WORKING WITH THE AD DEPT. (1 reply)
Hey Roger and James,
I wanted to know what is your recommendation for communicating effectively with the AD department. In the past, I've created multiple documents outlining my desired times of day, rigging, and equipment. But I would really like to know if there is a specific process you follow on films like Skyfall or Bladerunner where you've had to deal with multiple and complex scheduling factors. Is there an order or a method to your communication?
No specific process. I will certainly make sure to sit down with the AD and go through any initial idea they may have for a schedule before it gets locked into everyone's head. Then it is just a matter of refining that schedule based on the expected time it will take to shoot each scene as well as the breakdowns you mention; time of day, rigging, equipment availability etc.. Closer to the start of shooting, and presuming we have by then some kind of shot list if not storyboards, I will sit with the AD to go through a day to day shooting order. Sometimes the director takes part in this meeting but, more often than not as it can be a lengthy process, this is a 'work in progress' that is shown to the director later for further discussion. Depending on the content and the actors involved a director may have a specific order in mind for a scene or be totally open to what works most efficiently for lighting and camera.
James and I do multiple breakdowns and diagrams that we share with every department that we think needs any information from us no matter how minimal that might be. Whilst the AD department is key and they will usually transfer all and any information they think necessary to their schedule breakdown we will always separately copy the production department, the electrical and grip departments, the camera department, the set dressers and, most importantly, the location department with any information that we think is at all relevant to their work.