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You Outta Be in Pictures

There’s a great big photo hanging in our office of the entire crew, save for two people.  The set photographer (obviously), and me.

They gathered everybody on stage, but of course, the producer couldn’t leave the office completely unattended.  What if somebody called to, you know, ask when episode ten starts shooting?  (Agents do this all the time; don’t ask me why.)

Someone had to stay behind, and guess who drew the short straw.

This got me thinking about how, on some shows I’ve worked for, I was the most photographed crew member on the show.  See, the only set picture more clichéd than the director holding his hands in a rectangle like an asshole…

I love how the DP isn't even paying attention to him.
The hat doesn't help, either.

…is the shot of the 2nd AC holding a slate:

Is it just me, or is this guy giving me the Blue Steel?
Is it just me, or is this guy giving me the Blue Steel?

You’ll also see this shot at least once during any making-of video.  It’s like this one guy clapping a stick represents the work of literally hundreds of below-the-line crew.

Being a 2nd must look like the easiest job in the world to the audience at home.  He just claps the slate all day long, right?

“Hey, ma, I got my promoted to 2nd AC!”

“Congratulations!  What are you going to do with the other eleven hours and forty-seven minutes of your day?”

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2 Responses

  1. I work with a lovely focus puller (thats what we call then in the U.K. not 1st AC) and he always gets stuck in !. I always get my trainee to do the clapperboard shot.

  2. Oh yeah, the 2nd AC’s job is a piece of cake >rolls eyes<

    if you work for a fat ass 1st AC that never does anything other than make bad jokes, drink coffee and complain all day long; a 2nd AC's job completely sucks.

    On the other hand, if you are working with a director that never likes to turn off the camera, then you are loading and canning all day long till your fingers bleed. Yes, they actually bleed.

    The only time a 2nd AC's job is cake is on a studio set, doing product shots.

    remember this little tidbit, the 2nd AC as to make sure the film is loaded and canned properly otherwise no one else gets the grief. Not the producer, not the director, not the DP, not the Cam Op, not the 1st AC, but the lowely 2nd AC.

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