Owning lights

  • Jason Yip

    Director of Photography

    I'm just starting out as a DOP, having made a few short films in the past month.

    I've noticed in a lot of casting calls for DOP's that ask for someone who owns a camera (which is expected) but also lighting. Is it normal for a camera person to also own and deal with lighting on a shoot? I actually thought that's what a gaffer was for?

    It's bad enough getting the right camera equipment (camera, lenses, etc)... but also to own and transport a ton of lighting too? Seems excessive to me. Is this the norm, or are people taking the proverbial pee?

    • 11th Oct 2019
    • 426
    • 3
  • Andy Feakins

    Camera Operator

    I’d say taking the pee. Whilst some basic 3 point lighting maybe desirable for any documentary type shoots, you can’t be expected to light a film because as you say, there are other depts for that.

    • 4th Oct 2019
    • 1
  • Cynon Lewis


    I have seen a lot of these sort of advertisements. It is very unfair. The rental cost of lights, even a basic set, are way too much. You could ask around and arrange a loan system between a group of Lighting Directors GOP’s. I have a large number of lights that are getting dusty with no use. There must be lights all over the place that are unused. Especially non led’s.

    • 11th Oct 2019
    • 2