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"LIGHTS!"... and THEN "Camera! Action!"

You've heard that cliché phrase people use when they talk about moviemaking—"Lights! Camera! Action!"—but how much thought have you really given to that first word: "Lights"? Lighting can make or break a scene on a set. Lights set the tone and mood—a scene with identical writing, performance, direction, and shots can be interpreted in vastly different ways, depending on lighting. With carefully arranged and calculated lighting diagraming, all other aspects of a scene can be dramatically are augmented to better hit the emotional beats a cinematic story travels through. It is imperative you have a talented team of electrical technicians with a skilled and creative gaffer leading the charge. The gaffer on a film crew is the designer and executor of a movie's lighting, often bringing in additional equipment that a location did not have naturally and having a creative mind for manipulating the existing lights (practical lighting sources) on location. The gaffer is typically assisted by a team of assistants known as grips. Grips are the people in charge of setting up equipment and being the gaffer's extra pairs of eyes and hands on all things involving light and darkness of a set.

Team Night Voices knew lighting would be especially paramount to making Dadley Productions' psychological thriller , and Director Bradley Hawkins knew just who to hire as Gaffer. After having great success designing as Gaffer on Calf Rope, the previous Dadley Productions film, George Winchell was the first and only call Hawkins had to make.

Below are behind-the-scenes shots of George working as Gaffer on Calf Rope and a few of his lighting designs:

George Winchell is a freelance Gaffer located in central PA working on both commercial and narrative projects. His clients have included local production companies and many out of town producers looking to supplement their crews. His most recent projects have included commercials for In The Wee Hours and Ruckus Media and long form video for Ascention Media, Silbersalz Films, and Disciple Media. Narrative film projects in addition to Night Voices include There You Found Me by Gravitywell Films, The Veil by Due North Pictures, Exuvia by Scott Burkhardt, and My Funny Valentine by Waterhead Films.

After a quick conversation over lunch about the direction and budget for Night Voices, George Winchell joined the production team on the film as Gaffer and encouraged the producers to hire Andrew Adams as a grip. Winchell and Adams had already built a great working relationship, having collaborated on a few other film productions in Central Pennsylvania.

Andrew Adams is a freelance grip and Camera Production Assistant based out of Sinking Spring, PA. He specializes in the number of different types of media from sports reels to commercials and film. Adams graduated from Kutztown University in December of 2020 with a bachelor's degree in Cinema, Television and Media. In between film projects, Andrew works as a crew coordinator for CruitCast Inc. who specialize in filming high school sports like lacrosse and field hockey.

Below, you will see a gallery of George and Andrew hard at work setting specific moods in a selection of scenes from the psychological thriller through the use and manipulation of light and shadow. When you watch your next TV show or movie—including Night Voices—pay special attention to the way scenes are lit. You might learn more about the film's DNA than you thought was possible! Night Voices is expected to enter the film festival circuit in spring of 2023.


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