Be a Faster AC #4: Ask Questions for Clarification

Asking questions is critical, especially when you're working lower in the department as a 2nd assistant camera (AC) or loader. Without asking for clarification, you may not know exactly what to do, where to go, or what is expected.

From our ongoing exploration of ways to become a faster and more efficient camera assistant, today’s tip is:

4. Ask Questions for Clarification

Asking questions is critical, especially when you’re working lower in the department as a 2nd assistant camera (AC) or loader. Without asking for clarification, you may not know exactly what to do, where to go, or what is expected.

Let’s look at a few possible scenarios of one example:

Scenario 1: The 1st AC asks you to go get their hard tape out of their toolbag. “Absolutely,” you say then head to their bag. You don’t know where it is so you spend a few minutes rustling around before finding it. You come back and it’s not needed anymore.

Scenario 2: The 1st AC asks you to go get their hard tape out of their toolbag. “Absolutely,” you say then realize on the way there you have no idea what the hard tape is. You come back with their soft tape and, frustrated, they go get the hard tape themselves.

Scenario 3: The 1st AC  asks you to go get their hard tape out of their toolbag. “Sure, what is it and where is it again?” you ask. They explain it to you briefly and you go snatch it up right where they said it was.

Now which scenario do you think wasted time and which saved time?

Always ask questions, especially if you don’t know something! And if you need clarification, don’t be afraid to ask questions either. The important thing is you remember the answer.

A lot of time is wasted on set because of communication breakdowns. By simply asking for more details, you have a better chance of doing whatever it is right the first time — and that’s the definition of efficiency.

What types of questions do you make sure to ask so you don’t waste time?