Is “set-life” for you? How to master being an asset on set.

Started on August 3, 2021

Walking onto a film set for the first time can be intimidating and overwhelming. Wires, lights, cameras. People everywhere. Places you should be. Places you shouldn’t. Times you need to be quiet, times you need to speak up. The film set is a place where everyone needs to know what they’re doing and where they’re going, and it’s a place where everyone will expect the same of you. Yet, if you’ve never worked on a set like this before, or it’s your first time with this crew, that can be a tall order.

Whether you’re a PA on your first film, the director helming the production yourself, or anything in between, having a firm understanding of the expected etiquette on set—or “setiquette”—is crucial and lends itself to how much trust others will put on you. A film set might look like chaos from the outside, but it is often just the opposite—a well-oiled machine where everyone has a role and everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing. If you are unsure of your own role on set, you can very well stick out like a sore thumb and contribute to slowdowns and frustrations. On the other hand, if you are confident, competent, and helpful on set, people will notice, which will lead to new opportunities and a team who will want to work with you time and time again. This is why it’s so important to walk onto your first set with a good idea of how everything works.

What You’ll Learn:

    • The Film Set: A Snapshot
      • A rundown of the different departments
      • The normal hierarchy on set-who reports to whom?
    • A Breakdown of Everyone on Set and Their Relationship to the Director. 
      • Art department
      • Production team
      • Directing team
      • Wardrobe
      • Hair and Makeup
      • Writer
      • Craft Services
    • The Assistant Director: The Beating Heart of the Set
    • What Does a Day on Set Generally Look Like?
      • When people arrive and leave
      • Schedule breakdown—lunch, breaks, etc.
      • General workflow including
        • Blocking
        • Lighting
        • Rehearsals
        • Shooting
    • Blocking Rehearsals
      • When they’re done
      • Why they’re done
      • What you should and shouldn’t do during rehearsals
    • The Art of Slating
      • Why it’s done
      • What do all those numbers and letters mean?
    • How to Read and Understand a Call Sheet and Shooting Schedule.
    • Finding Success on Your First Set
      • Having the right attitude
      • Tips to excel on set so you’re called back again
    • Finding Success on Set as a Director
      • The importance of delegating
      • Serving as a leader and motivator
      • Empowering others
      • Staying on schedule
    • 5 Common Mistakes To Avoid Making On Set
    • How to Break In and Get Experience on Set
      • Resources to find opportunities
      • Introductory on-set positions and what they do
    • Q&A with TEACHER
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