Thursday, July 9, 2015

Best Advice I Received While in Film School: Set Etiquette 101

I recently wrote the following simple set etiquette guide for a project I'm working on. Many people on this particular project are first-timers. Sets are intimidating places, even for seasoned vets. But I found that the following advice works fairly well for a set, regardless of the size.
  • Arrive on time! Once the production schedule is made, you will be given a calltime. The time you are given is the latest you should arrive on set. If you are running late, you have to alert the AD.
  • Report all issues and concerns to the AD. Safety issues should be reported immediately to the AD.
  • It is considered a major faux pas to direct issues to the director or producer. Ideally, the director will talk to certain people one-on-one. Talk to the AD instead.
  • Do not bring unauthorized people or animals to the set. This is a safety precaution.
  • Do not take photos of the set without permission from the AD or producers.
  • Only smoke and eat in authorized areas.
  • Drink water. Drink water. Drink water.
  • Tell the AD when you are leaving set to go to the bathroom or handle personal business.
  • Film sets are known to be “casual workplaces.” Language and jokes that may be inappropriate in routine office settings may be heard on sets. If you find some language offensive, alert the AD. We want to make set comfortable for everyone.
  • Listen and obey all of the AD’s commands. Commands may include “Quiet, please.”
  • Do not pick up or handle any equipment, unless authorized to do so.
  • Do not touch the camera.
  • Do not use a cell phone while on set. The vibration setting on a phone may disrupt sound equipment. Turn phones on silent or off.
  • Keep up with your trash/water bottle. You will be given a sharpie to write your name on your water.
  • Do not block the “video village.” This is usually a monitor set up for the director, the camera crew, and the script supervisor. If not present on-set, do not block the director’s view.
  • Crew members should dress in dark colors to avoid bounced light.
  • Closed-toed shoes only!
What do you think? Happy Filmmaking.

1 comment:

Carole Albyn said...

I like what was suggested and would like to add a few bits of advice to it:

If you are talent, bring a book to read or quiet activity to do while you're waiting for your scene.

Be flexible on any shoot, but esp. on indie shoots. Things take time, so don't schedule dinner with the folks, because it probably ain't gonna happen.

if you can't do a shoot don't say yes, then flake out day of.

If you have special food needs, be sure and bring what you need with you, or arrange it well in advance.