Ashley Ruskiewicz Wins Eve’s Production Handbook!
Ashley Ruskiewicz is the winner of The Complete Film Production Handbook giveaway contest! Ashley’s essay displayed not only her ability to learn from a difficult situation, but she also showed her understanding of hiring people who know their role on a film set and working with people who are committed to your project, which shows that she is well versed in Film Method-ology!
“Lessons From the Backlot” by Ashley Ruskiewicz
I learned a wealth of information from an experience on a film set where I was directing and co-producing. I discovered the keys to the entire production process, but also the fundamentals of maintaining order on set. We had a very small crew and we lost one member due to the extreme heat that day on the Universal back lot. The assistant camera crew member was not cooperating with the producer, and was giving her own input for how each shot should be taken, interfering with me as the director, and our director of photography. While suggestions were welcome, the crew member was trying to change things that had already been decided in pre-production.
Because of the heat, the assistant camera thought it would be okay to sit in the shade with the slate, so after every shot I had to wait a couple of minutes to get her attention to bring me the slate and walk across set so we could slate each shot. I saw that the production could have easily been played out with just me, the producer, director of photography, and the two actors. While we all had a specific role to play we knew what we were good at and used our skills to get the film made. The producer for example, wrote the script and acted as both the producer and script supervisor, making sure everything was on time and that the crew and actors were taken care of.
I learned from this experience that knowing your role on a film set is extremely important to be able to get the job done effectively. The crew as a whole was under pressure because we only had the location for a certain amount of time that day. As a producer, it’s also important to hire people who are reliable, and have interest in the project. The same assistant camera person was supposed to be in charge of post-production. She ended up flaking out for another project, leaving me to edit the short by myself. The production went smoothly, but it would have been much better had everyone stuck to their roles. I found that knowing the people you will be working with, and how they work, before you get to set is crucial to ensuring a smooth production.