View Full Version : Trying to find my role on set...need advice

07-01-2009, 01:38 PM
I am in sort of a lucky but unusual position. I was hired as a full time employee by a brand new film production company and was allowed to create my own position. My background is incredibly varied: news reporter (one man band), music video show producer, public relations and media relations coordinator, casting director, actor/TV host/public speaker, event coordinator, marketing and advertising, etc. I do have film experience but it is very limited. I have worked on a handful of big sets as a production coordinator, PA and utility; and on a couple of small indie films as a 1st or 2nd AD (no paperwork involved), etc.

The company I am working for is run by the owner, who also is the sole investor. So he serves as the executive producer and director. He is pretty involved in every aspect of the film. I work on the film from beginning to end have input on the creative process (although do not make the decisions since the decisions are made by the owner. So I have given myself the name of producer and the owner is fine with that. On our last film, I was planning to be the 1st AD on set however, there were so many details for me to attend to, I was pretty much stuck in a corner somewhere creating call sheets, recruiting extras and writing a press release. I was not able to stay on set and be a 1st AD which was very frustrating to me because I like to be in the middle of the action. There was not a production secretary, 2nd 2nd AD, production coordinator, extras casting director or anyone else to turn these jobs over to. Everyone told me my role on set was more of a line producer; but whatever it was, that is not the role I want for the future.

The next film will be bigger. We are expecting it to be a SAG ultra low budget feature so there will be SAG rules to deal with, which I know nothing about. (I can learn, but I have a very low aptitude for these types of details.) Also, the next film will be more structured so I'm sure there will be even more paperwork...budget reports, production reports, etc. I really am very ADD and am not good with administrative jobs (I've been fired from administrative type jobs 3 times in my life!) I am very creative, outgoing, organized and a great delegator and leader so am looking for a role on set that will match these abilities. Is there some way to divide up the work where one person does the administrative stuff and I am the one who just makes sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and everything is flowing according to schedule. This is what I am good at. I can't find such a job description anywhere.

One other thing I have considered is that maybe I could let my specialty be publicity (which I love and am great at!) and on set, I am the behind the scenes producer (and videograher) and publicity director. When we got bigger, I could hire someone to shoot it and I would be the producer/director. Would this be a good option for me? I just want to be a part of the action on set and do not want to be stuck off in a corner with my head buried in paperwork. I never even got a chance to speak to anyone on the set of our last film and I am very social this was very frustrating. Any ideas? I would greatly appreciate any comments from people who understand film production roles better than me.

07-01-2009, 02:34 PM
I would say find out what positions the company is lacking right now, ask yourself if you can handle the position and whether you would enjoy doing it. Then apply. Did they say you should create one? As in...something not seen in your standard production company? If they need an AD and you can do it...apply. If they need a script supervisor/PA...set that up.

What do you like to do? What is needed most? What can you handle well, or well enough to 'fake it until you make it?'

Good luck. Sounds like you're in a good position.

07-01-2009, 02:42 PM
Welcome to indietalk!

Okay, you donít want to be a line producer or first or a second or
a second second. And you donít want to do paperwork or
administration duties. So I think scripty is out. So is UPM.

But youíre a great delegator and leader, are very creative, out
going and organized and you want to be on set and not in the

Sounds like the director.

You want to makes sure everyone is where they are supposed to be
and everything is flowing according to schedule which is what the
first does. Or the line producer. Or the UPM But you donít want
those jobs.

Sounds like you want to be a director.

07-01-2009, 04:55 PM

What kind of films are these? Sounds more like commercials, or industrials.