View Full Version : Avoiding uncomfortable growth for an AD/how to?

07-23-2009, 08:37 AM
I have an operational question.

The actor/writer/director (A-W-D) I worked with recently, had put me into a situation which had caused me great confusion and dismay.

With me as the Assistant Director, he had stated that I was to direct him while he was in front of the camera. Equally, he had stated that the DP had free reign to do what he thought best.

Privately, the A-W-D had indicated to me that he was concerned that the DP was a very controlling/domineering character, and he did not want this to happen with him or on his set.

I am still a babe in the woods in such circumstances, and my research of the job of AD did not cover such a situation between AD and DP. My research indicated that the DP was meant to be under the guidance of the AD.

The A-W-D directive ended with me experiencing a number of things, but chiefly confusion and dismay, and under the hot shooting circumstances, along with the domineering or controlling of the DP, I became a bit sullen, and in one or two small instances, a bit grouchy.

Despite this, the A-W-D is apparently quite happy with all the work I did—and I did a hell of a lot--and now wants me to work with him in the same capacity for his next project.

The A-W-D admitted that due to his laziness, he had left things a bit late in getting his team together, and had to accept the DP he could get, and even this took a bit of wrangling and ear tweaking on the part of their common friend, upon the DP.

This time, the A-W-D has taken to heart my pushing him to get into the thick of
pre-production well in advance, and has more or less inveigled me some 6 months in advance of the next film deadline. And he dearly wants to work with another DP, who is also meant to be a good editor as well.

So the questions then are:

i) had the A-W-D poorly managed the structure of set dynamics by setting in place a contradiction?

ii) what was I meant to do--“go with the flow” (which is what I more or less did) or something else?

iii) I wish to do a very professional job—so how can I avoid the possibility of this confusion arising again?


07-23-2009, 09:28 AM
1) from what I know things like this will happen a lot til the ADW grows a sack.
2) you did the best thing by going with the flow. if you are really worried about that talk to him after the shoot when no one else is around.
3) you aren't going to avoid things like that on an indie set. just try and help clear the air when the confusion starts.
4) if all else fails mifa kick the ADW and make sure everyone saw it, then take over the project.

07-23-2009, 08:11 PM
Oh boy, the AWD.

The DP should not have a say in the 'performance' of the film, just the look. This can certianly change depending on the director. But the DP should have only been worried about blocking, and not the performance of the AWD.

As the first, if he put you in change, you need to take charge.