A Day on Set

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

A Day on Set

This is a guest blog from Elizabeth Solomon from Mizzou!

Live blogging from the set of a mid-Missouri television show?  I think yes.  Here’s your inside scoop as to what happens during a shoot.

The pace is slow. There’s a lot of looking at your space, wondering what to shoot, what the best angles are for getting those shots, and telling people what you want.  Most of the process of the shoot involves planning the final product, so an intern may do a lot of observing or helping grab make-up or tripods from the car rather than shooting the scene itself.  Although some may find this tedious, it is one of the best ways to learn because rather than focus on your assigned job, you can see how the professionals do theirs.

It can get dirty.  Today is my first experience with this particular advertising agency, so naturally I showed up in business casual attire- think pencil skirt and flats.  I knew I would be observing a shoot, but what I didn’t realize is that this shoot is for a home improvement-esque television show.  This episode involves an attic and insulation, so needless to say… it’s messy work.  If you’re going on a shoot, ask beforehand what you’ll be doing so you know whether to bring a change of clothes.

It can be awkward.  During the down time of the shoot, you’ll have moments where it’s just you and your potential boss, and you have to think of something to talk about.  People love to talk about themselves- you just have to know the right questions to ask.

It can be disappointing. During this shoot, we’re installing insulation around a water heater to keep the heat from escaping, as well as a timer on the heater to be able to control when you’re heating the water.  The electrician just came in to install the timer and although I don’t understand what the problem was, something needs to be fixed before they can keep shooting...  And nobody likes delays.

Even though there’s a lot of waiting around and making small talk, the experience can be rewarding.  With my current internship, as you know about from my first guest blog, I have learned about communicating with clients and working with design, but I have never worked with a team like agencies do on shoots.  Gaining experience is key to being successful, and observing shoots is one more way to do it.  What have you got to lose?