Short Film Shoot - Being an Assistant Director

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During my time at University I have attempted to branch out into as many different crew job roles as possible in order to gain experience and develop a broad range of skills. As part of my course, I was required to produce and direct my own film (blog still to come), as well as crew for at least 5 of my peers. Fortunately, I was asked to help out on a number of shoots, and after a tiring two weeks I had managed to get on 8 crews. A majority of the job roles I had were sound mixing and camera assisting, however, as producing is a specific area I really want to focus on I was offered some Production Assistant jobs and Assistant Director positions too. Although I hadn't had much experience of being an Assistant Director before, but I decided to jump at these opportunities and really wanted to get stuck in and show off my organisational skills and enthusiasm for film-making.

The project I was to be AD on was a short commercial advertisement piece for a ceramics company called Flux, based in Stoke-on-Trent. Unlike other University projects the advert was for a particular client, and had to be produced to meet a strict deadline, I was brought in to ensure everything ran smoothly on the one day of shooting and to help design the set and plan the shooting schedule with the Director and DOP. I have always really enjoyed the pre-production elements of a project, the paperwork is something I find rewarding and extremely beneficial in tackling any problems during the production itself, but on reflection I feel I may have overlooked and forgotten about other parts of the process, e.g. the actors themselves. 

Working as an AD requires a lot of determination to get things done in a certain time. In addition, there is an element of the role which requires a stern and strict approach, particularly when trying to get all the crew to work well together. Any disputes on set, and there were a few on the Flux shoot, had to be dealt with quickly and quietly as to not disturb the actors and actresses on set at the time. 

It's a role I still know little about, but is one I am looking forward to researching in more detail. I believe I house some of the core skills required to make a good AD, but I'm still going to have to get more experience in the role.



About the author


I am currently a second year student at Staffordshire University studying Media (Film) Production and I am thoroughly enjoying my time there. I love the opportunity to pick up new skills and developing them whilst also strengthen old ones. I am enthusiastic about film-making and my dream is to one…

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