I’ve worked on enough indie, commercial and film sets over the past few years to notice a certain consistency amongst the types of people who populate the cast and crew. For those of you new to the film industry, here’s a basic rundown of the types of people you’re likely to run into. You might be wondering how this knowledge gives you a leg up, but like I always say: knowledge is power, so use it wisely.*
The Five+ People You Meet on Set
This is the actor (and occasional PA) who disappears right when they’re needed on set, so often and so frequently that the only possible explanation is that they must be a magician.
The One Who Isn’t Here to Make Friends (also known as The Overachiever)
Until you met this gal, you thought you were pretty good at your job. You showed up on time, did what you were told, and didn’t complain when lunch was crappy. Then you met The Overachiever, and realized you may as well Uber yourself home right then and there because you’re never going to be as productive, organized or competent as this person is.
This guy’s got jokes for days, on walkie and off. Jury’s still out on whether he’s hilarious or annoying. He’s good at his job but sometimes gets distracted while hitting on the female talent.
If you’re working with an A-list music artist, this person is likely (but not always) your on-set Diva. However- and this happens more often than you’d think- the Diva can show up in other departments, as well. The Diva whines over the quality of the food, frets endlessly and needlessly over any and all matters to do with money, and tries really hard to get their (equally whiney) friends hired.
The One Who Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing
This person is overconfident and refuses to ask questions when they don’t understand something. Make sure this person isn’t you.
The One Who Takes 300 Trips to Crafty Over the Course of One Day
This person is you.
The One With a Foot Fetish
Alright, I lied, I only met a crew member with an obvious foot fetish one time.
The Team Player
Hopefully, your cast/crew is comprised of this personality type. They’re professional, know what they’re doing, and are pretty understanding when things don’t go exactly as planned (which is always). This is who you should strive to be.
So, tell me: Which on-set personality are YOU?
Background- aka ‘extras’, aka ‘cautionary tales’
Crafty- the snack table that sustains you between meals
Crew- anyone behind the camera. Includes departments such as Production, Camera, G&E (grip and electric), HMU (hair & makeup) and PA nation
Talent- on set, actors are rarely referred to as “the actors”. Instead, they’re called ‘the talent’ or ‘the principles’ or ‘the sensitive, special snowflakes’ **
*I’ve literally never said that sentence in my life
** Oh get over it, I’m an actress, I can say things like this
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