Training as a Camera Assistant

I have an agency that helps me find work. I’ve mentioned them before – i think. Basically, once i finished school I needed to work for awhile in a normal hospitality job. Pay the bills etc. But I had SUCH AN ITCH to be doing film work and getting started on my life finally after 4 1/2 years of study. Unfortunately work was just too busy that I had to turn offers down over and over and over. It got to the point that I realised to get anywhere I was going to have to quit my job. Long story short, this was the first opportunity I was able to accept. Other than the Maxim shoot which was relatively freestyle kind of live shooting. This had structure, a set. It was a bit more in line with my interests (working on film sets).

So the agency set me up to work as a trainee for the press junket for ‘A Few Best Men’. This had been lined up so that I could meet a new director and be trained by one of his camera assists in the hope that I would work as a PAID assist later down the track.

So, Monday came around and I was a barrel of nerves, as is sometimes the case when I have to prove myself professionally. A lot is at stake! I hopped on the train and headed for the city. I arrived early and treated myself to a coffee in the hotel lobby. At 8am I went and met with the crew.

The crew had already bumped in and essentially set up almost everything so I just helped with small things that needed tweaking. It was a strange position to be in. No one knew me or my experience, I didn’t want to be too in their faces but it was very odd to just stand around on set until they told me the next thing to do.

The camera assist showed me through a few things. I sat in to assist with lighting, cleared cards and put on a few filters.

Then the interviews began. Everything ran as clockwork. Three cameras filmed the guests and interviewer and at the end we handed the cards to whoever needed it (usually the interviewer). That was pretty much my job for the day.

Then it was time to go.

It was really wonderful to be on set again, but I felt a bit disappointed that I couldn’t have had more of an opportunity to learn and work. So that I could show them much more skill than sitting in a chair as they light me for the scene. I wanted to work hard.

Although it was a relatively easy day work wise, it was still enjoyable as the guests that came in were rather entertaining. Even though I hadn’t seen the film, it sounded as though it was very funny. We also had a few interviews with Olivia Newton-John which was pretty special.

Overall it was a good day. It was nice to meet new people in a similar field. It was especially nice to just be ‘out there’ volunteering and busying myself with film work.

I cant wait ‘to do it again.

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