My First Experience On Set – Jubilee Centre Birmingham
My first experience on a filming set was really quite eye-opening.
When I first arrived at the set I was handed the duty of being a runner, a runner is basically someone who helps all over the set and takes orders from the director’s department. I was introduced to the directors Elvis and Mark and was handed a walkie-talkie, which was actually pretty cool and made me feel quite professional. As a runner, you obviously get to see and be around everything that is happening as you’re needed all over the place which was great as that’s exactly what I wanted to do, be able to see everything behind the scenes. One of the most bizarre things I noticed was the ‘hectic organisation’, everyone seemed to be manic and running around the place but it was obviously supposed to be that way, and I was joining in!
Another thing I noticed was the professionalism, I’ve never seen better camera equipment/technology before and the immediate quality of the recording was really impressive (I was able to see the live feed of the video on the director’s screen). Also, the professionalism from the actors both main and extras was very impressive seeing them get into the zone like they did.
As the day went on I was taught different things about the filming industry, I learnt about how all the departments are heavily segmented, not in a negative way but in an efficiency type of way. If I can remember correctly for this short film there was the director’s department (the director, assistant directors, runners), the filming department, lighting department, makeup department, costume department and then actors. Everyone has their roles and sticks to them religiously, nobody would cross over to avoid complications.
In the second scene of the day, I was actually asked to be included in the scene as an extra, now, they did let me know I wasn’t in an acting role (thank god for that) but I did have to walk in front of the camera holding a gramophone in a t-shirt that didn’t really fit (mine was branded so I had to swap) which was fine but the hallway was really hot and I kept messing up my really simple directions (I don’t think I’ll be the next Tom Cruise, unfortunately) but in the end it all worked out.
Sorry for scarring you for life!
I just wanted to say that everyone who worked on the set who had to deal with me being useless every now and then was really welcoming and nice even on the hottest day of the year and that it was a great experience to have! Everyone was really hardworking and a great pleasure to work with.