The Background Performers Guide to On Set Etiquette.
1. Remember- your word is your bond. If you accept a booking, you are committed to that production. Do not cancel!
2. Be clear on call time, location and wardrobe before you say goodbye to the casting person who telephoned you, no matter how hurried he/she may be.
Or, make sure you respond to the email you are sent about call times and holding locations.
If you are not sure, ask questions. If you are still not sure, call us.
3. A professional always arrives at least 15minutes before the call time, prepared to work.
4. If you are a professional performer, you can help guide other performers through the production day.
Remember, someone once helped you. Always set the example of how professionals should behave.
If you are new, ASK. There are always people willing to help you out, both in cast and crew.
5. Check in with the Background (BG) P.A. (Production Assistant). There are many P.A.'s Ask who is who.
Make sure you have 2 forms of proper I.D. with you.
(Examples: Driver's License, Social Security Card, Passport, Union Card)
6. Be organized to show your wardrobe to wardrobe assistants quickly.
7. Be clear to whom you are talking to. Know the wardrobe assistant's name and hair person's name. Ask.
8. Know the name of the A.D. (Assistant Director) P.A., or Casting person who is signing you in and out.
Direct your questions to the relevant person. You will save your time and theirs.
9. Follow instructions. When you are moved from place to place, go quickly and quietly.
10. Keep your holding area clean. Craft service (food) people appreciate your help. Don't argue with them.
Keep clean whatever area is set up for a craft service. You will get more by helping in this area than fighting.
If something is needed, ask. For example, if you need an aspirin, ask the craft service person, not an A.D. Better still, bring your own.
Bring a Survival Kit, maybe a pen, money for snacks or a walkaway lunch), something to read, iPod, Notebook PC.
11. Do not bring valuables to a production.
12. Don't bring Cell Phones, iPods, food, drinks or anything that is not part of the set onto the set.
If you MUST have a cell phone on you, make sure you tell a P.A. why you need it and follow their rules.
Some Directors have been known to send people home without pay if they are on the cell phone or texting on set!!!
13. Respect the set and don't rearrange things to suit yourself. They were placed there for a reason.
14. Don't rearrange your hair, make-up or wardrobe for personal comfort after a master has been shot.
That hat, scarf or coat (buttoned or unbuttoned) may well be in continuity and mess up the film.
15. Do your job and remember your action. Give the same action each time.
16. Listen attentively. Don't make the A.D.'s repeat instructions.
17. Be aware of equipment and what the camera is doing.
Learn to know when you are in frame (when the camera can see you) and when you are not.
18. Time your washroom visits for slack periods.
19. If you do go to the washroom, or for a cigarette, tell the A.D., P.A., or Casting person responsible for extras where you are going. Don't wander off. Do return immediately.
20. If you have a commitment to other work that could limit your ability to do overtime, tell the person responsible for extras as soon as you arrive at work. Be sure he/she understands and that you don't get caught in a continuity situation.
21. Keep a good attitude through the day (it could be a long one). A positive outlook can make the day go faster and more pleasant for everyone.
22. Return your wardrobe at the end of the day as nicely as you received it. Disagreements: Don't argue.
Make your point clearly so that the person understands, and then leave. Also, make sure you are clear in your understanding of the other person's position. Do not hold up the production or prevent people from getting away on time. Report any issues to us A.S.A.P. we will handle them
23. Most of all, have fun! Make Friends! This is a learning experience. Besides, no one else has a job like this except YOU the Professional Background Actor - they can't make Movies and TV without you!
Thank you and break a leg!