Just about every actor wants to be in a movie! But with numerous people all doing different tasks on a busy film set, it can be hard to know what to do and where you stand as an actor, if you have no experience.
Here are a few simple tips with regard to etiquette on set.
One thing you will have to keep in mind is that most crew call times are significantly earlier than an actor's call time, possibly by hours if you're not scheduled until later that day. It's absolutely crucial that you arrive not just on time, but slightly early so that you don't stall the entire production. You shouldn't go out partying or stay up too late the night before, either, as anything that may hinder your appearance or performance could upset the entire day's schedule, not to mention months of planning.
Film sets, especially low budget independent films that rely on performance more than spectacle, require 110 per cent from every actor. By studying at a professional acting course, you will be preparing yourself for a variety of potentially gruelling situations and a wide range of acting capabilities. For instance, do you know what an eyeline is? Do you know how to hit your mark? Do you know how to create a character from your script? Do you know how to cheat a shot (or even what that means)? All these things we teach our actors at Perform Australia. You can even get started with our intro to screen class, Screen 101. With training, you will learn where your talents lie, develop plenty of camera confidence and meet a whole bunch of other actors and industry contacts that all come into play when you're out there on your own.
Know your place on the film set and what is and isn't appropriate. For example, while you may be on standby out back while something is set up inside the studio, other people may not be. Of course, being polite and friendly is important, but don't go making conversation with crew members who are obviously busy or pressed for time. Also, some directors don't like it when you ask to re-shoot a take because you'd like to try something different, so don't demand it. If you think you can bring something new and special to the table then offer a retake and the director will make the call. Lastly, especially on low budget features, take charge of your own continuity. Remember your marks, costumes, props and any variations in lines because other people may forget and poor continuity can make an editor's life a nightmare.
The successful actor is the actor who gets hired again and again, so when you finish your acting qualification and head out into the world, make sure you're one of those fabled few.
Writers from Perform Australia contribute to these posts