Jude Peel

30 Oct

1st AD onset of Gone To Ground

How would a typical day on producing on a feature go for you?

The nature of filming varies.  It could be;

  • Working out how to get everyone safely to set,
  • Dealing with a large number of cast and crew,
  • Rescheduling due to weather
  • Keeping to schedule
  • And sometimes all at the same time….

What do you do as a 1st AD?

The main role of the 1st AD is to keep track of the schedule and to make sure the project runs on time.  However, on different budgets for projects, especially Low Budgets films roles vary and could include: Clapperboard, helping on props etc., generally helping in each department.

Why and when did you start being a 1st AD?

1st AD is not my usual role.  I have worked in the camera department for years and occasionally worked as 1st AD if needed.  ‘Gone To Ground’ is my father’s project and I wanted to help him achieve his dream. . Having an in depth knowledge of the location and the script which is inspired by my Grandfather has been a definite advantage.

How have your past projects developed your skills and knowledge as a 1st AD?

I have worked in almost every department, Grip, Camera, Risk Assessments, Make-Up and Production which gives me a good understanding of what each department needs.  A big part of the job is balancing those needs.

What is key to working successfully with crew and cast to keep the day running on time?

Communication is always key and the ability to work well with varied personalities.

You must be able to think on your feet, be a problem solver and keep calm.

What’s the hardest thing about being a 1st AD, and how do you approach it?

Good question… The sheer number of factors for balancing.  What you need to have is good processes and systems in place. 

Questions and Information flies at you throughout the shoot from every quarter – so you must be able to absorb and track info.

What advice would you give to someone starting as a 1st AD?

Definitely spend a bit of time in each different department.  It makes you aware of workload / pressures and issues within other areas.

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