There are two sides to a camera and the world mostly sees and champions those in front. But for us crew working behind the lens, we know of many craftspeople who should be heralded as well. One of them who has furthered our biz profoundly has recently passed away, Ross Lowell, founder of Lowell Lights and the man who created our beloved gaffers tape.
Ross, an award-winning director, cinematographer and inventor passed away this past January at the age of 92. Though we talk today about LED lights transforming our business, for decades his lightweight and portable Lowel Light system was a godsend from low to high budget productions. They were easy to tuck away into hidden areas of the shot when needed with a standard 750-watt halogen bulb. Every lighting truck had a set and in 1979 he won a Technical Academy Award for their invention.
But we also herald Ross for another major invention. He needed a strong enough tape to hold his lightweight units to a surface that could also handle the intense heat. Duct tape was strong but melted. So in 1959 he combined its adhesive with a fabric backing and gaffers tape was born. No set today would be caught without it.
A salute to a man who transformed our industry