2nd AD

2nd ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

The 2nd AD is the 1st AD’s right hand and responsible for ensuring that all the 1st AD’s instructions are carried out. S/he is often referred to as the ‚Backstage Manager‘ as s/he guarantees that everything is running smoothly in the background. Moreover the 2nd AD is the point of intersection between the agencies, actors and the Production Department.

Please note: On small productions the 2nd AD also takes on the duties of the Crowd AD.

Please note: The biggest difference between the profile of 2nd AD and 2. RA is that the 2. RA is neither responsible for the call sheets, nor for the complete organisation in the background and does not serve as the principal point of contact for the cast and agencies.

Key tasks during prep

  • Distribution of the current scripts, script changes, as well as shooting schedules and rehearsal schedules in close collaboration with the Production Coordinator, who sends them on to the team, the actors and the agencies.
  • Coordination und scheduling of ALL rehearsals and fittings that are relevant to the shoot such as costume fittings, make-up tests, stunt rehearsals, various teaching units, read-throughs etc.
  • Coordinating various meetings and appointments in consultation with all departments.
  • Requesting information about dietary restrictions and nutritional protocol from the actors for the Props – and Catering Departments.
  • Primary communication with agencies and cast with regards to any issues; especially a complete and correct information on the shooting days.
  • Meticulous documentation of the cast blocked dates.
  • Detailed knowledge of the shooting schedule and breakdowns.
  • For US-Productions: compilation of the daily SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) or Cast Timesheets (Exhibit Gs) for all the cast’s travel or rehearsals as well as the redirection of the reports to the Production Department.

ATTENTION! PLEASE NOTE: The Production Department is responsible for cast contracts, negotiations of rates and wages, insurance, appointments with the insurance doctor and travel planning.

The main task of the 2nd AD is to run interference for the 1st AD, because the prerequisite for a smoothly running set, is a smoothly running background. Duties include the complex organisation of the background, ensuring good channels of communication and compiling call sheets.

 

  • Creating the call sheet. The 2nd AD discusses the shot list and the actor timing for the next day with the 1st AD. The next step is to check on the times required by the Costume and Make-Up Departments according to this specification, so that the actor calls can be calculated. Subsequently all other departments are informed about the order of shooting and requested to communicate anything of note, so that all issues can be taken into consideration. Pre calls and ‘work finish’ times are part of the working hours and have to be calculated according to the legal working hours. In the light of this, it might be necessary to refer to the shift system for individual staff.
  • Coordination of necessary Pre-Productions or rehearsals and fittings of any kind, for instance costume fittings, stunt rehearsals etc.
  • Monitoring the actors’ make-up and costume times, assisted by the 3rd AD or a PA.
  • Ensuring that everyone and everything is “right on time”, to ensure that there are no delays on set; starting with actors, via vehicles to special equipment.
  • Recognising potential problems and delays in a timely fashion, to be able to generate solutions.
  • Compilation of the AD report. This is a list of the actors’ and extras’ working hours. The AD report is sent to the Production Department at the end of the day and its function is to aid the Production Coordinator in compiling the daily report.
  • For US-Productions: Compilation of the daily SAG – or Cast Timesheets (Exhibit Gs) for the actors and their distribution to the Production Department.
  • Constant communication with the 1st AD.
  • Sound general knowledge
  • Good manners
  • A friendly and confident demeanour
  • Communicative with great organisational skills
  • Resilient and able to multitask
  • Ability to assess priorities
  • Very well-versed with regards to production procedures, hierarchies and work structures
  • Profound Movie Magic skills
  • Knowledge of the agreement on tariffs including the occupational health and safety regulations
  • Several years of experience in the AD Department – as PA, 3rd AD, Crowd 2nd

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Job Profile 2nd AD

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