Sunday, May 1, 2011

First AD: The General on Set

According to wiki

In the realm of film, the duties of an AD include setting the shooting schedule, tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking the arrival of cast and crew, maintaining order on the set, rehearsing cast, and directing extras. Extended responsibilities may include taking care of health and safety of the crew.


The First Assistant Director (First or 1st AD) has overall AD responsibilities and supervises the Second AD. The "first" is directly responsible to the producer and "runs" the floor or set. The 1st AD and the unit production manager are two of the highest "below the line" technical roles in filmmaking (as opposed to creative or "above the line" roles) and so, in this strict sense, the role of 1AD is non-creative.

I can't say enough about this role on set.  A good assistant director keeps you on time and on budget.  Even if you are at low level of production, getting a good AD will save you the hassle of being disorganized on set and will allow the director to focus just on the creative aspect.  The skills needed to be a good AD are varied. Organization, experience, communication, psychological tools for the warfare that is a bustling set.  It may state they are non creative but when you have a location fall through, a grip truck gets a flat, an actor needs more candy in their trailer, and your director wants a helicopter for the shot all at the same time, you have to be pretty creative in solving all the problems stacked on each other.

Here is a great blog about ADing. 

5 comments:

K May 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM  

good read, i liked it :)

The Radical Chemist May 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM  

I've got a couple of college buddies trying to get their foot in the door in the film industry... I'll pass this on to them, it could change a few of their views.

Marquall May 1, 2011 at 12:54 PM  

wow looks tough!

Lunarchy May 1, 2011 at 1:57 PM  

Yeah really seems like a tough line of work.

Blogging Skater May 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM  

nice post, good job

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