Film School: Tips Before Your First Time on a Film Set

Danny Gevirtz | 20 Tips Before You Step onto a Film Set! Danny Gevirtz | 20 Tips Before You Step onto a Film Set!

Where a ‘Gary Coleman’ isn’t a person, and ‘Neg’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

I wish someone had given me the heads-up on even half of these things before my first (disastrous) time on a film set. Danny Gevirtz‘s show-and-tell (he doesn’t just describe, he demonstrates) is such a valuable primer on professional production protocol:

Two tips I’d add:

  • Stay out of Eyelines – not just actors, but anyone you’re not personally in communication with. As Danny mentions in his lens handover tip, eye contact serves a particular function on a film set
  • Make Friends with Unit Production Manager – if it’s your first time on a film set, chances are you’re a production assistant or “runner” (someone who mainly fetches coffee for the key crew). So you’re part of the “Unit” – and the boss of the Unit is not only your point of contact for your specific jobs on the shoot, but is also your best way of sussing the atmosphere of the shoot – and how you can best fit into things, to be a help and not a hassle, which will help get you more work in future.

Further Viewing

“Unit? Gaffer? Grip? Wha…?” Need a little further demystifying? Vimeo Video School‘s short, handy explainer will tell you Who’s Who on a Movie Crew:

… and honestly, so will this (via Aimee La Joie / No Film School):