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Supervising Gaffer vs. Gaffer (1 reply)

11 months ago
doppelR 11 months ago

Hello guys,

I just re-read the december issue of AC (with the Blade Runner 2049 article) and I was wondered by the work breakdown and especially the crew on set.

What is the difference between a gaffer and the supervising gaffer?

For me as an austrian cinematographer the gaffer is always supervising the light and grip-team, so I wondered why the hungarian Gaffer wasn't supervising and had Bill O’Leary as a supervising gaffer above him.

It would be great to find out how they both worked together for this amazing film and whom of them was in charge of what's happening on set.




Roger Deakins
10 months ago
Roger Deakins 10 months ago

Billy is a US gaffer who I have known for well over 30 years and he brought with him some experienced Rigging Gaffers to oversee the lighting of particular sets. I did not know our local Hungarian Gaffer, Kristian, prior to this project. He is fantastic and so is his crew but even he felt the project needed some extra help in the Rigging department. The way things worked out it was Billy who supervised the lighting of the sets to come whilst Kristian worked with me on the day to day shooting set. Naturally, there was a lot of overlap and it required everyone on the top of their game and working as one team to pull off a schedule which incorporated so many different locations and complicated sets.


I have been shooting a film that has been based in NY. My NY gaffer is in charge of the whole film but both in Amsterdam, where we were last week,  and in NM, where we are now, there is a local Gaffer who brings both local knowledge and a local crew.

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