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Running the Show by Liz Gill

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Chapter 1

Pre-pre-production

It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.

George William Curtis

What Is an Assistant Director?

Francois Truffaut said that making a film is like going on a sea voyage: you start out hoping for a pleasant journey and you end up clinging on, praying to survive. This may be an extreme example, but the metaphor of the ship is accurate, and in this scenario the assistant director (AD) is the first mate. The director may have the vision of the destination, the production manager may be calculating the budget, but the first mate has to be the director’s support, the producer’s representative and the crew’s inspiration; if you don’t keep the director encouraged, the producer informed ...

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