June 3, 2017 at 5:03AM


How can I start my career as an Assistant director for a production?

as I'm an Indian and worked with both short films and theater plays and moreover in my belief joining as an assistant director is something that you are ready to hard work for almost the whole day with passion and vision

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Hello. I'm assuming you live in India, but in general, you would need to start by finding work as a Set Production Assistant and then, over time, work your way up to becoming an AD.

In the US there is a very specific track to do this and there are really only four ways for it to happen:

1. End up on a non-union show working as an AD that turns union (this depends completely on luck and being on a generally bad show in which the hours are brutal, the crew is miserable, and someone calls in the unions to negotiate on their behalf).

2. Work as a P.A. and collect your "days" (Call Sheets with your name on it, Crew Lists with your name on it, and pay stubs). You collect all of that paperwork at the end of collecting proven days of work and, for example, if you're in California, you submit to the NY qualifications list. Inevitably they'll tell you you need a few more days because "these days don't actually count" (for one reason or another). Get your other days and resubmit. If you get in, you can work as a DGA AD... (but not in your own local). Then you have to go out of town which, in the current state of the industry is easier than it used to be. You get an additional 150 or so out of town days and then you can work anywhere.

3. Work as a non-union or commercial AD for a certain number of proven days (I don't recall the number) and then submit to join the guild.

and finally...

4. Look into the Directors Guild of America Trainee program. This is where, if you make it into the program, you are assigned to various film and tv shows as a trainee under the union AD's. When you complete the program, hopefully you've made some solid connections with AD's who will hire you again, and you will find work. Of note: As you are ethnic, this program may work for you as it's generally a good route for people of non-white ethnicity and females. https://www.dga.org/Resources/Training-Program.aspx

Good luck!

August 16, 2017 at 8:34AM

Shaun Obanion

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