June 29, 2016

Here Are 50 Ways to Put Gaff Tape to Good Use

Other than a camera, what is the one thing you just can't do without while shooting a film? That's right—tape.

Gaff tape is probably one of the most essential and functional items you can have on set: you can use it to secure wires to the floor, attach stuff to things (like gels to lights), as well as mark where actors need to stand. But those are just a few of its virtually infinite uses, and luckily for you, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens shares 50 ways you can utilize gaff tape both on set and off.

If you're more inclined to read each of the uses, you can do so by heading over to The Slanted Lens' post where they list every single one mentioned in the video. But here are several we found particularly important, because they may not be quite as obvious:

  • When you’re on set and gaff tape is the closest thing at hand, use it as a sticky note.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use it for labeling just about everything on set.
  • Use it to keep stuff plugged in.
  • Use it as a bandage.
  • 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.

There are certainly plenty of other uses not mentioned in the video. What are your favorite/most essential uses for gaff tape? Let us know in the comments below!      

Your Comment

8 Comments

Good to keep in mind that there is a HUGE difference between DUCT tape and GAFF tape...

- You can cover something with GAFF tape and then afterwards you can easily remove it without leaving a mark.

- With DUCT tape you may completely destroy the original finish of the item you put tape on, and leave it covered in sticky adhesive goo when trying to take the tape off afterwards.

June 29, 2016 at 9:26AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32127

I always use gaff tape to cover up the "brand" or "labels" on my equipment. Everywhere where it says Canon, Sony, 4K, blabla, etc. It helps if I want to take a picture where I need to see the camera in the mirror and it also avoid people making remarks, it's just more discreet.

June 29, 2016 at 9:32AM, Edited June 29, 9:32AM

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Danny T
Photographer
408

Kind of silly when you think about it. The camera body shape and lenses give it away. It's not like you're going to completely cover you white L lens and red ring right?

June 29, 2016 at 11:51AM

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I'm only talking about the infos brand that's written on the camera, I'm not hiding the thing, just making it more "neutral". Just like if you would remove all the adds you see on a city street. ;)

June 29, 2016 at 4:13PM

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Danny T
Photographer
408

With just a bit of red gaff tape, all of your lenses can be L.

June 30, 2016 at 10:49AM

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Very funny.
Gaf tape is always the life saver on the shooting set. :)

June 29, 2016 at 3:09PM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
711

I watched the whole video to the end and only then I finally realized he was wearing a hat, vest and bow-tie made of gaff tape!

I once saved my own life with gaff tape. Maybe I am exaggerating a little :)
Anyways, I had cut my thumb on a piece of glass so deeply that the blood came flowing out in insane amounts. I tried applying a normal band-aid but it was soaked with blood immediately and didn't stick to my finger. I knew I had to apply pressure somehow, so I reached for my good old Advance Gaffa (which is one of my favorite gaff tapes). I managed to rip off a good piece of it, put a band-aid on the wound, then wrapped the gaff tape around with as much pressure as possible - and voila: the bleeding stopped!
I had already become a bit lightheaded, so I am not sure what would have happened without the gaff tape...

July 4, 2016 at 10:56AM

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/!\ Only use PAPER TAPE on a camera. Gaff tape is too strong and will still leave some residue if left on for too long or in hot weather. use 1/2 in colored paper tape for cards numbers (red = A Cam, Blue = B Cam...). Also, use paper tape for actors marks, putting gaff tape on a wood floor will destroy the floor when you pull it off! Camera crew, remember PAPER TAPE is the solution!!!

July 5, 2016 at 3:37PM

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Victor Lazaro
Steadicam Operator
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