Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is it like to be on a set?

In the beginning it can be VERY confusing. Most of the staff and crew on a set are so professional and so competent that you may feel like the new kid at High school in the middle of the school year.

There is always a person who is appointed to show you where to go and what to do (often this is a PA – Production Assistant). If you listen carefully to the instructions of that person and really keep your eyes and ears open you won’t end up totally confused by day’s end.

A TV or movie set is very face paced (though many actors think it is slow because they don’t see or know all that is going on behind the cameras) in that there are a lot of moving parts to filming anything, from cameras, to microphones, to bodies. So, because there is so much going on it is best to stay on the sidelines until you really know the ropes on the set - believe me there is nothing more annoying than someone accidently bumping a mic or walking into a shot.

It may be a good practical exercise to be an extra (background) on a set once or twice if for no other reason than to know what is going on and how things work.

All sets will have someone in charge (the Director) and then people under him/her that ensure people are where they need to be - all the way from the Assistant Director (that’s the Directors right hand) to the PA and every position in between.

A union set is similar to a chess game in that all the parts have specific tasks, they only do what their exact job dictates and all parts are essential to make up the whole.

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