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Directors Tell the Story, 2nd Edition by Mary Lou Belli, Bethany Rooney

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Chapter 6

Organizing the Shoot with the First Assistant Director

In an average one-hour single-camera production, you have about 52 pages of script that must be shot in 7, 8, or 9 days, depending on the budget. With a half-hour single camera show, you have about 38 pages that usually must be shot in 5 days. How do you decide what to shoot on what day? How do you fit it all in?

Those decisions are made during prep. There are many factors to juggle, and you—the director—are mostly focused on the creative aspect of blocking and shot listing, so you need someone to focus instead on the logistics. That person is the first assistant director, or 1st AD. (There is also a 2nd assistant director, and a 2nd 2nd assistant director, and there are production ...

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