Here’s what you can expect during your work day on set from start to finish.
1. Please always be on time for work! If you’re going be late please contact the Casting Director immediately. You can find their contact information in your call time details.
2. Once you arrive, go directly to the report location you were given and sign-in with your Assistant Director contact right away.
3. Please remember that production requires your legal name, your complete mailing address, including your unit or apartment number if applicable, your city of residence, postal code and your valid Canadian Social Insurance Number. Please make sure your profile at The Casting Collective is always kept up to date with this information. At the end of your work day you must also sign out with your Assistant Director contact in order to get paid.
4. Background holding is the designated area where background artists wait until they are required on set. While in holding you’ll be processed through the Costume, Hair and Make-Up departments. Never leave holding as you may be called to set at any moment.
5. Always listen carefully to any information you’re given.
6. Productions require all background artists, actors and crew members sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement before starting work. Never post anything on social media regarding your work day.
7. Still or video photography on and off set is forbidden and is grounds for immediate dismissal.
8. When you’re on set please make sure your cell phone is turned off completely. Note that many productions won't allow cell phones on the set. Please keep quiet while you're on set and listen for your instructions from the Assistant Directors.
9. Do not disturb the actors. Do not request autographs or pictures.
10. Never look at the camera.
11. Harassment of any kind is forbidden in the workplace and is grounds for immediate dismissal.
12. The consumption of alcohol or any illicit substances, including marijuana, is forbidden in the workplace and is grounds for immediate dismissal.
13. Once you’re on set, the Assistant Directors, or ADs, will let you know your movement or blocking for a scene. You will be asked to repeat and match everything for different camera angles so it’s important that you remember exactly what you did and how you looked in each scene. This is called continuity. To help you remember you may want to make notes for yourself during your work day.
14. Most productions will rehearse the blocking of a scene several times prior to filming. When the Director is ready to shoot the following prompts will be heard:
- The 1st AD will call out "roll sound" to initiate sound recording.
- Next, the Sound department will call out "sound speed" to confirm that they are recording sound.
- After that, the Camera department will sync the film and sound using a time slate or clapper. They may also call out "frame" to confirm that they are filming.
- Then the 1st AD will call out "background action" to cue the background artists to begin their movement.
- Lastly, the Director will call out "action" to cue the actors.
15. Once the scene is completed the Director will call "cut". Always continue the action you have been given until you have heard the Director call "cut".
16. Once a shot is completed and the Director has called "cut" the ADs may ask you to go to your "first marks" or return to your "number ones". This means you must return to your beginning position and prepare to shoot the scene again.
17. Never leave set unless you are directed to do so by an Assistant Director. If you have been asked to leave set, please go directly to background holding and wait for your next instructions.
18. Once you are told you're “wrapped” you must sign out with your Assistant Director contact before you leave.
19. When you’re leaving please ensure you take all of your belongings home with you. Anything that is left at the end of the day is tagged as "lost and found" and sent to the production office. Please note that productions are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
20. Light snacks and beverages are provided periodically during the work day. This is called craft service. Please note that there is often one craft service table for crew members and a separate table for background artists. Please do not eat from the crew’s craft service table.
21. A light lunch is provided. Never help yourself to lunch until you have been instructed to do so by the Assistant Directors. If you have any special dietary needs you may want to bring your own meal. Please note that lunch is not served during the typical lunch hour but is generally served six hours after the crew has started working.
22. Report any injuries or illnesses immediately.
23. Arrive at work prepared for the current weather conditions. It’s always a good idea to bring an umbrella.
24. Waiting is a large part of a background artist's job. Please feel free to bring a book or some other form of quiet entertainment with you. Sleeping at work is not allowed and is grounds for dismissal.
25. Keep your valuables with you at all times. Never bring large amounts of money or unnecessary valuable items with you to work. Please note that productions are not responsible for lost or stolen property.
26. For your own records, make note of your call time, wrap time and pay rate each day that you work.
27. Always deposit your garbage in a trash can.
28. If you smoke please smoke in designated smoking areas only. When extinguishing your cigarettes please use the butt can provided by the Locations department.