Paper tape is a type of weak adhesive tape mainly used to mark actors, place focus marks, make dolly marks and is also used in situations where you don’t want a surface to be ruined from the tape’s adhesive. It is also used in painting, color coding, mounting and packaging. Paper tape, overall, is more lightweight and easier to carry around on a strap or leash.
On both film and digital shoots, paper tape is used in a variety of colors and widths. A good base of tape variety is five colors. You may need more on certain shoots, but you can always use alternate methods to differentiate the marks.
Paper tape is most commonly available in 1/2″ and 1″ sizes, though there is an all-purpose 2″ black paper tape that is useful. Using 1/2″ or 1″ tape is dependent on the market you work in and the other camera assistants on the shoot. 1/2″ tape is generally cheaper, although 1″ tape us useful because of the extra visibility it affords.
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