Set Life Experience

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

After being in ATL for 12 weeks I finally got to be on set for, not one but, two productions back to back. One short film and one music video. On both sets I played different roles within the production team. The short film came first. Titled, "Twin Flame" I was assigned to originally be the camera assistant. However the DP (Colbie The Great) was ON IT. So I took the roll of a slate announcer?...the person with the clap board who calls out the scene and take. Additionally I took some behind the scenes pics. Check out some below, see more here.

The music video I got to be a production assistant on was drastically different. There were a lot more than just six people on set and one location. Instead we started at an architectural artist's house from 11am till about 5:00/6:00pm. The second location was at a production studio, and this didn't end until about 2:30am. In between all that time I was a runner, which is tedious work that no one honestly wants to do but it has to be done. I had to use my car roughly 10x to go out and buy things for the video and / or crew to use. The only thing that kept me going was the experience and knowing I was getting the opportunity to work with an artist I admired (Deante' Hitchcock). Check out some sharp shots I caught from set day here. Below are some quick tips and brief summary of this experience. Two sets down, a lifetime left to go.


Some "On Set" Terminology

  • Apple box: Hollow crate like boxes, sturdy enough to lay things on / stand on.

  • Martini: The final shot before the recording is done.

  • Playback: That’s yelled to cue the music.

  • Wish Shot: Beautiful shot you wish to do but only if time allows. Extra scene for beauty.

  • Points: Heads up, something sharp or with edges is being lifted / moved.


What I Learned - Summary

  • Bring a camera to set - Gives you access to everything.

  • Stay calm - There's a lot going on, easy to get lost / frustrated.

  • Ask questions - You're there to learn.

  • Learn names - Key to making connections and referring later for future work.

  • PA Work Isn't Fun - It's what you make it but you're here to learn and gain exposure.

  • AD’s (Assistant Directors) - are essential to lessen the load off a single director.

  • Terms - learn these as quickly as you can.

  • Make the best out of this time, network with people who do what you want to do.

  • Find out what’s going on from who ever hired you or watch director.

  • Be nice to everyone and introduce yourself.

  • Bored...help someone.

  • Don’t quit...as much as you want to.

  • Music video production and short films differ.

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