Last weekend I had the chance to help out on a horror short film that some of my friends are working on. The actors had been cast months ago, so I pitched in wherever they had use for me. This time, I was the ‘sound girl’. The director gave me a crash course in sound recording and operating the boom. Well, this is what happens on a low budget production with a small crew – everybody pitches in and often has to do something out of his or her field of expertise.
I like helping out on film sets because, a: I LOVE film and the whole process, b: I’m helping out some friends, and c: I’m learning something new! A filmmaker friend of mine took some acting lessons so he could understand the actors’ process more and be a better director. So, why not, as an actor, take on the role of various crew members’ duties and get a better understanding of THEIR job? It certainly helps me appreciate their efforts and challenges. I think it also helps me be a better prepared and mindful actor on the set. Yay, let’s hear it for making each other’s jobs a little easier!
In the last 3 or so years, I’ve also helped out as a P/A, on-set photographer, behind-the-scenes videographer, location scout, casting director, wardrobe girl and even make-up artist (simple stuff, not FX – I wish!). Each job has its own unique difficulties and rewards for sure, and I wholly respect the people who are truly dedicated and skilled in their profession. Nothing more fascinating than watching a FX/MUA transform an actor into a completely different character or creature. So cool!
Of course, my main focus is still acting and I’ll always give those gigs priority! That’s my main passion, plain and simple.
Like I said, I love film and I’d rather be on a set doing something than sitting around and complaining that I don’t get out enough. ;)