Hello everyone! This is my first post here, totally new for me, so here it goes! I don’t have my own WordPress account yet, so I’m using Rachel’s today.
As you may have heard, us Polings and Swets had the opportunity to participate in the making of a professional film for the 100th Anniversary of Enumclaw. Rachel already wrote about what she did for the film, and since everyone else is busy doing stuff for LCC XI, I thought I would write about what I did on set. My official title in the credits will be PA (Production Assistant) and Actress.
As an actress, I got to play a minor side character: a 1940’s school girl. I had so much fun wearing a period dress, walking around in high heels, and carrying school books. Though, by the end of the day, my feet hurt terribly as I do not wear high heels on a regular basis.
As a Production Assistant, my job was basically to do whatever was needed, but mostly what I did was carry around the director’s script as she had a lot on her mind, and often left it somewhere and forgot where it was. I made sure she didn’t have to go looking for it. Even more exciting, I got to operate the clapper board on occasion!
Max was the main clapper-board-person, but he was also an actor during some scenes, so I did it when ever he was acting or otherwise unavailable. I knew the basics of clapper board, but I learned there is a little bit more to it than I thought.
For instance, on a clapper board, going from left to right, you write the
- scene number (a scene is a section of the script that takes place in a certain location. The scene changes when you go to a different location)
- use a letter to state the shot (a shot is where the camera is pointing, so you can change the camera view within the scene)
- take number (the take is how many times you’ve done or re-done the shot)
The letters used to state the shot are important. The letters signify a different shot that is in the same scene. The clapperboard-person says it out loud for sound reference, but they don’t say “A”, instead they say “Alpha”, or other words starting with the letter of the shot (i.e. “Bravo” for “B”, “Charlie” for “c” etc…). There are a lot of names. You’ve got Alpa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo… and so on, or sometimes for fun, people use different words, like Apple, Baron, Crest, Divinity, Equator… it can go on and on.
Most of what I learned I can’t really put into words, because I kind of just absorbed it, but I feel much more equipped to make other films, which is good. This is something that I would really like to do again, only hopefully next time, I will be able to get into what I really want to learn and get better at, which is screen writing.
Another helpful thing I learned on this shoot is what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to be the camera person, maybe assistant camera, I don’t want to do the lighting, I don’t want to be production manager, I don’t want to do catering, and location manager… not so much. I would like to be the director, maybe the sound person or props master, the editor, a more prominent actress, and somewhere in the costume department would be fun as well.
I pretty much had way too much fun learning, and I thoroughly exhausted myself. I would really like to do it again someday, though hopefully sooner than later.
And that’s the way the carrot crunches.