"It would be hard to over-estimate the importance the 1st Assistant Director plays in helping the Director complete the shooting schedule on time and on budget.
Their skills are vital and go way beyond solving the maddening, head-scratching, logistical conundrum that is “scheduling” (though I’m ever-thankful they are able to execute that challenging part of prep!).
They are a Director’s chief-support, their guide and often their conscience!
To the cast and crew they are a sympathetic, kind, truthful and expert politician, adept in negotiating the emotions of the whole unit and ready to make the tough calls whether that be schedule-driven issues, safety matters or, of course, calling when lunch should happen.
They are the key person holding everyone’s interests in mind when the going gets tough but the show must be shot!
With a great 1st AD by their side running the shoot-day, Directors are liberated and able to do their thing - concentrated playfulness!
It is hard to imagine how that would be possible, how shooting effectively would happen, without the 1st AD shouldering the massive responsibility of a film-making unit in action.
I will be ever-grateful to the expert 1st ADs who have helped me. My collaborative and supportive comrades!"
The Irregulars, Poldark, Deep State, Mr. Selfridge,