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Set Etiquette

There is a two-day course where you can learn proper etiquette and on set protocol, so I won’t speak to that. This post will be more about the right attitude you should be bringing to work every day.

Most of the film and video shoots I have been on have been primarily independent productions. I have been on a few big ones as well and being a decent person and hard worker will apply to any set you’ll work on.

Myself personally, I cultivate fictional drama for a living, whether it be writing or filming, so when it comes to on set behaviours or real-life drama, miss me with that shit. For those who have worked with me before, know that I pride myself in good energy and a great working atmosphere. I’m not just looking for brilliant actors and creative collaborative crew, I’m looking for good human beings and if you’ve worked on one of my productions you’ve probably passed the vibe test.

Now sometimes being chill and happy is a tall order. There are physically and mentally demanding requirements in the film profession. There are long workdays, you’re stressed, tired, and Mercury seems to always be in retrograde. So how does someone maintain a positive attitude when you’re exhausted? It’s hard and I don’t expect people to be running around in a constant state of joy, since, in all honesty, that level of phoniness would just piss me off anyway. You’re allowed to get upset, be grumpy, even raise your voice about your displeasure. I’m guilty of it. I’ve done it before and aside from a few fleeting moments of embarrassment, there’s nothing wrong with it, and it usually ends with me talking to my team once cooler heads have prevailed. At the end of the day, we’re all professionals. However, there’s a right way to emotionally react and a wrong way. As a producer, director, actor, and leader on a film set, there is going to be an added level of stress. When you add in tight schedules, a quick working pace, internal conflicts, egos, and lots of creative differences, and you’re bound to get into some disagreements.

For anyone who is disappointed I didn't give more insightful tips on working in film. Here are the

The Six Rules of Set Etiquette:

  1. Be respectful.

  2. Dress appropriately - including closed toe shoes.

  3. Introduce yourself and be friendly.

  4. Don't be late.

  5. Rely on your crew.

  6. Stay in your lane. Don't touch equipment you're not in charge of.

Don’t be a dick! That sums up this entire post. No matter how talented and white your teeth are, people aren’t going to want to work with someone who’s a jerk. Now I know a lot of people don’t have those interpersonal communication skills or don’t know how to deescalate a situation. These things take practice. I’m still learning these skills, but if you arrive on set with an attitude of gratitude, trust your co-collaborators, and communicate respectfully, you’re already starting your project on the right foot.

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