There are plenty of different tape types on set.
Know which one to grab when someone says “grab me the gaff!”
and how tape is being used in each department.
Gaffers Tape – The most commonly used tape on set. You’ll definitely find this tape in the camera department as well as the lighting and grip department. Gaffers tape is used to label equipment or make focus marks. It can also be found in art department to mask something on a wall, hide, or tape something to the set.
Painters Tape – Painters tape is used on walls, especially when entering a location that is someone’s private residency, an establishment or business that is used otherwise. Using painters tape protects the walls from paint scuffing off.
Topstick – Top stick is used in wardrobe department and sound department. It can be safely placed on skin. This is used to attach a lavalier to a guest speaker, spokesperson, and/or an actor. You’ll find this type of tape in the medical section at most grocery stores.
Electric Tape (Or insulating tape) – Used to insulate electrical wires, not too commonly used on set but definitely useful to have just in case you need to temporarily fix some difficult wiring.
Duct Tape – You’ll see this mostly in art department, and in the production department. Duct tape is pretty universal and can be used in most cases. This tape is gold to the production office. You’ll see it used to hang emergency exits signs around set and printed schedules for the day.