Assistant Directing 101: How To Run A Set From Prep Through Production

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Taught by Korey Pollard (New Blood Contest Judge)

Class Schedule (4 sessions):
Saturday, Jun 11TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 18TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jun 25TH 10AM - 12PM PDT
Saturday, Jul 2ND 10AM - 12PM PDT
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Who Should Attend:

Session 1: Your Responsibilities and Your Team

In week one, we’ll dive into all of the AD's production team positions, discussing who does what and how they all work together harmoniously for a smooth production. If you take one person out, the entire team and film may crumble, and if you do have to function without one position, it is vital to make sure their duties are still covered. From 2nd ADs and 2nd 2nd ADs to Line Producers, UPMS and Directors, we lay the foundation for a successful shoot and the following 3 classes.

  • Overview of the Roles
  • How to build a strong foundation
  • Q&A with Korey

Session 2: Starting with the Script & Schedule

This week we will discuss reading the script and the process of unearthing the infinite list of questions and elements you and your fellow team members need to answer and supply crucial information for shaping the schedule and budget. Things like how the Movie Magic Scheduling breakdown creates cast lists and set-lists and how important timelines, construction schedules, location lists, the number of script days, and shooting days are to both the budget and schedule. We will also help you grasp the difference between a shooting schedule, one-liner (strip-board), and the various day out of days (DOOD) documents used to track components and which departments may be responsible for the elements and best answer your questions. These lists and questions allow you to engage with your team, populate your production schedule with the required elements and build a prep calendar of meetings to discuss the challenges and details coming in week 3.

  • Overview of breaking down a script
  • How to determine which department can best answer your questions
  • Setting the tone in prep and shooting
  • Q&A with Korey

Assignment: Breakdown one scene by hand

Session 3: Working with the Team in Prep

In week 3, we will delve into what it means to use a concept meeting and preliminary (prelim) strip-board to facilitate working with your team in the prep process to build a prep meeting schedule. The concept meeting is basically a page turn through the script to discuss the elements and expectations with all the creative departments. After the concept meeting, the prelim strip-board serves as a grouping of hopeful days and a potential workflow that allows departmental issues to rise to the surface in subsequent meetings and be discussed, solved, or make the appropriate compromise. We will discuss working with the Producer and Director first, then communicating with the various departments in meetings. Then, as the department meetings unfold and location scouting begins, your schedule will take shape and continue to change until the shoot is complete.

  • Creating a pre-production calendar after the concept meeting
  • Creating the schedule
  • The different department meetings and what you need to know
  • How to use the tech scout and production meeting to get ahead

Session 4: Organizing Your Days for Production

In this final class, we will discuss the role of the ADs in creating and communicating the production plan using various documents, one-line, DOODs, shooting schedules, calls sheets, and production reports. This will include creating daily timeline targets and contingency planning with your Director, DP, and team to keep your film on schedule and track. In addition, we will leave ample time for questions and opportunities to discuss some specifics of your projects.

  • Creating daily timelines and contingency plans
  • Keeping the film on time and on schedule
  • The call sheet
  • Understanding production paperwork (call sheets, script versions, one-liners, DOOD, shooting schedules, production reports, etc.)

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Class hosted by: Korey Pollard (New Blood Contest Judge)

DGA AD (Credits: Salem, Halloween, Deadwood)

Korey Pollard is a DGA first assistant director, mentor, and lecturer. His previous television and film credits include ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, STAND BY ME, THAT THING YOU DO, WATERWORLD, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, SPY KIDS 2, Amazon's JACK RYAN, THE ORVILLE, DEADWOOD, MONK, GREY’S ANATOMY, THE MIDDLE, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, and many more. He also holds a position on The First Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Committee of The Directors Guild of America. Full Bio »


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Learn How To Run A Professional Set From A DGA First Assistant Director.

Whoever said "time is money" must have been thinking about an Assistant Director's job as the AD Department keeps your trains running on time during physical production. Assistant Directors can make or break your project. If even one member of your AD team is missing or unqualified, it can stall your production and create setbacks you’re not prepared for that can affect your shoot and the entire production. Whether you’re looking to land a job as an AD, build your resume to join the DGA, or you’re a producer or director working to ensure a great production, this course will show you every crucial responsibility and task that assistant directors have and how to excel in this essential role.

In this Stage 32 exclusive course, you’ll dive into all of the AD's production team positions, discussing who does what and how they all work together harmoniously for a smooth production. You’ll break down scripts, learn what to ask the director and producer to create a pre-production plan, and move into creating a calendar and production schedule so that every department is ready when the shoot begins. You’ll cover call sheets, production reports, timeline targets, and even practice breaking down scripts. This is the real nuts and bolts of production that everyone should know. 

Taking you on this educational journey is DGA first assistant director, Korey Pollard. Korey has worked on films including ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, STAND BY ME, THAT THING YOU DO, WATERWORLD, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, and SPY KIDS 2, among others, and hit TV shows like DEADWOOD, MONK, GREY’S ANATOMY, SALEM, THE ORVILLE, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, and many more. Korey also holds a position on The First Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Committee of The Directors Guild of America.

Korey will share his first-hand experiences as an assistant director so that you know how to clearly communicate with your director and crew to maximize the potential of any shoot while also being prepared to recover from inevitable missteps. He’s also sharing documents exclusively with you to keep as a reference tool, including call sheets, production reports, script pages, script breakdowns, and more.

After these four sessions, you’ll be on your path to joining the Directors Guild by working as an assistant director. You’ll be prepared to create an achievable production plan and schedule, the tools to work with your team, and know this vital role in making any feature film or television series.

About Your Instructor

Korey Pollard is a DGA first assistant director, mentor, and lecturer. His previous television and film credits include ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, STAND BY ME, THAT THING YOU DO, WATERWORLD, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, SPY KIDS 2, Amazon's JACK RYAN, THE ORVILLE, DEADWOOD, MONK, GREY’S ANATOMY, THE MIDDLE, THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, and many more. He also holds a position on The First Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Committee of The Directors Guild of America.


Saturday June 11th – 10am-12pm PST

Saturday June 18th – 10am-12pm PST

Saturday June 25th – 10am-12pm PST

Saturday July 2nd – 10am-12pm PST


Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!


If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

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The Craft of Assistant Directing & Production Management: An Overview

Do you enjoy being on set? Working with every department? Creating schedules? Problem-solving? If so, you’re going to make a great assistant director. But how can you learn from home and prepare to be an assistant director and manage a production when the pros learn on the job? You find the best pro to show you. In this Stage 32 exclusive webinar, you’ll learn an overview of the critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills needed to be a great assistant director, from an expert who has worked on countless films and television shows. Korey Pollard is a DGA first assistant director, and he wants to show you the skills it takes to succeed in this role. He’s worked on films including STAND BY ME, THAT THING YOU DO, WATERWORLD, and SPY KIDS 2, among others, and hit TV shows like DEADWOOD, MONK, GREY’S ANATOMY, Stephen Bochco’s MURDER IN THE FIRST, HOUSE, CSI, BOOMTOWN, SALEM, KEVIN FROM WORK, and many more. Korie also holds a position on The First Assistant Director/Unit Production Manager Committee of The Directors Guild of America. This webinar isn’t just for people who want to work as an assistant director. It’s also great for up-and-coming producers and directors who want to better understand how to use this crucial crewmember. You’ll cover: What your responsibilities as an assistant director are What questions to ask the director and producer How to read a script with other departments and their needs in mind The different department meetings What crew you need How to create a pre-production calendar How to create a production schedule And so much more. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, and reaching for too much work are all missteps that you’ll inevitably face during production. But with these tools from Korey, you’ll have the keys to creating an achievable plan, working with your team to problem solve, and becoming a valuable crew member.

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