How to be a Second Assistant Director

Posted on August 1, 2007

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  1. Get a thumb drive. A car helps too.
  2. You’re the paperwork person. Crew sign-in, meal sign-in, call sheets – it’s all you. I’m a big fan of filling the crew names in, alphabetically, during pre-production, versus having people write their own names in. This speeds things up, especially during lunch. Store on the thumb drive and keep with you at all times.
  3. You’re responsible for the call sheets. The film school requires us to send out the next days call sheet by 5pm. Having a laptop on set helps. For your own shows, just make sure you have the call sheet done before wrap so people know when they should arrive the next day.
  4. Sign the crew in for checkout. Sending reminder emails is a good idea, though it helps if you remember about it yourself.
  5. Arrive to set early. You should be the first one there. Give the First AD a walkie and keep one yourself. Then give out remainder walkies to the Key Grip, Sound, and whoever else wants one.
  6. You’re the sign in person. Sign the crew in, sign the actors in, sign the walkies out, sign people in for lunch. It’s a lot of fun…
  7. Chill by craft services. Keep track of the actors and escort them to set when needed. Bring your laptop and hope you’re at a place with a wireless network.
  8. Run any errands the producer or 1AD might need. This could be getting lunch, getting an actor, or getting something no one thought they needed before coming to set.
  9. Send out the call sheet.
  10. Sign everyone out. Collect paperwork from the Second Assistant Camera and Script Supervisor.
  11. After wrap, complete the Daily Progress Report using the paperwork you received. This report covers how much of the script was filmed, how much footage was used and remaining, and a bunch of other details about production. Basically someone can look at this paper and get a good idea of how the day went and how the film is going.
  12. Get a little sleep and repeat the next day.
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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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3 Comments

  1. Martin

    What a great list! I also enjoyed your audio list as well from a week or so ago. Keep up the good work!

  2. C47

    Thanks, Martin

  3. Jessica Stylus

    awesome picture.