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Have you just got your first film or tv role and this means it will be your first time on set? Film and tv sets can be quite daunting but they don’t need to be. What are all the tv/film set jobs, the film set etiquette, tv/film set lighting equipment or the set lingo? Well don’t you worry, I will tackle all of these questions and more in this article. So read on dear creative for more set content!
Whether you are on tv/film set in London or in LA – anywhere really, the concept will be roughly the same, it just depends if you are working at a studio or on location.
The call sheet is a daily game plan for the production and I would pay particular attention to your call time, as you should arrive about 20 minutes, maybe more before this. In short, turn up early, and give yourself plenty of time for travel. You do not want to be late to set as it creates a bad impression. If you are nearer the top of the call sheet, this will mean you have a larger role, or the lead if at the top.
A runner/production assistant will be likely to go and get coffee for the cast and crew – there may be a few runners depending on how large the set is, and they basically are general administrative assistants to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day. In short, they copy the call sheets, sides, scripts, health and safety notices and other paperwork and run around distributing it to the crew.
As an extra on a film set, or for tv – again it does depend on the scale of the production – you can network with so many people, you can see how the hierarchy works. Essentially you can learn a lot by just observing what is going on around you. There are plenty of extra casting agencies globally, so if you reach out to them, you just create a portfolio and you can start your extra journey. And the massive plus is that you get paid very well as an extra. Just imagine being an extra on the harry potter film set or on the titanic film set for instance. Larger productions are always needing supporting artists.
To get experience, you can take a university degree in film and tv / media, where you will make your own projects and then you will have use of industry contacts your course may give you. It is all about networking, once you have your first job, then people will refer you for the next one, and it just hopefully keeps going. This is why you need to be nice and easy to work with in the industry, as it makes it much easier. People will remember if you were difficult – whether you are behind or infront of the camera.
It is useful to know before you go on set, the difference between above the line and below the line roles.
Above the line are the people who have the most financial and creative influence on the project. These include; The Director, The Producer, The Executive Producer, The Principal Cast and The Casting Director.
Below the Line are those departments that are still of course very integral to the project, and are broken down into various departments, which employ a great number of people. These include; The Production Department, The AD Department, The Art Department, The Camera Department, The Electric Department, The Grip Department – they work very closely together, The Hair and Make Up Departments, The Wardrobe Department, The Sound Department, Catering, Stunts, and the VFX Department.
As you can see in terms of a tv/film set crew there are a lot of people required on set and as you can imagine time is of the essence – well time is money really. There will be teams working on anything from the tv/film set design, costumes, lighting, finances, film set furniture, food to so much more. It is truly a collaboration!
When you are on set, it will be a huge benefit for you to know the lingo, so you are not caught out. The more you are on set, these will become second nature to you.
So there you have it! I think that is what you would need to know being on set and you should be ready to start your first day now. Feel free to check out our other articles on our website to read more about the certain jobs that you will find on a set in more detail. But for now lights, camera, action!
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