The Gaff [1985, UK, 16mm, 25min]

The Gaff is the third and last of the trilogy of films I made about British fairgrounds in the 1980's.

Making the Wall of Death and Boxing Booth I couldn’t help but be aware that the fairgrounds were not so much an industry, but a world, a domain. The last film I wanted to make in this trilogy would look a little deeper at this strange kingdom of Lords and vassels, haves and have nots, day and night. The Showmen: owners of the attractions, proud independent men and women beholden to no one. The workers: mostly thin wiry men drawn from the sort of underclass that characterises post capitalist society.

The Gaff is the name given to the Fairground by the people who work its rides and attractions. The Gaff looks at the life of the men who run the fairgrounds; contrasting the Showmen who own the attractions with their employees, the gaff lads who keep the machines going.