From our ongoing exploration of ways to become a faster and more efficient camera assistant, today’s tip is:
10. Dictate Your Duties Effectively
At every level of the camera department, you will have to give directions to others. As a 1st assistant camera (AC), you will run the entire department. As a 2nd AC, you will segment some duties to a loader. As a loader, you may pawn help from a camera trainee.
And the list goes on…
What all of this means is you have to learn how to effectively dole out these commands to make sure the department runs efficiently. There are two elements to doing this correctly:
- Proper Communication — If you can’t describe what needs to be done or teach others how to do it, they will fail to do it as you wish they would. Be simple, concise, and always take care to answer questions for clarification.
- Prioritization — This is the big one. What needs to be done right now? What needs to be done before the next setup? What can wait until there is free time?
A few more words about prioritizing: the higher you are in the department, the more you should be taking on the “big jobs” with more responsibility — even if that means you do less work overall. Don’t be afraid to demand a lot from those working for you. You’ll be surprised how often they best your expectations.
In short, run a tight ship.
If you take this tip to heart and implement it fully, I promise you’ll significantly increase your speed on set because it will affect the entire department.
How do you make sure your department runs smoothly and quickly?