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Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens I’ll show you 50 ways to use gaff tape. Rosco’s version of gaff tape is called GaffTac. So when you hear gaff tape, think GaffTac. What is gaff tape anyway? Gaff tape is a strong, easy to tear tape that allows you to tape things on set that does not leave a residue. That’s the most important thing. Does not leave a residue. It’s really made to be able to put on things, hold them in place and take it back off. So here we go; 50 ways to use your gaff tape. Or Tac, tape… Anyway we’re wasting time. Let’s get started and see what we can do.
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- Attaching gels to lights. This is one of the most common ways to use gaff tape. It’s great for strobes because they are not hot lights. It’s not so great on hot lights because it melts. But then everyone’s using LED’s anyway and so it’s great on not so hot hot lights. Anyway.
- Strike a tripod. No it’s not a football dance in the end zone for a fat photographer or videographer but it’s where people place little bits of piece on the ground at each end of leg of the tripod so you can get the tripod back in the same place every time.
- Marks for an actor. Actors need to know where to go when they’re not out waiting tables. So gaff tape give them a little direction. Here’s where you stand for the still shot. Here’s where you move for a video shot.
- Taping a seamless or a backdrop to a wall or floor. Gaff tape is great for taping to walls or paint. It will not pull most paints off the walls. Or the floor. Let me emphasize most paints. Proceed with caution.
- Tape down cables on the floor or in a walkway. Every time you lay a cable down you’ve got to tape it down so Grandma doesn’t trip on the cord and break her hip.
- Prevent microphones from accidentally getting muted. I can’t stand it when the lav gets muted accidentally. On the other hand when you go to the bathroom, please turn the mute button on. Biscumber. Biscumber. Gaff tape will not fix the embarrassment that that will cause when recorded and played back at the company party.
- Attaching a small light to a handprop. Lighting from behind a bottle looks great. Little bit of gaff tape to hold a small LED in place is great.
- Secure your cable to a stand. No one likes a cable that’s hanging into the shot from overhead so tape it up to the stand or the boom when you’re using a cable overhead. Or to the stand on the side of the shot so it doesn’t start to fall into the shot.
- Attach filters to a lens. When I don’t have the correct step down ring or a filter is too large I just roll some gaff tape, wrap it around the lens, and stick on my filter and off we go.
- Secure two cables together at a plug. Roll the end of the tape so it’s easy to pull off.
- Hang up a schedule or a sign. Yes, that’s correct. Gaff tape will hang up paper.
- Hang up duvateen or cloth. Use it to hang up a piece of duvateen to cover a window.
- When you’re on set and gaff tape is the closest thing at hand, use it as a sticky note.
- Giving cleavage an extra lift. We have no b-roll on this one for obvious reasons. I will say, though, Julene has helped some very famous actors which will remain nameless, Halle Barry, with her personal situation.
- Patch a spot on white or black cyc that is the wrong color. Just give a little piece of tape on there, white on white. Black on black. Works perfect.
- Edges of a bead foam reflector. Keep the two pieces together. If you can’t fix it with gaff tape, it probably does not deserve to be fixed.
- Attach plastic to a light or camera to keep it dry. When water is on set I will attach a little piece of plastic over the light to keep it dry. Yeah right, like it’s gonna stay dry.
- Attach an umbrella to a light stand to keep a light dry. When all else fails just tape it.
- Keep a laser pointer turned on.
- Keep the power plugged into your laptop.
- Keep cables plugged into the wall. For those of you who have those old outlets and the plugs keep falling out, little piece of gaff tape will hold your plug in.
- Mark safe walking path on the floor. Arrows for groups to move this way and that way. I don’t know who ever looks at those any. But they look good on the floor.
- Label cases or boxes for storage. Nothing is worse than not knowing what is inside a box. A bit of gaff tape solves that problem.
- Label dimmers and circuits on power outlets and plugs. Great way to make are you know what light goes where and on what dimmer.
- Label walkie-talkies or personal items on set. Nothing says stay away from my walkie-talkie like a bit of gaff tape.
- Label camera cards. This is a great way to label your cards and keep them organized for digital tech or for downloading later.
- Seal light leaks on black wrap. If it leaks use tape. If it needs to be secured to the head, use tape.
- Use it as a bandage or on top of a bandage to keep it from coming off. Use a bit of toilet paper before the tape. The toughness of the tape protects the wound.
- Attach nesting poles for backdrops so they stay put. I use different sizes of conduit on set all the time because it just sleeves together and it’s cheap. Gaff tape is a great way to keep them from coming apart or going back together.
- Label the filters in your map box as a quick reference. A small bit of tape will help you to remember what filter you have in.
- Secure two apple boxes or SKB cases together to make one platform for a talent to stand on. You can turn two boxes into one apple box with a bit of gaff tape. Tom Cruise quickly becomes LeBron James.
- Close and seal boxes. It’s handy and I use it all the time.
- Label strobe heads to identify and mark the power settings. If I’m changing the strobe headings from shot to shot I will label the settings on a piece of gaff tape, attach it to the cable, and then I know exactly what the power should be when I plug it back in.
- Spike prop locations. You can do this for props on a table and label what goes where so when you clean off the table and put ’em back they’ll go in the same place every time.
- Keep a door from latching. No key? Put a piece of gaff tape over the latch, works every time.
- Attach a baby plate to anything if you want to suspend it with a c-stand.
- Tape up a backdrop.
- Tape up a piece of plastic tarp or a drop cloth.
- Wardrobe fixes when there’s no time to sew. Most talent have a-clamps and gaff tape all over their backs to make the wardrobe fit and look good.
- You can also hem pants!
- A lint roller. Lint, lint, lint, lint. Get rid of the lint.
- Stop a hummingbird from visiting the wrong spot on a bird feeder.
- Hold a lens together if a horse kicks it and breaks the housing. This was sent in by Charles Mann. His camera was kicked by a horse and he used gaff tape to tape the lens back together and went on shooting. Fix it the gaffer way.
- Make artwork. This grip makes great artwork using different colors of gaff tape.
- Seal leaks in a kiddy pool. Of course, what else?
- Mark prop food so people don’t eat the props. Don’t eat the props!
- Fix props when there is a time-crunch. Nothing is a fast as a piece of gaff tape.
- Label sand bags for gimmicks. This says two hundred-fifty pounds. If it says it it must be.
- Make a fine vest, bow-tie and hat. They fit like a glove.
- Tape Jay P.’s mouth so he’ll stop talking.
Wait a minute, I am not done!. So there you have it. Fifty ways to use your gaff tape. Those are my ways to use gaff tape, let’s see yours. Join our Facebook group and post your images showing us how you use gaff tape. There are a million things you can do with gaff tape. Like right now. I could tape… I could tape my hat to my head. I could tape my hat right here to my head. To my head just like this. I could tape it right here to my head. And there you go.
Keep those cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’
Fifty-one: Tape it on your grandma’s mustache. Fifty-two: tape it on your dog. Fifty-three: tape it on your cat. Fifty-four: tape a cucumber to your cat. Fifty-five: tape your cat to the wall. Fifty-six: tape your grandma to the wall. Fifty-seven: tape your grandma’s cane to the wall. Watch her look for it.
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