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The Intersection of Theater and Production Lighting


The intersection of theater and production lighting
Lighting Diagram by Tyler Kaschke, Denver Colorado Gaffer

Working with new people is so refreshing sometimes.


It’s easy to get in a groove with your frequent collaborators. You spend so much time together that you develop shorthand communication and anticipate each others needs. That leads to a really efficiently run set and a lot of inside jokes.


Being on set with fresh faces excites me. Not only am I trying extra hard to make a good first impression, but I love to watch new people work their craft and learn from them.


That was the case with this project when I found out lighting programmer and DMX wizard @samksaliba was on board. He brought a totally new perspective from his background in live events and stage lighting and introduced me to new tools that have shaped my approach for future jobs. Neat!


I liken the experience to a video game with an unexplored map. It’s grayed out and you don’t know what you don’t know or what’s beyond the borders. Once you explore something new, you can never unlearn it. I freakin love that feeling.


I’m fascinated by the intersection of stage and film lighting. The effects you can achieve with moving stage lights on a film set are incredible.


My favorite tools we used were the @martinilighting MAC Viper Performance lights. DMX controlled full color moving units with rotating gobos, shutters, and spot flood control. For some scenes we just blasted them high into the back wall for a far side bounced key. For others we had moving patterns projected onto the scene. Just a quick clack clack on the keyboard and we had a totally new look.


We set some truss across the room and hucked up an 8x8 soft box with crank stands. Inside were two LiteMat Spectrum 4s and one Vortex 8 (unconventional but it’s what we had, ok) Two MAC Vipers on either side of the box. A Source 4 Lustr 2 leko gave us the nice spotlight effect, and a few Astera Titan tubes were on the floor behind the set for a little up light and separation. Lots of haze, too. Courtesy of the DF50 💨


Director @wiley.ks

Producer @lilahlou_

DP/ T-Rex fanboy @thefakedavidchang

Set builder @handsometoaster

Programmer @samksaliba

Swing Aaron Fatora



Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with G&E and grip truck and sprinter van rentals based in Boulder, Colorado and serving Denver, Golden, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.


For more information about lighting tips and shooting commercials in Colorado, follow me on Instagram @colorado_gaffer 

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