The Mechanics and Art of Being An Assistant Director

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Taught by Jason Roberts

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Class hosted by: Jason Roberts Jason Roberts IMDB

(AD for Angelina Jolie, Doug Liman, Michael Bay, Alexander Payne, Seth MacFarlane)

Jason Roberts is a DGA Assistant Director with over 30 years of experience, who has FIVE movies opening up this year alone including; Downsizing (Directed by Alexander Payne starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz), Ghost In The Shell (Directed by Rupert Sanders starring Scarlett Johansson), American Made (Directed by Doug Liman, starring Tom Cruise), Transformers 5: The Last Knight (Directed by Michael Bay, starring Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins) and First They Killed My Father (Directed by Angelina Jolie). Currently Jason is working with Seth MacFarlane on his new TV series for Fox called Orville. Over the years Jason has worked on a myriad of different kinds of projects. Some of the notable bigger budget films have been: Heat, Saving Private Ryan, 2Fast 2Furious, Collateral, Team America, Almost Famous, Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol and Jurassic World amongst others. Jason has also worked in the independent community on such notable films as: The Call, No Good Deed, The Good Doctor, Shrink, The Pool, Fun Size and Killing Zoe. Jason has hand a hand in several TV series ranging from: The original Melrose Place, Baywatch to Party of Five, and more recently: Better Off Ted, Dexter, Chicago Fire, Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior, Gang Related and Empire. Jason was born and raised in Los Angeles. He started his career working with and being an assistant to: John Ritter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Donner, Joel Silver and Ian Bryce. He worked as a PA on several movies and was accepted into the DGA Trainee Program in the class of 1993. He’s been a member of the Directors Guild since 1995. Jason has taught a variety of seminars in film production and working with background for: Central Casting, Chapman University, UCLA and USC. He is looking forward to sharing his many years of knowledge and expertise in the field of Production. Full Bio »

Summary

It might not be the most known or celebrated of roles, but the Assistant Director, or AD, is truly the beating heart of any film or TV set. While the director and cinematographer are looking big picture, it's the DP who keeps the engine running, ensures things are staying on track and on schedule, maintains safety, prepares call sheets, liaises with the cast and crew, oversees logistics, maintains order, and so much more. With so many jobs on an AD's plate, a project can come together or fall apart purely on how that person performs. Under-sung though the role may be, the assistant director is an incredibly important and valuable job, as well as a great way to break into the industry.

The Assistant Director is a difficult job that requires a lot of knowledge, confidence, motivation, multi-tasking and wherewithal, but it's also a valuable and powerful way to break into the world of filmmaking. The Assistant Director gets to know EVERYONE on set and can maintain a high reputation for themselves by performing their tasks well and consistently from project to project. Countless filmmakers have started as AD's before finding their own projects to helm--even Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock! So what exactly does an AD do on set, how do they do it well and how can they continue to perform well again and again?

Jason Roberts is one of the top DGA Assistant Directors in the business and has worked with filmmakers such as Michael  Bay, Doug Liman, Alexander Payne, Angelina Jolie and more. Over his 30+ years of experience as an AD, Jason has helped manage projects such as HEAT, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, COLLATERAL, TEAM AMERICA, ALMOST FAMOUS, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, JURASSIC WORLD among many others. Jason has built a name for himself as a go-to and effective AD on set which has allowed him to contribute to countless films, TV series and maintain a career over decades. He's now going to share how he is so successful in his role.

In this epic master course, Jason will call upon his 30+ years of experience to teach you the mechanics and art of an assistant director's role, including prep, shooting, working relationships with the director, producers, cinematographer, actors, and all tools you need . Plus, Jason will:

  • Break down 6 pages of the Jurassic World shooting script
  • Leave you with an AD Production Packet - templates that you can use on your own projects: Script Pages, Call Sheet, Production Report, Story Boards, Partial One-Line & Shooting Schedule

 

 

Praise for Jason's Stage 32 Class

 

"Jason's webinar was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. I loved his work ethic. That's why he's where he is today."

 

"Jason was and is wonderfully inspiring!"

 

"First of it's kind for me in the 'behind the scene' look at his life in the business. Quite fascinating. I'm sure he has many many stories to tell. Boy, that was a fast class."

 

 

What You'll Learn

CLASS 1

Section I: THE OVERVIEW

  • Introduction to Jason 
  • Creative Aspects of the Job
    • Prep – Breakdown & Scheduling from Script to Game Plan 
    • Shooting – Set Management & Directing Background 
    • Differences between Film&TV; Day & Night; Stage & Location
    • Working Relationship between the AD and Director, Producer, DP & Actors 
  • Why We Do It
    • What I’ve learned over the years 
    • We are a mix of; Traffic Cop, Bartender, Kindergarten Teacher, Cheerleader, Psychologist, Juggler & CEO 
    • Day to day Energy, Pace, Crew Moral and Motivation 
    • Tools of the job. Shoes and what to carry in your pockets 
    • The need for outside influences and a life away from the work 

Section II: PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

  • Prep
    •  Jason will share his computer screen to show how to actually breakdown a script using two scenes from Jurassic World as an example. He will input it into Movie Magic Scheduling and then use that material as a launching board for teaching call sheets and other paperwork
    • What is expected for a 1st AD and how to do it?
      • Schedule
      • Scout
      • Department Meetings
      • Background 
    • What is expected for a 1st AD and how to do it?
      • Rehearsals
      • Fittings
      • Interface with Actors
      • Tech Scout
      • Background Casting 
  • Shooting
    • What is expected for a 1st AD
      • Running the Set
      • Moving the Company Forward
      • Executing the Schedule 
    • What is expected for a 2nd AD
      • Setting background
      • Prepping the next day
      • Running the 1st Team
      • Being the Communication Liason with the Office and Rest of World 
  • Maintaining Safety
    • Meetings 
    • Legal Responsibility 
    • Knowing When to Say No, Knowing how to say no 
    • Know all the Equipment 
    • Know what it takes to get it done 
    • How to instill trust in your Departments 
  • Live Q&A with Jason

 

CLASS 2

Section III: THE FUN PART - PAPERWORK

  • Call Sheets
  • Production Report 
  • Exhibit G “Sag” Sheet 
  • One-Line Schedule 
  • Shooting Schedule 
  • Cast Day Out Of Days 

Section IV: ON-SET STORIES & PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

  • Practical stories to show good and bad days of the job

Recorded Q&A with Jason

About Your Instructor

Jason Roberts is a DGA Assistant Director with over 30 years of experience, who has FIVE movies opening up this year alone including; Downsizing (Directed by Alexander Payne starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz), Ghost In The Shell (Directed by Rupert Sanders starring Scarlett Johansson), American Made (Directed by Doug Liman, starring Tom Cruise), Transformers 5: The Last Knight (Directed by Michael Bay, starring Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Hopkins) and First They Killed My Father (Directed by Angelina Jolie). Currently Jason is working with Seth MacFarlane on his new TV series for Fox called Orville.

Over the years Jason has worked on a myriad of different kinds of projects. Some of the notable bigger budget films have been: Heat, Saving Private Ryan, 2Fast 2Furious, Collateral, Team America, Almost Famous, Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol and Jurassic World amongst others.

Jason has also worked in the independent community on such notable films as: The Call, No Good Deed, The Good Doctor, Shrink, The Pool, Fun Size and Killing Zoe.

Jason has hand a hand in several TV series ranging from: The original Melrose Place, Baywatch to Party of Five, and more recently: Better Off Ted, Dexter, Chicago Fire, Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior, Gang Related and Empire.

Jason was born and raised in Los Angeles. He started his career working with and being an assistant to: John Ritter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Donner, Joel Silver and Ian Bryce. He worked as a PA on several movies and was accepted into the DGA Trainee Program in the class of 1993. He’s been a member of the Directors Guild since 1995.

Jason has taught a variety of seminars in film production and working with background for: Central Casting, Chapman University, UCLA and USC.

He is looking forward to sharing his many years of knowledge and expertise in the field of Production.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I 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 webinar, 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 webinar 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 webinar 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 attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar 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 webinar 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!

Questions?

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.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Great class! The anecdotes were as valuable as all the nuts-and-bolts info! All I would ask for the future is that maybe cover doing the forms by hand - for those of us who either can't afford the software, or like me, would rather learn the hand-written old school way, so the software makes deeper sense. Thanks!
  • Totally amazing, kind of a tour de force of assistant directing from someone who is the real thing!
  • Feedback for Jason Roberts’ “The Mechanics and Art of Being an Assistant Director” Hi, As requested by Jason and Stage32 webinar feedback form, here is feedback from the webinar. Positive’s I really liked the two-part session, as this allowed for the participant to absorb material from the previous week. As I work seven days per week, the class time was convenient. Noticing that there were other participants from other countries, I think was a landmark event! Jason is very intense as a presenter, which I like, because he is very knowledgeable. He really filled up my buffer (as the saying goes), which I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed the handout materials, and it was good to receive a Handout packet for both weeks. I believe I have received value for the tuition paid. Thank you for your first-time experience delivering an online class! More Upcoming Positive’s Because I will probably be meeting you sometime in the not-so-distant future, I am not giving you any “not-so-positives.” Has Jason considered: • Teaching for other online institutions. Other teaching curricula ideas for Stage32 webinars: • Jurassic World: the Entire Filmmaking Process – where Jason would cover the initial stages, through Production and various department, to the Final version of the film. • The Making of an Action-Adventure Film – where Jason could differentiate this film genre from another genre, production-wise. • The Making of a Marvel Studios movie – what’s involved in bringing a Graphic Novel character from printed page onto the big screen. Jason’s active use of his Apple Airbook, has also prompted me to invest in an Apple notebook (hardware & software). I currently use a PC for my other client workflow, but working in the Entertainment field, I will need to have two different laptops. As computers was my first career, it’s been 31 years since I’ve last operated an Apple (Macintosh computers, MacBook). I can still learn.
  • I highly recommend this class. Jason is an excellent communicator and generous professional with a wealth of knowledge that he graciously shared. He was thorough, specific, and inspiring. Thank you, Jason.
  • First off, thank you Jason for staying late! I really felt you should have had a three day class because there was so much great information to be covered. One of the things that I enjoy about these instructors are the stories they share about their own work experiences. The class was very helpful for anyone starting out on Movie Magic, and the insight of Jason on who they use it for productions is quite helpful. I highly recommend this class to anyone interested in becoming a Union AD.
  • Five Star.
  • As an Actor I found myself interested in crew work and becoming a 1st AD is my second passion next to Acting. I found Jason's class informative and interesting. I highly recommend Jason's class to everyone who wishes to be an AD. Thanks Jason from Australia

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60 Minutes With Jason Roberts (AD for Michael Bay, Alexander Payne, Angelina Jolie)

"Jason was and is wonderfully inspiring!"  Watch for FREE here:   Want to join Jason's 2-part AD class April 8 & April 15? Register here! 

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