OK... so maybe I am pushing it to far here, but, this is what this forum is for, right? Research and discuss all the little obsessive details...
So. I want to share with you the field research I made last week on Gaffer's tape. Just to clear some stuff here, in the film industry, a gaffer is an electrician. The electricians staff use all type of tapes to do their job. Fixing, connecting and positioning lights, filters, cables, and the like.
Also, in film production, the art, audio and video departments use all kind of tapes to do their jobs.
But the most famous and commonly available tape on set is Gaffer's tape.
Other tapes used on set are masking tape, electricians tape and scotch tape. All in different wides and colors. But for tape that are going to be presented to camera for one or another reason, a very important thing is that it does not reflects light. So plastic tapes are a no go for camera appearance.
So, duct tape, the plastic one most commonly seen in silver color, is not used on film production. Cause, plastic, specially silver, reflects light a lot and can not be "Erased" that easy.
As I said before, duct tape is also not used cause it is too sticky and damages equipment, gels, filters, etc. And it is also difficult to handle in a hurry, specially when wearing gloves.
So... here is a sample of different tapes used in production, at least, in the last shooting I had. I guess not much has changed since 1976.
From left to right:
-Duct tape (not used on filmaking)
-Black Gaffe's tape. Textile but paper like behavior (also available in blue, green, gray and white)
-Black masking tape. Paper
-Black electricians tape. Plastic (not use for in camera appearance)
-White electricians tape. Plastic (not use for in camera appearance)
-White masking tape. Paper
-Blues masking tape. Paper (used mostly by art department, not by gaffers)
There are many other tapes in green, blue, pink, orange and other bright colors used by the camera and video crews to set marks and spot rendering and animating cues. I did not got those, cause it never appears on ANH.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Also, check the different textures from one tape to another. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.][You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
And finally, the sticking capacity is different from tape to tape. Being the less sticky electricians tape, then blue masking tape, then white and black masking tape, then gaffers tape and the most sticky without a doubt is duct tape.
Also, electricians tape and duct tape leave a lot of residue, specially in hot conditions and film sets are HOT. Blue masking tape and gaffer's tape, leave the less... white and black masking tape are ok, leaving few to none residue.
Finally, gaffer's tape is the most expensive tape, electricians tape is the cheapest and duct tape is in the middle.
Oh, and one more thing. Gaffer's tape can be used a few times before it looses stickiness. And it does not tear or loose shape when removing it from surfaces or whatever. Masking tape and electricians tape are not the best to use and re use due to tearing or losing stickiness. Maybe blue masking tape can be re used a few times, but not as much or a good as gaffer's.
My idea is try and find out what king of tape was used to keep armors in place. My guess is black gaffer, and either white masking tape or white gaffer. Thinking more about white gaffer since it is probably more commonly available in a film set.
What do you guys think?