Tech Talk: Ewan Cassidy

28 February, 2020

Tech Talks are a limited series of events hosted by the Industry Engagement Team, focusing on practical elements of filmmaking in an informal, masterclass setting.

On Tuesday 25th February, Screen and Film School welcomed Ewan Cassidy to our London Road site for the second instalment of our Tech Talk series. Ewan has over a decade of experience as a gaffer- a highly specialised and sought-after role- working on short films, documentaries, TV movies and feature films, including:

  • Moon
  • 20,000 Days on Earth
  • Paddington 1 & 2
  • Still Open All Hours
  • Friday Night Dinner
  • Inside No. 9
  • Sick Note
  • An Evening with Harry Enfield & Paul Whitehouse

Ewan came to speak to our budding sparks and camera operators on the role of the gaffer and how that ties into the work of the DOP. He gave insight on the effect lighting can have on the mood and tone of a film by looking at iconic stills of films from the last 50+ years, and tips on how to re-create that lighting for student productions.


Ewan gave students an in-depth demonstration on choosing the best lighting set up for the size and budget of your production. By going into detail on the type of lights he uses on set, the brands he prefers and the tips he’s picked up through trial and error, Ewan provided the group of students a fantastic opportunity to learn first-hand from a pro.

To round off the session, Ewan noted his advice for those looking to become gaffers:

  • Low-budget shoots are the best place to get experience at this level – these will require some ingenuity and are a great place to learn
  • Take on trainee roles where you can so you can make connections with qualified gaffers
  • Get familiar with the gear and the colloquialisms of the trade – do you know your egg crates from your George Bushes?


“Be the best trainee you can be! You WILL get a call back if you impress who you’re working with!”

– Ewan Cassidy

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