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Mario C. Jackson

Gaffer

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Hi

It's been a while since I last posted anything on this site. Mainly because I have been busy shooting lots of projects. As a director of photography I find it hard to have a really good gaffer. Usually I have to explain everything down to the last detail and I rather not do that. I would really like to have a gaffer who can think on their own. Now I am not saying I am looking for someone to light my movies but rather someone I can have a long friendship and collaberation with. I am 25yrs old and soon to be 26. I am prepping a independent feature for August/September and I am worried that I am going to be doing to many things at once, instead of having reliable people I can trust and colaberate with. If anyone has any advice for me it would be great.

Thanks

Mario Concepcion Jackson

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Its a difficult situation. My long time gaffer and good friend (Chris Hughes) decided to leave the industry and is now in the Navy. Obviously it is tough because he is also a good friend of mine, but also because I have done well over 30 projects with him, he is the best gaffer I have worked with, and we worked very fast.

 

I have learned it is a matter of becoming friends with your new gaffer, and if your personalities work well, then the actual gaffing work will come easier, as you can really just talk to him about what you want/ develop some sort of compromise of working styles that is good.

 

I am still getting to know my new gaffer and he is getting to know my style better with each job we do. I was lucky that we became friends around the time my old gaffer was leaving, and I realized that he may be a good replacement. He is a lot less experienced than my old one (my old gaffer was 728, and I think his last big show he worked on was Transformers), but with each job our working relationship gets better and better as does his experience level.

 

Kevin Zanit

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I know how you feel buddy. I just found a commercial Gaffer/Key Grip (with a electricians ticket) I like working with. Really smart, intuitive and his personality is relaxed and soft spoken. However my style of lighting was far different then what he was used to, probably because I'm a mostly a narrative DP and he does all commerical projects, so I really had to hammer it into him each set up the quality of light i was looking for (I was looking for a quality of light thats hard to achieve in certain environments). Besides that after a week of working with him we had things pretty much down.

 

Before I met him I had a string of Gaffers that we just didn't mesh as a team well. For me it was just luck that the Producer knew him and hired him. I haven't been DPing for a really long time so I find its good to ask producers, PM's, as well as fellow DP's whom they like working with before going into a gig.

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Chris I am currently located in Virginia. Why? are you a gaffer or have hopes of becoming one?

Thanks

Mario Concepcion Jackson

 

I'm a good electric interested in getting better. I'm in Utah right now though, with plans to go to LA soon.

Edited by Chris Keth

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Good Gaffer is a relationship... in order for it to work you need to part of it.

Good Gaffer can save your butt... they don't come frequently...

You don't just look for technical expertize only... You look for somebody that thinks and feels like you...

Just like between you and a Director.

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Good Gaffer is a relationship... in order for it to work you need to part of it.

Good Gaffer can save your butt... they don't come frequently...

You don't just look for technical expertize only... You look for somebody that thinks and feels like you...

Just like between you and a Director.

 

Very true. I was lucky enough to have a constant gaffer (and AC, in fact) like that in film school and I already miss her. I love working/friend relationships like that.

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