5 Skills You Should Learn If You Want to Be a Major Filmmaking Asset

What are some important skills to have that will make you more of an asset as a film producer, director, camera operator, or assistant?

There are so many skills and qualities that will no doubt make you a better filmmaker -- even just being an all around nice person does wonders. But Caleb Pike lists five specific skills that he looks for in filmmakers he hires, ones that are not only technical, like staging gear, but ones that are interpersonal. 

Caleb talks about all five in the video below:

So, it's not all about knowing your way around gear. I think we all know at least one individual who is a magician with a camera but has the social graces of a spoiled 5-year-old mid-tantrum. (If you don't, it might be you.) Furthermore, you have to care enough about the job to learn all you can about it, including how your boss likes his/her ship run. All of it counts, and the more you work on these skills, the better your chances will be at landing jobs and having a happy set life.

To learn more, check out Caleb's original post here    

Your Comment


I only got half way through this. You should NOT leave lighting cables coiled up at the base of the lamp as this man recommends - http://www.electrical-contractor.net/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/122077...

October 25, 2014 at 3:02AM

Karel Bata
Director / DP / Stereographer

The way I understand is that he only leaves the cables coiled up at the base of the lamp while they are not plugged in. He only wants to make every lamp ready to grab (with stand, sand bag and extension) so he can take any lamp he needs in the scene and plug it in there of course with the cables not coiled up any more.

October 25, 2014 at 8:08AM

Petr Eremin
Director, Editor | Cameraman, Colorist

He's talking about helping stage all the gear beforehand.

October 25, 2014 at 8:11AM


Now I'm still pretty new at this, but I've also been taught to leave one or two coils at either end of your run. This means that if someone trips on part of your cable that happens to be ungaffed (or say this is pre-gaff or maybe you aren't running gaff for some reason), the thought is that the cable will take the strain and hopefully not take down your light. Running a clean, straight, tight cable means ideally having excess run, which also means coils if you want to be neat about it. I don't think the idea is to tightly coil cable like the link you posted mentioned.

October 26, 2014 at 6:11AM

Aidan Gray
Director of Photography Assistant Camera | Gaffer

The coil lives with the unit because the unit may have to move but the power supply will not.

A 20A cable can be coiled just fine without problems. Larger cable should be figure-eighted. Either can be left near the base of the light stand without problem (heat goes up). The issue in your picture looks like the result of pulling more load than the cable is rated for, although coiling an overloaded cable will only make heat dissipation worse.

October 28, 2014 at 7:02AM

Dave Kreutzer
Film Instructor

Still one thing to mention: Don't be too sneaky. I don't hire a ninja. If the set grows you have to have a certain kind of authority on set. I was never a very quiet Assistant my first DP told me that sometimes I have to yell so that he does not need to. Kind of like the 1AC has to be.

October 25, 2014 at 8:06AM, Edited October 25, 8:06AM

Denis Kunz
Director of Photography

I made a cute note sheet to this!!!!!!! Cairo canklez!

November 1, 2014 at 1:30PM

Cam Glass
Film Student