My experience on set with House of Sticks

I had the opportunity to assist on a production for Ernst and Young (EY). It was an amazing experience. I worked with incredibly talented and personable individuals. Primarily, I worked with the director to make sure actors stayed on script and monitored the shot-list. Working with all of the crew on set, I had the opportunity to observe many jobs and ask questions. Afterward, I reflected on the things I learned and summed them up into four bullet points below.

  1. “You can either be pretty good at a lot of things or really good at a few things”

    Bryan, the post production supervisor, explained. Every job in a professional production requires knowledge and practice. The more you dedicate your time to a particular job, the better you will be at it. In a high-scale production, such as the one for Ernst and Young, expertise is essential.

  2. The camera angle, lighting, and focus play a role in telling your story.

    My hope is to become a DP, so during production, I primarily observed the Director of Photography. While the DP experimented a bit with the camera angle, lighting, and focus, most of his choices were intentional to communicate a message. For example, he chose a low angle when he wanted the individuals to look larger than life to reiterate their importance. The lighting depending on the actor’s clothing choices for flattering views and consistency. He also changed the focus while filming to direct the viewers eyes. He recognized the role that the camera angle, lighting, and focus play in influencing viewers.

  3. Relationships build production value.

    • Without valuable connections, producers can end up with a mediocre cast and production crew and ultimately an unhappy client.The more connections you have, the more talent you have to select from. In that way, you know who performs well on set and who can execute your vision.
    • The producer should pick the cast and crew not only for their talent but for their ability to work with the producer and director.The stronger relationships are on set, the easier it is to communicate ideas.
    • A director can work best with the actors if he or she develops a relationship with them.If you develop relationships with the cast, you will know how to communicate with them in a way they will understand. Developing a relationship with the actors will also help them feel at ease so they can perform their best.
    • The producer should develop a strong relationship with the client.Building a relationship with the client will help you better understand their vision. It allows the client to trust you. Because of this trust, they often give you more creative freedom.
  4. Study Up.

    Studying terms and understanding technology is just as important as practicing film techniques. The more you know, the more tools you can intentionally use. In particular, understanding the why behind what you do will help you use technology to your advantage.