There’s a first time for everything and Chasing Grace would be my first official on-set experience for a film shoot. Weeks leading up to the shoot, I was very excited as I took notes during a conference call, researched items for the shoot and familiarized myself on the look and feel requested by the executive team. As the day drew near for the shoot, I was anxious and somewhat nervous while brushing up on the Production Assistant handbook. I didn’t want to be the intern making mistakes that could easily be avoided.
For this set, I assisted Adrian Wittenberg, who is an amazing Production Designer. I had a general idea of what we would be doing for the set-up but did not fully take into account the intricacies of production design. I learned how the art department is responsible for securing the items that will provide the look and feel of each scene while ensuring that the items are within the budget. Not to mention, they have to take into consideration foreseeable issues such as space, lighting, and measurements.
The day before the shoot, I helped set up the studio that would be used for multiple roundtable-style interviews on Chasing Grace. Stringing the lights and having the right placement was very important for the camera shots while not allowing the lights to be a distraction. So, that proved to be a challenge throughout prep day but was resolved eventually.
Being involved in the set up gave me the opportunity to learn about the different roles on a production team, the variety of cameras that can be used to capture certain shots, how people interact with each other on-set, and the importance of placement. Overall, I had a great first experience being on-set and quickly learned that things change quickly and you must be ready for the unexpected.
By the way, you know all of those credits you read at the end of a movie? Well, all of those people deserve recognition because they are putting in the hours and skills to capture a memorable picture. Most times people only remember the names of the director and producer…sometimes the writer, but there’s definitely more than three people making the project happen. I have a greater appreciation and understanding of the production process after this experience.