Career outlook for TV or film assistant director
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would organise and plan everything on set, leaving the director free to deal with the creative side.
You would be known in the industry as an 'AD'. Most productions use a team of assistant directors, with a 1st AD, at least one 2nd AD and possibly one or more 3rd ADs, each with different tasks.
1st ADs have the greatest responsibility. In this job you would do much of the planning before production begins, and you would manage the set during filming. As a 1st AD, you would:
- Work with the director to decide the order of shooting
- Plan a filming schedule, taking into account the director’s ideas and the budget
- Oversee the hire of locations, props and equipment
- Help recruit the cast and crew
- Make sure that filming stays on schedule
- Supervise a team of 2nd and 3rd ADs and runners
- Try to keep the cast and crew motivated
- Be responsible for health and safety on set
2nd ADs support the 1st AD and make sure that their orders are carried out. As a 2nd AD, you would:
- Produce and give out call sheets (lists of timings for the following day's shoot)
- Be the link between the set and the production office
- Deal with paperwork
- Organise transport and hotels
- Make sure that cast members are in make-up, wardrobe or on set at the right time
- Find and supervise extras on productions where there is no 3rd AD
3rd ADs assist 2nd ADs, 1st ADs and location managers on set. As a 3rd AD, you would:
- Make sure extras are on set at the right time and place
- Brief the extras and give them cues
- Direct the action in background crowd scenes
- Act as a messenger on set
UK employment status
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- Developing a plan
- Working with technology
- Verbal communication
- Problem solving
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