You’re invited to set…

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Not too unfamiliar words. I’m sure we are all familiar with the PA standing outside of the camera truck waiting to escort you to set. Sometimes you arrive, and production is truly ready for you. Other times you’ve simply been brought on set way too early by an overzealous AD. And if there’s no work to be done, I don’t want to be there. This is not out of laziness. Just the contrary. There are a couple reasons I don’t want to be present.

The first reason is simple. I don’t like to be seen standing around. As a specialty guy, we get paid handsomely for our services. The last thing I want is a producer seeing me standing there doing nothing. Even worse, talking. Never engage in small talk on set.

But the second reason is that I can be doing other more productive things on the truck. This might include servicing equipment, organizing equipment, or my favorite… finding ways to do things faster & better! I remember one show, about 3 or 4 years ago, where I was B-Camera/Steadicam. In fact, there was very little B-Camera. So if I was invited to set, it was because there was a Steadicam shot. That was it. So I spent a lot of time on the truck. This time was spent finding as many efficiencies as possible for setting the rig up fast. I think we had it down to 5 minutes between me and the 2nd assistant. It was sweet. Everything was dialed in. So use your time wisely, and when you don’t have to stand around on set… DON’T. Find something better to do with your time. It will make you a better operator!

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