How to Get Fired On Set

How to Estimate a Shoot

Today on The Slanted Lens I have some helpful tips about the dos and don’ts on set. If you are looking to be hired as a Photographer’s Assistant or hoping to be rehired, check this out.

Eight Tips for Getting Fired

Obviously no one wants to get fired on set. However, sometimes we work with people who are constantly making these mistakes, or worse yet, sometimes we are those people! So let’s take a look at what can get you fired from a set.

Work Ethic: The Big Three

  1. Don’t show up on time. If you are working as an assistant, then it is so important to show up on time! It’s an incredibly simple idea, but it goes a long way. If, however, you show up late you are telling your boss that you aren’t interested in working hard, and they won’t be interested in working with you again.
  2. Arrive unprepared. If you want to be taken seriously on set, then you need to make sure you come prepared. Bring tools, bring gloves, bring whatever you think you will need on the job, and I guarantee you will impress your employer.
  3. Make Your Opinions Known. If you want to ensure you don’t get hired again, second guess the director, the DP, and the producer and make sure that they know exactly what you think. I once had a PA scoff at a director’s idea in front of a client which ended up in a huge disagreement between the director and the client. The PA unfortunately had no right to express their opinion in that way and it ended badly.

Minor Inconveniences

  1. Be on Your Phone All Day. This is a huge problem with people I have worked with in the past. I have had so many assistants just sit on their phones all day. No employer wants to have to ask you to work, so keep the phone in your pocket and stay attentive!
  2. Chat with Others On Set. This follows the previous tip well. As I said before, it is incredibly important to stay attentive on set. The best way to make sure you get rehired is to stay within earshot of your employer and be there when they need something. If you are close by, you will quickly realize there is always something to be done on set.
  3. Go to Work to Eat. Don’t spend all day at the snack table! Just don’t!
  4. Focus on Establishing a Relationship with the Client. Remember that your employer did not hire you to exchange numbers with the client. Remember that the best way to get more work is to impress your employer, not the client. As you do your job as the assistant and leave the wining and dining to the main photographer, you will find that you work better with your employer and are hired back more often.
  5. Don’t Clean Up After Yourself. Remember the age old adage your mother taught you? Leave every room cleaner than you found it. It still applies as an adult! So, when you are on set, make sure that you are consistently cleaning up after yourself rather than leaving a mess for others to clean up.

What other simple mistakes have you seen on set? Let me know! And check out these great deals from B&H!

Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!

-Jay P.


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