Why are lighting technicians so important? What are some of their responsibilities on a film set?
Lighting technicians, otherwise known as lighting operators or electricians can often be known as "sparks" in the industry.
Much like their title, their responsibilities can vary significantly from production to production, but will still have a mammoth task ahead of them at the start of each shoot. For example, on a smaller production, the lighting technicians may set up lighting equipment before the shoot starts. However, on large productions, dedicated rigging technicians who specialize in this process may be hired to do the rigging instead. Overall, their role consists of keeping equipment clean and in an effective working order.
Lighting technicians operate under the gaffer and best boy who coordinate their daily work.
Some other specific jobs lighting technicians may be responsible for include lighting storemen and light positioning. As a lighting storeman, technicians must work in the lighting store. The lighting store is a small shop usually set up on the corner of a set where they keep track of all lighting equipment.
When lighting technicians work on light positioning, they will usually work with the camera operator to plan positions for lighting before or during takes.