MTH

Information for Location Owners

If you are reading this, then most likely one of our students has asked you if they can use your home or place of business as a film set. We appreciate you taking the time to consider this request and sincerely hope you can help our students. We make nearly 200 films a year and without the generous support of people like yourself, we simply couldn’t do it.

Your gift to our students is important to us. We hold our students to the highest standards of professionalism, and stress the importance of working in a safe, courteous, and organized manner. We know how valuable your property is to you, and we understand that asking you to share it with us is a huge imposition. And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we understand that any concerns about allowing students into your home or place of business are elevated right now. The protection of you and your property is our number one priority, and the school has developed strict safety protocols to mitigate risks posed by the pandemic.

WHAT TO EXPECT

How many people will be here?

It takes many people to make a film. A typical student crew consists of 12-15 students, plus actors and a couple of extra volunteers. Be sure to ask how many students, actors, and volunteers will be involved.

What will they bring?

It takes a lot of equipment to make a movie; cameras, sound, lights, stands, sand bags, rigging gear, generators, cables, camera dollies, and more. Our students are trained to operate this equipment safely and securely. Be sure to ask where this equipment will be “staged” when not in use, where the main cables will be run, and where trucks and cars will be parked.

How long will they be here?

Our students work by union rules, which stipulate the number of hours they are able to work. A typical work day is 12 hours, plus one hour for lunch. However, the crew will begin arriving approximately a half-hour before work and usually take a half-hour at the end of the day to pack up and clean. Be sure to ask what time the crew will begin to arrive and what time the last person will leave. In addition, the students will typically need to come to the location to plan and decorate in the days leading up to the shoot.

COVID-19 protocols

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Film School is operating under a set of heightened safety protocols based on new industry guidelines and practices. These protocols include seven overarching principles:

  1. Preparation
  2. Scope management
  3. A “zone” system
  4. Health monitoring
  5. Physical distancing
  6. Face covering
  7. Sanitization

In preparation for each production day, students have a series of logistics meetings with their instructors to ensure that all safety concerns are being thought through. This includes a “tech scout” to determine a specific plan for the safe use of your location — such as how the location will be sanitized at the start and end of production, how the physical space will be organized into different zones to protect personnel, how the location will be secured to prevent outside people from wandering onto set, and how the crew and location owners will keep each other safe.

For the shooting day itself, the students are required to follow a detailed daily production protocol that outlines all the extra safety precautions they need to take throughout the day to mitigate the risks posed by the pandemic. By following these protocols, students will enter each shooting day with sense of mindfulness and caution, and with specific, well-organized safety procedures for the production.

Location agreements

If you choose to donate the use of your property, be sure that the following happens:

  1. The student gives you a copy of the script and answers any questions you may have.
  2. The student completes with you a Location Shooting Plan Agreement that states in written form exactly where they may work, where they may park their vehicles, what times they have access and any other terms which you may wish to stipulate.
  3. The student presents you with a Location Agreement to sign. This allows us to use the location and waives your liability should one of our students get hurt.

1st AD Protocol (Cheat Sheet)

This is a streamlined “cheat sheet” for seasoned 1st ADs. Twirl open any callout and the complete description of that step will be displayed. Please remember that all GREEN CALLS are made over the radio and are repeated by the 2nd AD, while all BLUE CALLS are made to on-set crew only and are not repeated by the 2nd AD.

Daily Protocol

Morning Meeting

We are having the morning meeting
  • Precisely at call time, the 1D gathers the crew by the trucks for the morning meeting. The 1D goes over the logistics of the day and addresses safety concerns.
  • COVID: Due to the congregation of all crew members, the morning meeting should ideally be performed outside. If the space does not permit all crew to congregate with physical distancing, the crew should be divided into smaller groups and the meeting should be repeated for each group.
Work safely, everyone
  • This concludes the morning meeting. 1D then gathers DR, DP, SS, 2C, and goes to set.

WORKING OUT THE BLOCKING

Clear the set for blocking
  • If DR is ready, the 1D asks 2D to escort the actors to set, so that DR and actors can work out the blocking. During this time, 1D manages crew staging, while periodically monitoring DR.
Are we ready to mark the blocking?
  • If DR is ready, 1D invites DP, SS, and 2C to set and oversees the determination of coverage.

WORKING OUT THE COVERAGE

Observe the crew working out the coverage
  • DR and DP watch the action that’s been worked out with the actors. Together they discuss any changes. 1D watches and checks that: DP watches the coverage through a viewfinder or lens; SS watches eyelines and notes coverage plan; 2C marks the actors’ stopped positions with colored tape.
  • COVID: Physical distancing must be maintained during the laying down of marks. Either the actors should step back while the 2C lays down the mark, or the actor should be provided tape to lay down their own mark.
Are we ready for the New Deal?
  • Only when the plan is agreed upon, 1D calls:

NEW DEAL

We have a New Deal
  • 1D confirms all department heads are present. DR shows the action.
  • COVID: If physical distancing is not possible due to space limitations, the New Deal should be repeated for smaller clusters of department heads.
Questions on the blocking?
  • DR fields queries, then shows/explains coverage.
Questions on the coverage?
  • DR fields questions on the plan. 1D facilitates, making sure every department is anticipating issues.
Is the plan good?

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

BUILDING IT

OK, let's build it. Thank you, First Team.
  • 2D escorts First Team (DR and actors) to base camp. 1D quietly gets a setup time estimate from the DP. (Note: No one else but 1D and DR need ask about time or guess how long things will take.) From this point on, 1D is quietly monitoring progress and updating department time estimates.
  • Ways of being helpful throughout this process include: “Let’s get the frame” … “Let’s get focus” … “Let’s get a boom line” … “Work quietly”
  • COVID: Crew must maintain physical distancing at all times, except for where a technical operation makes it impossible. Such moments should be kept to a bare minimum and undertaken with extreme caution. If the space does not permit crew members to maintain physical distancing, 1D must organize the staggering and rotation of different departments’ work. This is something that should have been identified during the tech scout, so a plan should already have been discussed for this in advance of the production day.
  • COVID: Camera placement should be more than six feet away from any actor. Any exceptions to this need to have been approved during Director’s Prep.
  • COVID: Set up video village in a location to minimize crowding around the monitor. Only two, physically distancing crew members may be at video village at one time, with priority given to DR and SS.
  • COVID: SM gives a sanitized wireless lav to each actor and instructs them how to secure the mic. If necessary, SM may secure the mic themselves, but the physical proximity should be kept to a minimum duration and an extra level of protection should be considered, such as a face-shield or a plexiglass divider.
Are we ready for camera rehearsal?

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Camera Rehearsal

Camera rehearsal is up. Stand by.
  • 2D asks DR if they wish to be present. DR either comes to set or 2D informs 1D to proceed without DR. (If DR does not come to set, 1D calls “action” and “cut” instead.)
  • COVID: Do not use actors for the camera rehearsal, and keep minimal crew on set.
Camera ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
We are going for camera rehearsal...
  • Action is called. Technical team runs shot.
...That's a cut on camera rehearsal
How was that for camera?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
How was that for sound?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

BAD FOR EITHER
Troubleshoot

GOOD FOR BOTH
Proceed

Camera ready for rehearsal?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready for rehearsal?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Rehearsal

Essential personnel only, please.
  • COVID: The set is about to become a Zone A space, so 1D clears the set of all non-essential personnel.
First Team in, please
  • 2D brings DR and actors to set. Everything must be ready!
Everyone work quietly. First team is on set.
  • DR works with actors. (Note: Rehearsal moves directly into shooting. If any technical issue arise that cannot be solved immediately, 1D releases First Team until it is solved.)
  • COVID: Actors should ideally remain in masks during rehearsals. If masks need to be removed for any reason, consider deploying other protections, such as plexiglass barriers.
Rehearsal is up. Stand by.
  • 1D waits and confirms visually when DR is ready.
Quiet, please. We are going for rehearsal...
  • DR calls “action” and “cut.” This should be treated like it is a take by all set personnel. Make sure the set is locked up.
...That's a cut on rehearsal. Stand by.
  • While DR checks in with the actors, 1D checks in with camera and sound for feedback. 1D relays this information to DR, who chooses to rehearse again or proceed. Are we ready to shoot?
Are we ready to shoot?

NO
Call: “We are going again. Stand by.”

YES
Proceed

Last Looks

Picture is up. Last looks.
Camera ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Director ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Going for picture

We are going for picture. Lock it up.
  • It’s GO time. Listen to ensure set is locked up. Be very sure EVERYONE is actually ready, especially DR and actors, before calling:
  • COVID: Slating should be at least six feet from any actors. If the lens or space does not allow for that, a pan over to the slate should be used instead.
  • COVID: Actors should remove their own masks. If the shot doesn’t permit them to keep the mask on their person, PD should provide a Ziploc bag with the actor’s name on it and PD should manage the Ziploc bags during takes.
  • COVID: If hair and makeup needs to make an adjustment due to the masks, this should occur swiftly.
  • COVID: If DR wants to go again quickly, and actors consent, masks can stay off between takes.
Roll sound...
  • If sound is being recorded on a dedicated field recorder, use Cadence for Dual-System Sound.
  • If sound is being recorded by the camera, use Cadence for Single-System Sound.
Cadence for dual-system sound

  • SM calls SPEED
  • 2C VOICE SLATES
  • 1C rolls camera and Camera Operator calls SPEED
  • 2C calls MARKER and clacks the sticks
  • Camera Operator calls FRAME
  • 1D calls MASKS OFF (actors remove masks)
  • DR calls ACTION, watches take, and calls CUT
  • 1D calls MASKS ON (actors replace masks)

Cadence for single-system sound

  • 1C rolls camera and Camera Operator calls SPEED
  • 2C VOICE SLATES
  • 2C calls MARKER and clacks the sticks
  • Camera Operator calls FRAME
  • 1D calls MASKS OFF (actors remove masks)
  • DR calls ACTION, watches take, and calls CUT
  • 1D calls MASKS ON (actors replace masks)

That's a cut on picture. Stand by.
  • 1D checks in with camera and sound to see if the take was good or if a technical issue may require another take.
  • 1D relays this information to DR, and checks to see if the DR would like to go again or move on to the next set-up.
Ready to move on?

NO
Repeat

YES
Proceed

Moving on

Thank you, First Team
  • 2D escorts the actors (and DR if desired) off set and the crew comes in to execute the next set-up.
  • COVID: After the First Team has left the set, 1D allows crew to re-enter the space.
We are moving on to... (describe next set-up)
  • Move on to the next planned set-up as indicated previously during the New Deal. 1D restates shot as previously described.
  • Return to BUILDING IT and proceed until all scene coverage is complete.
  • When the scene is complete, return to WORKING OUT THE BLOCKING for next scene.
  • Continue this process for the rest of the day.
  • During the day, if the production falls behind schedule or if any problems arise, 1D should be proactive in conferring privately with DR and/or DP on how to solve the problems. This can be done quietly and discreetly on set or during breaks, such as lunch.
  • COVID: Departments should sanitize equipment throughout the day during free moments, especially anything to be handled by others in the department.

Important Time-Based Items

Start of Day

First shot is off at (state time)
  • Recording the time of the first shot of the day (and the first shot after lunch) is an important item that is reported to the studio on the DPR.

Midday

That's lunch
  • At exactly the 6-hour mark after first call time Lunch must be called. If the team has already rolled on a set-up you can go into “Grace,” which means work must then be completed within 12 minutes. You cannot shoot past this or you are in meal penalty.
  • During lunch, 1D talks to DR and the DP about the rest of the day’s work and participates in making any adjustments to the plan and/or schedule to help make the day.
  • COVID: Boxed lunches should be delivered to the team spaces for each department, so as to avoid having people congregating around a single lunch table.
  • COVID: Since masks need to be off for eating, extra precaution must be taken. Eating outside with maximum distance between people is recommended.
  • COVID: Staggering the start time for lunch for different departments is recommended, if the schedule permits. Staggering the start time for lunch is required if physical distancing is not possible at the location.
Ten Minutes
  • Ten minutes before the end of lunch the 1st AD announces this to everyone.
We're back
  • This call marks the official end of lunch. All crew is required to return to work. 1D should remind everyone what set-up is first up after lunch.
  • COVID: After lunch, PR makes sure that high-touch surfaces get a sanitizing wipe down and each department sanitizes heavily used items of equipment.

End of Day

This is the Abby Singer
  • 1D alerts the crew that this is the second-to-last set up. (Be sure it actually is before announcing.) This is a morale boost as the day nears its end.
This is the martini
  • 1D alerts the crew that this is the last set up of the day. (BE SURE it actually is before announcing.) This is a bigger morale boost as the day nears its end.
That's a day (and/or picture) wrap for
(actor's name)
  • Crew applauds to thank the talent for the day’s work or for their work over multiple days on the whole picture.
That's a day (and/or picture) wrap for
(production name)
  • Crew celebrates a hard day’s work. “Picture Wrap” can be an emotional call after weeks of work on a feature.
Company Wrap
  • 1D talks to the DR and the DP about the next day’s work and any adjustments to the plan and/or schedule.
  • 1D signs off on the Daily Production Report (DPR), which is sent back to production by the 2D.
  • COVID: 1D makes sure that camera wrap happens no less than 60 minutes before company wrap, to allow sufficient time for loading out and cleaning the location.
  • COVID: Actors change out of wardrobe, preferably in a single-person occupancy changing room. PD places any wardrobe supplied by the production in a secure bag to be laundered if used again. If actors need to remove their masks, the changing room becomes a Zone A space.
  • COVID: Equipment should be reloaded back into the truck in a prescribed sequence. Only one crew member is permitted in the back of the truck at a time. Physical distancing must be observed at all times. Each department should clean equipment during wrap.
  • COVID: Doors Down Meeting should ideally be performed outside. If the space does not permit all crew to congregate with adequate physical distancing, the crew may divide up into departmental groups for separate, smaller doors down meetings.
  • COVID: 2D keeps access to location restricted until last crew member has left. The plan for sanitizing the location at company wrap must be completed before the 2D leaves the location.

Approval Process for Distant Locations

DOCUMENTARIES

Documentaries are permitted to shoot at distant locations within the contiguous United States. Permission to travel must be attained in advance from the Documentary development instructor.

BFA AND MFA THESIS FILMS

BFA and MFA thesis films may also request permission to shoot at a distant location outside of the studio zone. Due to the added complexity of shooting thesis films at distant locations and the added wear-and-tear on school equipment, approval will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Students will need to present a thorough case to faculty that addresses the following:

  1. Why this location is essential to the success of the film.
  2. A budget/plan for transporting, housing, and feeding the cast and crew for the duration of the distant shoot.
  3. A budget/plan for transporting, housing, and feeding a faculty member for the duration of the distant shoot.
  4. A budget/plan for transporting, parking, and securely managing school vehicles and equipment during the distant shoot.
  5. A back-up plan for if the camera or other mission-critical equipment go down.
  6. A schedule showing key deadlines for locking locations, securing accommodations, and any other critical plans. Permission for shooting at a distant location will be revoked if these deadlines are not hit, and the production will need to shoot locally.
  7. A schedule of travel days and drive times during the production week.
  8. A local back-up plan, in case permission is not granted and/or the distant location falls through.

The request to shoot at a distant location should be made as early as possible in the development/pre-production process, and no later than two weeks before the first day of production on the show. Approval must be received from the people:

  1. Director’s Prep Faculty
  2. Head of Set Operations (David Wiley)
  3. Head of Production (Tony Ciarlariello)
  4. Associate Dean (Andrew Syder)

Public Domain & Creative Commons Resources

The Internet is a wonderful place for finding videos, images, motion graphics, clip art, music, and sound effects that can be used in your films. Below is a list of resources to help with finding stuff that’s either in the Public Domain (belongs to all of us) or Creative Commons (licensed by the author for others to use).

Beware, however, that the Internet is also a terribly unreliable place and the burden of proof will fall on you to document that you actually have the rights to use any of the stuff you dig up, so that you have a clear chain of title on your film.

For works in the Public Domain, this can sometimes take a fair amount of research, as there is often unclear and unreliable information circulating about works that are supposedly in the public domain. Any works published in 1924 or earlier are now in the public domain. Any works published after 1924 should be assumed to be under copyright, unless otherwise confirmed. Also be aware that new versions of works public domain — e.g., the New York Symphony Orchestra’s recent recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony are copyrighted. In other words, you could perform the composition yourself and be okay, but you couldn’t use the New York Symphony Orchestra’s recording without clearing it first.

For Creative Commons work, some license types (such as “NoDerivs” and “ShareAlike”) are not compatible with the work we do, so you would not be able to use that work in your film. Generally speaking, you’ll need to look for works that are licensed either as “Attribution” or “Attribution-NonCommercial”. (Note, however, that many authors who’ve opted for a NoDerivs or ShareAlike license may be open to giving you permission to use their work if you contact them directly. If they are willing, you’ll need to follow the usual process of acquiring a licensing agreement for a copyrighted work.)

Videos

Images

Motion Graphics

Clip art

Music

  • Muse Open – classical music
  • Free Music Archive – interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America.
  • Free music public domain
  • Freesound – a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds.
  • Anthony Kozar – Composer and open-source programmer
  • Audionautix – The music on this site is the creation of Jason Shaw.
  • Bensound.com – Download royalty free stock music for YouTube and your multimedia projects.
  • Brett Van Donsel provides affordable music options for filmmakers, YouTubers, gamers, podcasters, advertisers and more. Most of the music is royalty free. 
  • Filmmusic.io – Over 600 tracks, free even for commercial use, primarily with cinematic music by Sascha Ende.
  • Gravity Sound – Free Music and Sound Effects for Personal and Commercial Use
  • Incompetech – Royalty free music by Kevin MacLeod
  • Josh Woodward – Acoustic indie rock singer/songwriter. Creative Commons Music.
  • King James – Royalty free music
  • Kongano.com – This site contains royalty-free mp3s for you to listen, download and do whatever you want with.
  • Natentine – Download the right royalty free music for YouTube videos, film, corporate videos, games and more.
  • Silverman Sound Studios – Background music for YouTube, videos, games, films, adverts, podcasts, anything! All totally free to download!
  • TechnoAXE – Royalty Free Music for your commercial/non-commercial videos or projects. This website has Techno, Dubstep, Metal, Rock or Soundtrack.
  • Tim Beek – Music for media
  • Twin Musicom – Innovative audio production
  • WOWA – Free music

Sound effects

Safety Bulletins

Safety Bulletins are researched, written, and distributed by the Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee for use by the motion picture and television industry. The Safety Committee is composed of guild, union, and management representatives active in industry safety and health programs.

Safety Bulletins are guidelines recommended by the Safety Committee. They are not binding laws or regulations. State, federal, and/or local regulations, where applicable, override these guidelines. Modifications in these guidelines should be made, as circumstances warrant, to ensure the safety of the cast and crew.

A PDF of all relevant Safety Bulletins must be attached to Call Sheets or otherwise distributed to affected employees. All crew are required to read distributed Safety Bulletins prior to commencing the work day. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, including immediate dismissal from the school.

General Safety

Animals

Artificial Haze

Chemicals and Flammable Materials

Electrical Safety

Environmental Concerns

Filming Equipment and Vehicles

Stunts and Special Effects

Water Hazards

Weapons

Weather

Caption

1st AD Protocol

Overview

This document is intended to serve as a guide to help 1st Assistant Directors understand the role, as well as to supply set-specific jargon and the proper sequence of “callouts,” which are only a small part of the 1st AD’s job.

The role of the 1st AD is an important and multi-faceted one, involving organization, anticipation, communication, problem-solving, leadership, support, morale-building, time-budgeting, and resource allocation. It is a role that is critical in planning and scheduling a film during prep, and one that is vital for smooth set operation during production. The 1st AD runs the set and works just as hard as either the DP or the Director.

It is the responsibility of the 1st AD to know where everyone is, so crew must inform the AD department if they briefly leave set (e.g., “I’m 10-1”). The 1st AD always remains by camera; if the show has a base camp away from set, the 1st AD should communicate with the 2nd AD by radio. The 1st AD tracks the time but does not harass people about it. Good ADs need never raise their voice because they have not allowed things to reach that point. Above all else, it is the 1st AD’s job to watch, facilitate, and anticipate problems for the betterment of the film, not simply to “make the day.”

GREEN CALLS
ARE MADE OVER THE RADIO AND REPEATED BY 2ND AD

BLUE CALLS
ARE MADE ONLY TO ON-SET CREW AND NOT REPEATED BY 2ND AD

Daily Protocol

Having already been instrumental in helping to schedule the order of shots and estimating the time for each, a typical day for the 1st AD on set goes as follows. Note: On shows with smaller crews – such as F1s and F2s – some of the crew positions listed in this protocol may not have a dedicated crew member performing the role. If there is not a dedicated 2nd AD, the 1st AD should either assume those responsibilities or delegate them to another person. If there is not a dedicated Script Supervisor or 2nd AC, the Producer is responsible for making sure that other crew members cover the relevant tasks described in this protocol.

Morning Meeting

We are having the morning meeting
  • Precisely at call time, the 1D gathers the crew by the trucks for the morning meeting. The 1D goes over the logistics of the day and addresses safety concerns.
  • COVID: Due to the congregation of all crew members, the morning meeting should ideally be performed outside. If the space does not permit all crew to congregate with physical distancing, the crew should be divided into smaller groups and the meeting should be repeated for each group.
Work safely, everyone
  • This concludes the morning meeting. 1D then gathers DR, DP, SS, 2C, and goes to set.

WORKING OUT THE BLOCKING

Clear the set for blocking
  • If DR is ready, the 1D asks 2D to escort the actors to set, so that DR and actors can work out the blocking. During this time, 1D manages crew staging, while periodically monitoring DR.
Are we ready to mark the blocking?
  • If DR is ready, 1D invites DP, SS, and 2C to set and oversees the determination of coverage.

WORKING OUT THE COVERAGE

Observe the crew working out the coverage
  • DR and DP watch the action that’s been worked out with the actors. Together they discuss any changes. 1D watches and checks that: DP watches the coverage through a viewfinder or lens; SS watches eyelines and notes coverage plan; 2C marks the actors’ stopped positions with colored tape.
  • COVID: Physical distancing must be maintained during the laying down of marks. Either the actors should step back while the 2C lays down the mark, or the actor should be provided tape to lay down their own mark.
Are we ready for the New Deal?
  • Only when the plan is agreed upon, 1D calls:

NEW DEAL

We have a New Deal
  • 1D confirms all department heads are present. DR shows the action.
  • COVID: If physical distancing is not possible due to space limitations, the New Deal should be repeated for smaller clusters of department heads.
Questions on the blocking?
  • DR fields queries, then shows/explains coverage.
Questions on the coverage?
  • DR fields questions on the plan. 1D facilitates, making sure every department is anticipating issues.
Is the plan good?

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

BUILDING IT

OK, let's build it. Thank you, First Team.
  • 2D escorts First Team (DR and actors) to base camp. 1D quietly gets a setup time estimate from the DP. (Note: No one else but 1D and DR need ask about time or guess how long things will take.) From this point on, 1D is quietly monitoring progress and updating department time estimates.
  • Ways of being helpful throughout this process include: “Let’s get the frame” … “Let’s get focus” … “Let’s get a boom line” … “Work quietly”
  • COVID: Crew must maintain physical distancing at all times, except for where a technical operation makes it impossible. Such moments should be kept to a bare minimum and undertaken with extreme caution. If the space does not permit crew members to maintain physical distancing, 1D must organize the staggering and rotation of different departments’ work. This is something that should have been identified during the tech scout, so a plan should already have been discussed for this in advance of the production day.
  • COVID: Camera placement should be more than six feet away from any actor. Any exceptions to this need to have been approved during Director’s Prep.
  • COVID: Set up video village in a location to minimize crowding around the monitor. Only two, physically distancing crew members may be at video village at one time, with priority given to DR and SS.
  • COVID: SM gives a sanitized wireless lav to each actor and instructs them how to secure the mic. If necessary, SM may secure the mic themselves, but the physical proximity should be kept to a minimum duration and an extra level of protection should be considered, such as a face-shield or a plexiglass divider.
Are we ready for camera rehearsal?

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Camera Rehearsal

Camera rehearsal is up. Stand by.
  • 2D asks DR if they wish to be present. DR either comes to set or 2D informs 1D to proceed without DR. (If DR does not come to set, 1D calls “action” and “cut” instead.)
  • COVID: Do not use actors for the camera rehearsal, and keep minimal crew on set.
Camera ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
We are going for camera rehearsal...
  • Action is called. Technical team runs shot.
...That's a cut on camera rehearsal
How was that for camera?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
How was that for sound?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

BAD FOR EITHER
Troubleshoot

GOOD FOR BOTH
Proceed

Camera ready for rehearsal?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready for rehearsal?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Rehearsal

Essential personnel only, please.
  • COVID: The set is about to become a Zone A space, so 1D clears the set of all non-essential personnel.
First Team in, please
  • 2D brings DR and actors to set. Everything must be ready!
Everyone work quietly. First team is on set.
  • DR works with actors. (Note: Rehearsal moves directly into shooting. If any technical issue arise that cannot be solved immediately, 1D releases First Team until it is solved.)
  • COVID: Actors should ideally remain in masks during rehearsals. If masks need to be removed for any reason, consider deploying other protections, such as plexiglass barriers.
Rehearsal is up. Stand by.
  • 1D waits and confirms visually when DR is ready.
Quiet, please. We are going for rehearsal...
  • DR calls “action” and “cut.” This should be treated like it is a take by all set personnel. Make sure the set is locked up.
...That's a cut on rehearsal. Stand by.
  • While DR checks in with the actors, 1D checks in with camera and sound for feedback. 1D relays this information to DR, who chooses to rehearse again or proceed.
Are we ready to shoot?

NO
Call: “We are going again.
Stand by.”

YES
Proceed

Last Looks

Picture is up. Last looks.
Camera ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Sound ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.
Director ready?
  • Check, or confirm by non-verbal eye contact.

NO
Troubleshoot

YES
Proceed

Going for picture

We are going for picture. Lock it up.
  • It’s GO time. Listen to ensure set is locked up. Be very sure EVERYONE is actually ready, especially DR and actors, before calling:
  • COVID: Slating should be at least six feet from any actors. If the lens or space does not allow for that, a pan over to the slate should be used instead.
  • COVID: Actors should remove their own masks. If the shot doesn’t permit them to keep the mask on their person, PD should provide a Ziploc bag with the actor’s name on it and PD should manage the Ziploc bags during takes.
  • COVID: If hair and makeup needs to make an adjustment due to the masks, this should occur swiftly.
  • COVID: If DR wants to go again quickly, and actors consent, masks can stay off between takes.
Roll sound...
  • If sound is being recorded on a dedicated field recorder, use Cadence for Dual-System Sound.
  • If sound is being recorded by the camera, use Cadence for Single-System Sound.
Cadence for dual-system sound

  • SM calls SPEED
  • 2C VOICE SLATES
  • 1C rolls camera and Camera Operator calls SPEED
  • 2C calls MARKER and clacks the sticks
  • Camera Operator calls FRAME
  • 1D calls MASKS OFF (actors remove masks)
  • DR calls ACTION, watches take, and calls CUT
  • 1D calls MASKS ON (actors replace masks)

Cadence for single-system sound

  • 1C rolls camera and Camera Operator calls SPEED
  • 2C VOICE SLATES
  • 2C calls MARKER and clacks the sticks
  • Camera Operator calls FRAME
  • 1D calls MASKS OFF (actors remove masks)
  • DR calls ACTION, watches take, and calls CUT
  • 1D calls MASKS ON (actors replace masks)

That's a cut on picture. Stand by.
  • 1D checks in with camera and sound to see if the take was good or if a technical issue may require another take.
  • 1D relays this information to DR, and checks to see if the DR would like to go again or move on to the next set-up.
Ready to move on?

NO
Repeat

YES
Proceed

Moving on

Thank you, First Team
  • 2D escorts the actors (and DR if desired) off set and the crew comes in to execute the next set-up.
  • COVID: After the First Team has left the set, 1D allows crew to re-enter the space.
We are moving on to... (describe next set-up)
  • Move on to the next planned set-up as indicated previously during the New Deal. 1D restates shot as previously described.
  • Return to BUILDING IT and proceed until all scene coverage is complete.
  • When the scene is complete, return to WORKING OUT THE BLOCKING for next scene.
  • Continue this process for the rest of the day.
  • During the day, if the production falls behind schedule or if any problems arise, 1D should be proactive in conferring privately with DR and/or DP on how to solve the problems. This can be done quietly and discreetly on set or during breaks, such as lunch.
  • COVID: Departments should sanitize equipment throughout the day during free moments, especially anything to be handled by others in the department.

Important Time-Based Items

Start of Day

First shot is off at (state time)
  • Recording the time of the first shot of the day (and the first shot after lunch) is an important item that is reported to the studio on the DPR.

Midday

That's lunch
  • At exactly the 6-hour mark after first call time Lunch must be called. If the team has already rolled on a set-up you can go into “Grace,” which means work must then be completed within 12 minutes. You cannot shoot past this or you are in meal penalty.
  • During lunch, 1D talks to DR and the DP about the rest of the day’s work and participates in making any adjustments to the plan and/or schedule to help make the day.
  • COVID: Boxed lunches should be delivered to the team spaces for each department, so as to avoid having people congregating around a single lunch table.
  • COVID: Since masks need to be off for eating, extra precaution must be taken. Eating outside with maximum distance between people is recommended.
  • COVID: Staggering the start time for lunch for different departments is recommended, if the schedule permits. Staggering the start time for lunch is required if physical distancing is not possible at the location.
Ten Minutes
  • Ten minutes before the end of lunch the 1st AD announces this to everyone.
We're back
  • This call marks the official end of lunch. All crew is required to return to work. 1D should remind everyone what set-up is first up after lunch.
  • COVID: After lunch, PR makes sure that high-touch surfaces get a sanitizing wipe down and each department sanitizes heavily used items of equipment.

End of Day

This is the Abby Singer
  • 1D alerts the crew that this is the second-to-last set up. (Be sure it actually is before announcing.) This is a morale boost as the day nears its end.
This is the martini
  • 1D alerts the crew that this is the last set up of the day. (BE SURE it actually is before announcing.) This is a bigger morale boost as the day nears its end.
That's a day (and/or picture) wrap for
(actor's name)
  • Crew applauds to thank the talent for the day’s work or for their work over multiple days on the whole picture.
That's a day (and/or picture) wrap for
(production name)
  • Crew celebrates a hard day’s work. “Picture Wrap” can be an emotional call after weeks of work on a feature.
Company Wrap
  • 1D talks to the DR and the DP about the next day’s work and any adjustments to the plan and/or schedule.
  • 1D signs off on the Daily Production Report (DPR), which is sent back to production by the 2D.
  • COVID: 1D makes sure that camera wrap happens no less than 60 minutes before company wrap, to allow sufficient time for loading out and cleaning the location.
  • COVID: Actors change out of wardrobe, preferably in a single-person occupancy changing room. PD places any wardrobe supplied by the production in a secure bag to be laundered if used again. If actors need to remove their masks, the changing room becomes a Zone A space.
  • COVID: Equipment should be reloaded back into the truck in a prescribed sequence. Only one crew member is permitted in the back of the truck at a time. Physical distancing must be observed at all times. Each department should clean equipment during wrap.
  • COVID: Doors Down Meeting should ideally be performed outside. If the space does not permit all crew to congregate with adequate physical distancing, the crew may divide up into departmental groups for separate, smaller doors down meetings.
  • COVID: 2D keeps access to location restricted until last crew member has left. The plan for sanitizing the location at company wrap must be completed before the 2D leaves the location.

VFX Scope Checks

During the development process of the F3, BTH and MTH cycles, there are a series of VFX scope checks, to make sure that shows are not writing checks that cannot be cashed. The Head of Visual Effects sends out a survey near the start of development to assess how many shows are considering visual effects. In-person meetings follow for shows that are considering visual effects. Near the end of the development phase, as shows enter pre-production, proof-of-concept meetings take place, wherein students show tests to demonstrate how they plan to execute any planned visual effects.

Walkaway Wraps

A “walkaway wrap” is when equipment remains at a shooting location overnight.

The standard operating procedure for location shoots is for all school equipment to be packed up and removed from the shooting location at the end of each day. This is for a number of reasons: to protect the equipment from theft and damage; to protect location owners, and our relationship with location owners, by returning their space to normalcy at the end of each shooting day; and to protect the educational experience of the below-the-line crew, so that they have the opportunity to practice wrapping equipment safely and efficiently at the end of each shooting day.

On thesis productions only, students may request a walkaway wrap, but permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Approval is at the discretion of the Director’s Prep Faculty and the Head of Set Operations, and the following conditions must be met:

  1. Requests must be made prior to the start of the show’s first day of production.
  2. Walkaway wraps may not be requested for family homes or other residential locations.
  3. Production must resume the day following the walkaway wrap. There cannot be any days off between the walkaway wrap and resuming of production.
  4. All department heads on the crew must approve the plan for the walkaway wrap.
  5. The Producer must provide a detailed description of which pieces of equipment would remain at the location and the reasons for why a walkaway wrap is being requested. Approval will only be given for rigging, where the extensiveness of the tear-down is a major factor.
  6. The Producer must provide a detailed plan for how the equipment will be secured safely at the location, to prevent theft/damage and to prevent injury to anyone who may enter the location before the crew returns.
  7. The Producer must provide a security professional to sit with the equipment overnight. The Head of Set Operations will determine whether or not a specific individual is approved for this task.

Foley Stage Operations

‼️ Safety guidelines ‼️

For safety reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot allow free and open access to the ADR/Foley suite. All use must be approved and scheduled by college administration. No walk-ins will be permitted.

To mitigate safety risks, there will be some important rules to follow:

  1. Only one person on the Foley stage and one person in the control room will be permitted.
  2. Face masks must be worn during the session.
  3. Students are asked to bring in their own props. If you don’t have access to a particular prop, you can make a request to Thomas to check it out.
  4. Rags and disinfectant will be provided. At the start of the session, students should wipe down any surfaces before touching them. At the end of the session, students should again wipe down any touched surfaces. Please be as attentive as possible to this.
  5. There will be an off-day between shows to allow for the ventilation system to filter the air. Film school staff will also come in on this off-day to disinfect things, as a further precaution.

Scheduling sessions

Use the Scheduling Book in the staging area to reserve session(s) times and facilities needed. Circle/highlight the appropriate Control Room and/or the Foley Pits for the times needed and write in your name or production number:

–>

Setting up the server

Make sure you have saved and closed your project on the Post Hall.

Confirm that The_Server is mounted on the desktop:

If not, from the Finder menu bar select “Go” and navigate to “Connect to Server”:

Then, for the Server Address, enter film-post-fs01.film.fsu.edu

Contact the Post Hall staff if you do not know the username and password.

Setting up the session

Select and power any appropriate video monitor on the Foley Stage:

  • HDMI 1 is for Control Room A
  • HDMI 2 is for Control Room B

Open Nuendo 8 from the Dock. The Nuendo Hub should open. Select your project from the list on the right hand window or select ”Open Other” and navigate to your .npr project file in your project folder on the Server:

From the Nuendo menu bar select “Studio” and navigate to “Audio Connections”:

Confirm all devices (the Steinberg I/O box on the workstation) are connected and mapped to the correct input and output ports.

Input Tab: the ADR Mic input 1 should be mapped to the corresponding Device Port and Foley Mic Input 2 should be mapped to its corresponding port:

Output Tab: The DxStem, FxStem and MxStems (Left, Right, Center) should be mapped to their corresponding L,R,C Device ports:

The Steinberg I/O Box should be set to the MASTER Position and left volume control should be set to maximum, fully clockwise:

Right-click over the track header section to create/select new tracks:

Make a sufficient number of tracks set to MONO configuration. You can name the tracks and assign to the appropriate Output Buss (or Stem):

Select the appropriate Input Path from the drop-down window in the track header of the Inspector:

Open the (previously prepared) Spotting Marker sheet. Click the “e” in the track header:

Click the ADR tab on the lower left of the spotting sheet, select the cue you wish to run.

Pre and Post Roll can be set in the General Tab by selection the setting icon on the bottom right corner, Video options are set in the Video Tab.

Record Enable the appropriate track:

Have your talent give you a test read to set initial recording levels using the preamp gain controls on the Steinberg I/O box. Peak readings should be bouncing up through Green and just into the Yellow on the track meters:

Use the Yellow Talkback box to communicate with your subject. Remember they cannot hear you otherwise!!

Use the Rehearse button to rehearse the first cue and re-adjust recording levels as needed. Peak meter readings should dance into the Yellow area:

Recording takes

When you are ready to start making “Takes” press the RECORD button in the Spotting sheet to start recordings. Redirect the talent as necessary until you are satisfied with the new performances.

The takes will be stacked on top of each other, indicated by the grey cross hatch:

To reveal the takes list, select the event, then control-right click and select “To Front”:

To playback your takes, simply deselect the record enable and play the clip.

Wrapping the session

Pick up after yourself. It is considered highly unprofessional to leave the Foley Pits or Control Rooms a mess. (They are checked periodically.)

Pick-Up Photography

Pick-up photography is defined as any photography taken after completion of principal photography in order to enhance the narrative.

On the BFA and MFA Thesis cycles, students may make a request for pick-up photography to improve moments in the film that were not captured successfully during principal photography. Pick-up requests may not be made for additional moments or scenes that were not part of the original shooting plan. Pick-up requests may also not be made for F1, Doc, F2, F3, D1, or D2 projects.

Since pick-up photography involves time and resources, requests will not be approved automatically. Approvals will only be granted if the time and resources are available and if students make a compelling case for the value of the pick-ups to the film (including proof that you can’t solve the problem with careful editing choices). In other words, they are a privilege to be earned.

No show will be approved for more than six hours of pick-up photography. And all pick-up photography will need to be completed and cut into the edit before picture lock. In some cases, this may mean that the turnaround time for pick-up photography is tight, so students will need to be diligent and proactive if they want to put in a request.

Pick-up request procedure

Students will need to complete a Pick-up Photography Request form, in which they must provide the following details:

  • the exact nature of the subject matter to be shot;
  • the reason why it was not shot with the first unit crew during principal photography;
  • the date, times, and location of the proposed shoot;
  • the crew required for the proposed shoot, including names and signatures (you’ll need to determine how many crew members you need and you’ll need to recruit them);
  • notes on any special equipment requests;
  • notes on any budget plans;
  • any other supporting documentation.

Once the form is completed, to ensure that all relevant parties are in the loop and have given their blessing to the proposed shooting plan, faculty approvals for the pick-up photography must be collected in the following sequence:

  1. Directing instructor
  2. Cinematography instructor
  3. Editing instructor
  4. Head of Visual Effects (Jonathan Stone), if applicable
  5. Head of Post-Production (Chuck Allen)
  6. Head of Set Operations (David Wiley)
  7. Head of Production (Tony Ciarlariello)
  8. Associate Dean (Andrew Syder)

For BFA Thesis, all requests must reach the Associate Dean for approval no later than the day of the first cut screening, but submitting them sooner will increase the chances of them being approved.