Electrical Department

Film Crew Position: Set Lighting Tech

What does a Set Lighting Tech do?

A Set Lighting Technician, often referred to as a Lighting Electrician or simply a "Set Electric," operates under the Electrical Department of a film production. They are responsible for the implementation and maintenance of lighting setups that the Director of Photography and Gaffer have designed. The role is critical in shaping the visual aesthetic of a film and involves a blend of technical knowledge, creativity, and physical work.

What role does a Set Lighting Tech play?

The primary role of a Set Lighting Tech includes rigging and striking lights, laying power cables, setting up generators, and adjusting the lighting angles and intensities on set. Additionally, they troubleshoot electrical issues, ensure safety around the lighting equipment, and collaborate with other departments to create the desired lighting effects. A Set Lighting Tech often works under the guidance of a Gaffer and Best Boy Electrician to help achieve the director's vision for each scene.

Do you need to go to college to be a Set Lighting Tech?

While a college degree is not a mandatory requirement to become a Set Lighting Technician, having an education in film production or electrical engineering can be beneficial. Many Set Lighting Techs start their careers through hands-on experience, internships, or by attending trade schools that offer specialized courses in lighting and electrical work related to film. The most significant prerequisites are practical knowledge of electrical systems, on-set protocols, and experience with lighting equipment.

What skills do you need to be a Set Lighting Tech?

Essential skills for a Set Lighting Tech include a strong understanding of electrical principles, familiarity with various types of lighting instruments, and the ability to work collaboratively in a high-pressure environment. They should have problem-solving skills, physical stamina, and attention to detail. Communication and adaptability are also important, as is the ability to follow instructions and safety protocols precisely. Technical skills in operating lighting boards and programming lighting consoles are increasingly in demand with the advent of sophisticated digital lighting systems.

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