There are many out there shooting on DSLRs for the first time and learning the ropes as a one-man/woman band. But if you're interested in filmmaking as a career, you're going to be working with a crew on a set at some point in your life. Many of the professionals that read this site can probably remember how little they knew the first time they stepped on a real set, but if you're still in school or just learning about filmmaking, here are 7 rookie mistakes to avoid your first time on set.
Evan Luzi, who runs the Black and Blue, put this list together from his personal experience on set:
- Thinking You Should be Directing
- Touching Gear Without Permission
- Avoiding the Chain of Command
- Assuming Your Boss is Your Friend
- Arriving to Set Late
- Not Introducing Yourself to Anyone
- Thinking You Know Everything Already
I think number 7 is the most interesting -- because even though you can technically know a lot, being on set with a real crew is like being on a different planet if you've only been working by yourself or on unpaid projects. Here's what Evan had to say about number 7:
There’s no way you walk onto a film set on day one knowing everything — and all the crew know it because they’ve lived through their own bouts of naivete. So even if you know a lot, one of the dumbest things you can do is to pretend you have the same level of knowledge as the woman who spent 20 years doing what you’re doing now. Unfortunately this means that you may have to put up with some patronizing, some teasing, or even sit through some lessons you actually do know.
Film school can exacerbate this feeling, because at school it's certainly possible to be the most experienced person on set. That's not going to be the case when you get to the real world on paid jobs. You're going to be working with professionals who've been doing it a lot longer, and they've paid their dues. I don't think there's anyone who isn't guilty of thinking they know more than someone else or think that they are above their job, but a simple fact of the professional world is that everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone has to pay their dues. This is a life-long career (if you choose to take it that far), and you're not going to be successful right away (unless you're lucky). It takes hard work and years of dedication if you want to make it at a higher level in this business.
Head on over to Evan's site to read the rest of his post, as it's a great article about being humble, keeping your head down, and doing your job the right way.
[via The Black and Blue]