Production: 3 Tips on Working With Film Students

Film students can be great to work with on smaller productions. They can be very eager to work and learn. They're also great to have around because they usually want to be there, and they come with great attitudes. But, they shouldn't be viewed as seasoned professionals. Here are 3 tips to help you have a great time working with film students.

1. Supervise What They Do

Film sets involve running large amounts of electricity, the rigging of heavy objects that could kill someone if they fall, and the use of very expensive equipment. Basically, film production presents the potential for dangerous and expensive accidents. When you have film students working with you, supervise everything they do that could have the potential to create an accident. You as the boss are responsible for anything that goes wrong.

2. Have Qualified Professionals Work with the Students

You want your film students to be working under the supervision of someone who is qualified. Otherwise, you have the potential for disaster. For example, a student film shoot hired an unqualified individual as their gaffer, and as a result, someone was killed. He was driving an aireal lift that had a light attached to it and hit power lines. The electricity then traveled through the film set's wires and electrocuted someone who was adjusting another light a few hundred feet away. (The gaffer survived due to rubber boots). If this gaffer was a trained professional, this accident would not have happened because he would have exercised safety and not driven the lift into live power lines. He also should have grounded the film set's generator so no one would have been accidentally electrocuted. The point is that this individual was in charge and was not qualified, and as a result, a deadly accident happened. Make sure your film students are working with seasoned professionals.

3. Teach The Students

There is a lot of downtime on film sets. Rather than sitting around doing nothing, take the film students and teach them a few things. Odds are that these students are working for free as interns. Make the most out of their time, and give them the fullest learning experience possible. Once they get a hang of things, they will be more valuable to your production. You might even consider hiring them again in the future for more advanced shoots.

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