Electrical Department

Film Crew Position: Moving Light Programmer

What does a Moving Light Programmer do?

A Moving Light Programmer is a specialized technician within the Electrical Department of a film or television production. Their primary responsibility lies in programming complex lighting systems that are designed to move and change during the production. These professionals have a deep understanding of the dynamic lighting equipment and software used to create various moods and effects to enhance the visual storytelling of a film or TV show.

What role does a Moving Light Programmer play?

The role of a Moving Light Programmer involves working closely with the Director of Photography (DP), Gaffer, and Lighting Director to translate creative visions into reality. They ensure that the programmed movements and changes of the lighting fixtures are in sync with the camera movements, scene changes, and the overall pace of the production. They also troubleshoot and maintain the lighting systems to ensure consistent performance throughout the filming process.

Do you need to go to college to be a Moving Light Programmer?

A college degree is not strictly necessary to become a Moving Light Programmer. However, some individuals in this field may have a bachelor's degree in theater technology, lighting design, or a related field. Key to success in this role is a combination of industry-specific training, which could include courses in lighting technology and programming, along with hands-on experience gained through work in theater, concerts, or smaller film productions.

What skills do you need to be a Moving Light Programmer?

To excel as a Moving Light Programmer, one must possess a blend of technical and creative skills. Proficiency in lighting control consoles and software is crucial, as is a firm grasp of electrical theory and DMX protocol. Strong problem-solving capabilities, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure are also essential. Since they are part of a collaborative team, excellent communication skills and the ability to interpret artistic direction are just as important for a Moving Light Programmer.

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