

Gaffer Skills

  • Strong leadership
  • Excellent communication
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Organisational ability

Gaffer Personal Traits

  • Leadership
  • Organisational Skills
  • Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Ability to Work Under Pressure

How to write a Gaffer Job Advert

Use our job advert template to write a job advert for posting on job sites and job boards. Our job advertising templates are carefully created to help you reach your audience and beat the competition to the best talent.

A job description informs the reader about a job, whereas a job advert’s main objective is to sell the job opportunity to attract as many suitable applicants possible. A job advert maybe the first touch-point a candidate has with your company so it is important to create a great impression.

Job Advertisements should enticing, so considering using short, exciting language which get the reader’s attention.

How to write a Gaffer Job Description

To write a job description, we recommend starting with a job description template from our job description library, which contains examples for 800+ positions and professions. Our job description examples include a job summary with duties and responsibilities and skills and requirements, which can be personalised for your job vacancy.

Job Description Advice - Guidance on How to Personalise a Gaffer Job Specification

The hiring process and recruiting new employees to fill your key roles requires a degree of personalisation if you are to attract the best employees in a competitive employment market. The right person for a crucial role or more senior roles will likely have other employers targeting them. As your job description will be the first point of contact, you need to nail your pitch and provide the best possible service.

Job Description Tips - Help on formatting a Gaffer Job Specification

When creating your bespoke description and advert, you should cover and promote these points:

Job title: This should accurately reflect the role and include keywords that top talent might be using to search for jobs.

Job duties: The day to day duties, such as administrative tasks, which vary depending on the company and inform the candidate if they can complete the role.

Technical skills: These are the hard skills required through training, such as proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Soft skills: These include the interpersonal skills and general abilities the right candidates will possess. For example, the competency to prioritise multiple tasks, handle customer queries and customer complaints, work alone, or build a good relationship with coworkers.

The company's culture: Highlighting your company culture and values ensures employees thrive and find outstanding job satisfaction. Candidates that are not the right fit won’t waste their time completing the application process, meaning you can focus on qualified individuals and hire in a more timely manner.

Career progression: Including the career path will entice candidates looking for career growth. 

Training and development programs: Smaller companies may need employees with previous experience or provide educational assistance over internal training offered by larger organisations with more significant resources. 

Employee benefits: Compensation and benefits often fail to appear in job ads and while you may want to hold your cards close to your chest, failing to include them is a mistake. Consider answering common questions, such as working hours and paid leave. Researching the average salary for the role in these early stages will ensure you don’t waste your interviewer’s and the candidate’s time.

Skill gaps: Your company may need to bring in new skills beyond those required to complete the key role and duties. Thinking on an organisational level can be beneficial when contemplating skills diversity.

Legal requirements: Ensure your job advert and description does not ask for inappropriate or discriminatory personal details, such as age, marital status, or religion.

How to Hire a Gaffer

Once you have selected your Job Description download it or convert it to a Job Advert. From here you can post/advertise your job across our network of job boards. If you wish to use the job description for a CV Template click through for advice and Convert to a CV

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