Everyday until next Wednesday 14th December at 11am when our director, Louise Tu’u, will do her free Facebook Live, a new tip from from Louise Tu’u upcoming e-book, “Acting for commercials for Pasifika women” will appear here online. We are pre-selling this beauty now. Buy it here. (NB: You can’t actually. Read why here).
Tip 5: Learn the roles of people, especially crew members on set. It always amazes me how many people (Pasifika or not) who say they are actors, yet have no idea what a set looks like or have not volunteered or worked in a paid capacity, to be part of a film making project that involves working on set.
What is a set? It’s the scenery and props, as arranged for shooting. So if your ad is being filmed in a family home, scenes might involve the kitchen, lounge, a bedroom, the porch, etc. Where the camera is shooting is what the set is. More broadly speaking, the set is also called the location. Filming is a hierarchy so it helps you to know what your place as an actor is.
On commercials, the pace is fast and much more negotiation is going on between the production company, agency and client. And you, my friend, as the actor, are the face of this negotiation. So it would behoove you to learn who these people are. Remember, it’s a job and one where you will see the same people more than twice so first learn these roles and names: Production – anyone you engage with in the office involving call times, etc; Director – the key person on set, telling you what to do; 1st Assistant Director or AD for short – they are in charge of running the set so will relay the Director’s instructions more intimately to you and other cast members, Wardrobe – they are responsible for what you’re wearing on the shoot, HMU (Hair and Make-Up) – they make you up appropriately for the camera and if you can, the Director of Photography. or DOP for short, whose role it is to work with the Director to shoot what the ad requires, using the camera.
Read up on these roles and others so you know what’ your place is expected of you and how best to achieve that. On set, be curious and watch what these people do.
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