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Hints for Working on a Movie Set
Work on a movie set often means “hurry-up and wait”. You’re going to be asked to wait for long periods of time in between your scenes. If you don’t know what’s expected of you during these waits, you might accidentally make a serious mistake and be asked to leave.
To keep you alive and well on the set, here are some of the directions you, as Background Artists, are required to follow:
Bring ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS for your I-9 information to the set. This includes your driver’s license and social security card, or, birth certificate, or passport. You will not get paid be asked to leave if you don’t have these. Print legibly. If your paperwork cannot be read, this will slow down the process for you to get paid.
Be prepared to stay all day (about 12 hours). Once you’ve been established in a shot, you must be there in case you’re needed again. If you choose to leave, you will not be paid or rehired. Sometimes the production will end quickly and they will let you go but you must let them give you the OK.
o Arrive 15 minutes before your actual call time. You will use this time to fill out paperwork and to get where you need to be.
o Be very quiet on the set and in the holding areas. Everyone needs to hear all of the directions at all times. You surely don’t want to miss a cue.
o Do NOT approach the cast and crew with questions, for autographs, or for photos.
o Do not touch any equipment.
o Leave your valuables at home. Do not leave valuables in your car. They are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
o Be patient and pay attention.
- Put your cell phones on silent or vibrate, and do not answer it while they are shooting.
- If you make a commitment you must show up!!!!!!!!!!!!
Important Terms & Phrases
When on set, expect to hear the following:
1) Rehearsal – practicing the shot. Sometimes this will be with just the cast or just the camera. Often it will include background. The AD (assistant director) department will be very clear as to who is participating in the rehearsal so that everyone is aware.
2) Picture Is Up – this means we will be shooting the next time (rolling film). Everyone that has been directed to work in the shot will participate.
3) Rolling – the camera and sound begin to record. Please stand by.
4) Background Action – this is where all of the background act and do what they have been directed to do.
5) Action – the cast (those speaking) begins their acting.
6) Cut – everybody stops acting and listens for instructions.
7) Reset or Going Again – We will do the same shot again. Please return to where you started on the previous take. Please do the same exact thing as the previous take unless directed to change it.
8) Check the Gate – last stage before setting up a new shot. Please stand by.
9) Moving On or New Deal – A new shot will be set. Please listen for instructions as this may be an appropriate tie to use the restrooms or get food and water.
Please bring at least one outfit that would comply with the descriptions below but not to exceed 3 outfits. If you don’t have anything vintage, then clothing of the appropriate type and color (described below) are also acceptable.
DO NOT SHAVE YOUR SIDEBURNS OR CUT YOUR HAIR BEFORE THE END OF THE SHOOT.
****This may be obvious to many of you, but please wear proper undergarments in case you are asked to change clothes.
GOOD COLORS Bad Colors
Light blue Hot pink
Red Lime green
Peach Bright White
Pale yellow Green
As non-descript as possible. PLEASE avoid ultra-modern, huge, high-tech tennis shoes. If period appropriate shoes are not available, dark shoes in general are quite helpful. . Sandals and platform shoes are also useful.
Again, as non-descript as possible. Grey, black, tan, and pastel trousers are acceptable. Wide leg is acceptable for women, as well as some flare. No bell-bottoms. NO SHORTS.
Shirts and blouses in the preferred colors are appropriate. Oversized T-shirts are not appropriate.
Some scenes may be outside, bring appropriate clothes to keep warm when not shooting
NO Big logos (i.e. Nike, Coke, Gap, Rocca, Enyce, etc.)
NO Acid washed denim
NO High contrast patterns/plaids
NO Super baggy hip hop clothes
Please keep dates and production information in case you need it to track payment issues or for your resume.
Do not gossip or speak badly about the production, other talent, agencies etc., clients want positive professional people.
Remember every production is different be ready for different methods in everything they do. Also generally it takes 2-3 weeks to get paid but sometimes it takes longer!
These tips are generalities and will help greatly, but remember every client will have various things they may expect so be sharp and ready.
Have a great adventure!
With 25 years experience and as President of the Craze Modeling and Talent Agency booking 1000’s of models and actors, here are some of the most important tips that hiring client’s look for when booking talent for paid speaking roles or modeling assignments!
1- Polish- The talent must be polished and confident enough to do the job with little or no direction if needed.
2- Experience-Does your portfolio or resume show you have worked and trained successfully in the past?
3- First impression-Often they have to make a hiring decision within 30-60 seconds. If they cast you and they have not worked with you before they are taking an educated risk. A good impression is made by being early, prepared, looking like a professional and having amazing charisma!
4-Can you think quick on your feet? Sign of an experienced professional. Can you make the adjustments they ask for?
5-Are you worth the money they are paying? If the client is going to pay a rate of $400-$1500 a day, you must show them you are worth it. They have to account for every dollar spent.
6-Originality-When auditioning many models or actors it becomes hard to differentiate between each talent. You need to make a creative statement and lasting impression within the context of the project.
7-Be prepared to be uncomfortable. It is natural not to feel natural. (That is why it is important to constantly be practicing and training).
8-When you first get into the acting business, go to every audition that you fit the profile on regardless if it is a lower or non-paying project. This business is all about networking and exposure.
9-Ability takes time. Be patient with yourself and your agent.
10-You can spot an experienced Model or Actor a mile away. You cannot fake it!
11-Keep your sides after every acting audition, sometimes it can take weeks for the callbacks to occur.
12-Keep a journal and detailed notes on all of the auditions you attend. Track what happened, how you did, things that worked and things you need work on. Note how you adjusted to each audition, who you met with, etc.
13-When you book a job, always make a note on what the project was, what part you played and who the production company, casting director or client was. Update your resume and make copies for your agent and yourself. That may land you your next job.
14-Pay you agents commission ASAP, they really do notice who pays quickly and will send you out more often. After all it is a business.
15-Never get discouraged. That is why most Actors and Models fail!
Circle yourself with positive people who are also in the industry or support you in your passion.
16-Always aim to become the best Actor or Model in the entire world.
It takes that kind of mental approach and dedication to achieve results in this competitive
Always remember these tips and your chance of obtaining success will dramatically increase. The Craze Agency is here to help! If you would like more Information about us call 801-438-0067 or go to www.crazeagency.com