It has been a very busy and hectic few months in the best way possible. Being involved in some big-name shoots as an extra and continuing my experience within a small casting agency has really opened some doors for me and opened my eyes to the industry.
I haven’t had this much fun working my ass off in years, being thrown into the deep end experiencing both behind and on camera aspects of the industry. Having been involved in some of the behind the scenes chaos, I feel it is so important that actors and supporting artists understand how much work goes into the logistics, planning and ultimately execution of just a single scene. Locations need to be found, props and set design need to create a living environment, the camera crew need to block their own movements, the DOP needs to create the perfect shot with the camera and lighting team, the sound team need to make sure the audio they record is perfect for the final cut, the actors need to be blocked, the supporting artists need to be blocked, and the list goes on.
Now, I’m an aspiring actor and storyteller, so please understand I am saying this in the most helpful way possible. Actors and supporting artists need to understand that they are not the centre of the world (a cruel, but a very real reality check) and that in order to create great art, there needs to be coordinated work between sometimes hundreds of people. Most importantly, people new to the industry and experienced alike, understand this is not a glamorous industry in any sense of the word.
Having observed lots of different teams work on and off set and being heavily involved in casting background for many different projects it’s amazing to see how much work, effort and time goes into just one aspect of bringing together a finished product that is a film or TV show.
Now, most actors and supporting artists understand this is a creative collaboration and requires intense coordination, long hours and several last-minute schedule changes. However, to those new to the industry or unaware of the behind the scenes chaos that ensues, it is so important to actively understand the amount of work that goes into creating a finish product, and that nothing is personal. It’s an extremely competitive industry in all facets of storytelling from casting to just being a runner on set, so treat everyone involved with the upmost respect.
Look at it this way, production team members have been working on this show for months or even years, so when you first arrive on set, they may be exhausted. You can be excited, I mean you’re on set! However, don’t badger them and take them away from their own work with lots of excited questions. It may be your first day on set, but it could be a crew member’s 40th, so there’s a level of respect and understanding actors and supporting artists much have when coming on set.
It’s very long unsociable hours, usually too hot or too cold and can be extremely tiring, but if you truly love the industry and the process of storytelling you’ll thoroughly enjoy being on set and want to come back for more!