Resourcefulness is truly one of the most valuable traits you can have as a camera assistant (AC).
I consider myself pretty resourceful and I attribute much of my ability to land gigs to it.
So, want to become a more resourceful AC? Here’s a compact how-to guide to get yourself there:
- It doesn’t have to look good to work well. Cardboard and gaffer’s tape make many things.
- Have tabs on all equipment. This helps you build makeshift solutions.
- Unless you don’t know how, in which case, ask for help — grips can rig anything.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for any help from a 2nd AC, PA, or other crew.
- Think of a plan and take action.
- But don’t let thinking paralyze your instinct. Relax.
- Remember, “it’s only a movie.”
- Identify the problem by isolating causes.
- Check all cables, inputs, outputs, & connections.
- Try obvious fixes first.
- But be ready to come up with clever ones as backup.
- It helps to realize cameras are tools.
- They can be fixed and their problems have solutions, sometimes in the manual.
- If not, utilize technology like apps, pocket guides, & Google.
- Look for areas in your work that slow you down and find out why they do.
- Always ask, “What can I do better?“
- Follow up with, “How would I want someone else to do it for me if I were paying them?”
- Do it that way from now on.
If you’re able to make yourself resourceful, you’ll find everything on set becomes much easier.