Not all gaffa tape is created equal. Like most adhesive products, there is a spectrum of quality to choose from. Stop-Painting offers premium gaffa tape with our Beveled Edge Gaffer Tape product line.
Why Gaffer Tape?
Gaffer tape is typically used in the film and television industry, for photography shoots, in theater productions, as well as industrial staging projects. The tape is typically heavy-duty with an industrial strength adhesive, able to withstand heavy foot traffic and light equipment traffic. The tape can easily be pulled up and moved around as the needs for where it’s placed are frequently changing.
Duct tape typically doesn’t work the best because of the sticky residue it leaves on the floor and its propensity to be easily scraped up by camera equipment or frequent foot scuffing.
There’s good Gaffer Tape and Better Gaffer Tape
Albert Hoff is a veteran member of television and movie film crews in New York, NY and Wilmington, NC for over thirty years. Having started out as a gaffer, Hoff has since served as a production assistant, production coordinator and production manager.
“Adhesion is the most important thing about gaffa tape,” said Hoff. “It’s not the time to scrimp on cheap tape when you’re marking a set. One, you don’t want the tape to come up on accident and break up a scene because the actor has a piece of tape sticking to his shoe and two, you don’t want a gob of sticky adhesive left on the floor after you’ve moved the tape.”
Hoff really likes the idea of custom ordering gaffa tape to match a background or set. “It wouldn’t necessarily be helpful if you’re trying to mark a spot for an actor to see, but we’re always trying to repair set pieces with duct tape and painting it to not be noticeable, so the camouflage tape would be helpful in that situation,” Hoff said.
Maureen Daly, Director for the Fuquay-Varina Arts Center in North Carolina says gaffa tape has always been a must-have on sets since she began working on stage productions 25 years ago. Drawing on her extensive experience producing community and academic theater, she says there are your typical uses for gaffer tape, and then there are your “extra” uses for it.
”There were always the typical uses for gaff – masking and taming unruly cables, bundling of cables and lines, masking edges of sets, cables or “magical” elements from audience view and reducing trip hazards backstage,” said Daley. “Colored gaffer tape is indispensable for marking positions for furniture and set pieces, actor’s marks, or sight lines, especially when a production involved youngsters [backstage] who needed a visual sign of how close to the stage they could stand without being seen.” The industry veteran states that over her many years behind the scenes and on stage, she’s learned the true value of having gaffa tape around. “It is a great fix for just-about-anything broken,” she said.
“From a sword blade that came out of their handles to reinforcing plastic guns (and covering the orange tips) to keeping pictures in frames to using it (crumpled up and partially stuck on itself) to create texture on a witch’s staff. I’ve used it when making props, when replacing pieces and parts of props (even creating a hinge for a box when the original ripped out, and a spine for a large, oversized book). We even used it in the costume shop — it was a quick and easy way to hold heavyweight pieces together before final stitching and on more than one occasion it held a shoe and its wayward heel together,” says Daly.
Daly likes the idea of being able to print messages on the tape and said it would help those without stage experience that a more seasoned cast and stage crew would have. “This would be good for productions with rotating crew members and young cast members,” Daly said.
Daly agrees and says camouflage tape for stage floors would be especially helpful in theaters with stadium seating when the floor is an integral part of the set. “We recently had this come up. The production of the floor was completed near the end of the tech time, days prior to opening, to save the scuffing and wearing of the finish. Color match tape, though, could be used, and we wouldn’t have to wait so long into production and do a rush job on the floor,” Daly said.
Stop-Painting Gaffer Tape
Stop-Painting offers various of gaffa tape for a multitude of applications. All of our tapes offer durability and adhesive quality that our competitors can’t offer. Our premium product, Beveled Edge Gaffer tape, offers a patented beveled edge to make it resistant to equipment scraping. At 32 ml, this tape is thicker than any tape a competitor offers and is perfect for areas where floor markings will need to stay consistent for a longer period of time. The tape has an overhanging liner that makes it easy to unroll, peel and apply. Best of all, our beveled edge gaffa tape peels off the floor without leaving residue.
Our 20 ml Reinforced Gaffer Tape is not as thick as our beveled edge tape, but is a woven tape featuring the same overhanging liner that makes it easy to apply. While our 20 ml Reinforced Gaffa tape won’t last as long as our Beveled Edge Gaffa Tape, it is the most durable woven rubber tape you’ll find. We offer both gaffer tapes in a variety of sizes and colors, offering customization options with repeating messages or images.
Custom Choices: Repeating messages
Add a repeating message: Don’t just expect employees or actors to know what the tape is there for, tell them. Add a repeating message to make your instructions clear. “STAND HERE” “WATCH YOUR STEP” ”LEAVE STAGE HERE” “FLY HERE” or “CABLES HERE.” Available in Beveled Edge Gaffer Tape and Reinforced Gaffer Tape.
Custom Choices: Camouflage
Add a camouflage property to your tape to make sure it doesn’t stand out on stage. We can custom design any tape to match or contrast to a stage floor. Take a photo of the floor and we can make sure the marking tape matches for a seamless look. This is available for Beveled Edge Gaffer tape or 20ml Reinforced Gaffer tape.