From our ongoing exploration of ways to become a faster and more efficient camera assistant, today’s tip is:
5. Use Your Sharpie for an Emergency Mark
If you don’t keep a Sharpie in your pocket, shame on you! I’ll have to report you to the Camera Assistant’s Council and they will recommend you for review and probation.
OK, so there is no council, but still, you should have at least one Sharpie in your pocket at all times as an AC. They get used constantly for labeling magazines, distinguishing actor marks, writing on the slate, and more.
But did you know your Sharpie can also stand-in as an emergency mark?
I learned this trick from a dolly grip who, when he was told “that’s your one” during rehearsal, pulled out his cell phone and put it on the ground because it’s all he had on him.
Suddenly I realized, any object can stand-in as a temporary mark. Then, when you have the time, you replace it with camera tape.
Now, I constantly whip out permanent markers from my pocket to throw on the ground for random uses, like when I need to mark an actor and my tagboard isn’t nearby.
The possibilities are endless: use it as a quick dolly mark, use it to mark the spot where the director of photography wants the camera next, or place it on the ground as a focus reference. No longer will you be holding up talent to mark their feet or make the director wait to roll as a 2nd AC gets camera tape.
What items do you keep in a pouch or in your pocket that could act as an emergency mark?