Film directors always have their plates full. In between coordinating with the other staff and monitoring artist performance, they have to put in creative ideas to improve the film they are shooting. They do not need to do this alone as they get the help of an assistant director.
An assistant director is considered as the right hand of the director. They play a vital role in making sure that the director can focus in just filming the movie rather than be distracted by other factors. Assistant directors handle coordination with different staff and make sure that filming process goes smoothly.
Helps the director plot shooting schedule. Since filming is not in chronological order, creating shooting schedules is one of the most essential parts of the movie making process.
Awareness of different factors should be considered such as the availability of actors and location as well as budget limitations.
Makes sure that the filming moves constantly without any hiccups and monitors spending to ensure that everything stays within the allotted budget.
Coordinates with props men, wardrobe and other key personnel within production to identify the needs and other necessities to avoid delays if there is an item needed from a specific department.
Holds meetings to discuss several safety management procedures that deals with the safety of everyone involved. Different states have varying laws regarding safety standards and these needs to be clarified to avoid possible violations. Following state guidelines regarding child actors is also a must. All the needs of the child actor should be provided within the set including the need for education.
The environment can be very dynamic and this is where excellent decision making skills come in handy. There will be times that a scene may not be possible to shoot for various reasons like a sick actor or bad weather, improvisation is required to find out if another scene can be shot at the same location.
Typically moves around a lot due to location shooting. Possibly have to survey and look for locations where it is possible to shoot.
Constantly communicates with all of the staff and needs to be very good with talking to people.
May have to work longer hours depending on the need of the scene and other tasks that needs to be accomplished within the scheduled shoot.
Typically a high school graduate can get a job as an assistant director. Those who have graduated in courses that are related to communications will definitely have an advantage as well.
An assistant director can start out as a runner or utility man. Knowledge can be gained through proper observation of the set. Working with experienced professionals can benefit the aspiring assistant director. This can lead to better opportunities from within like getting a first assistant director position.
One must be very dedicated to break into this business. There is a lot of man hours that you need to put in before you can move up the ladder. Dealing with other people may be stressful but the rewards that can be gained through the experience is definitely worth it.
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