Filmmaking / Directing : Tardiness by Lindsay Thompson

Lindsay Thompson


How do you handle tardy crew members? Do you set the expectation for punctuality ahead of time? Speak to them in private at the end of a shoot day? Thanks.

Stephen Bailey

I would recommend to talk to them privately at the end of the day. If it is to continue, you may want to look into letting that person go.

JD Hartman

End of the day? When everyone is trying to wrap and be certain that equipment is not being left behind? Deal with the situation at the first opportunity. Only reason to wait until after wrap would be if you are letting that crewperson go.

Christopher von Grebe

I do set expectations up front, but yes, take them aside in private at the first opportunity to have a word without interrupting the shoot day. If they're unpaid, I would be more gentle and try to help work it out (they're doing you a favor). If they're fully paid crew then there should be no question about it, this is a job, show up on time, which means early.

Lindsay Thompson

First opportunity is the approach I prefer if I need to deal with it but I do like to set the expectation ahead of time so everyone is on the same page about my expectations as a director. Most of my crew are unpaid so I have let these sorts of things slide on single-day productions but as I move further into larger, more involved projects, I want to have a clear understanding about the best approach so as to not damage morale on set. Thanks for the input.

Nelle Nelle

This has been said, but you should definitely have set that expectation ahead of time. Don't wait for a problem, get ahead of it. Also, try to budget in a little buffer time. Especially if it's the first day of the shoot. I always expect something to happen so I always try to prepare for it.

JD Hartman

It's a job for the HOD, if your shoot has them. Don't step on their toes.

Christopher Binder

Most of the time, if you aren't on time, don't bother arriving at all. A second chance is very rare so let them know that in private if you are handing them out. Above all, stay positive no matter what. That will take you very far with people.

Emilija Petkūnaitė

Yes, I agree with staygin positive, but job opportunities do not come easy and if he take them for granted by letting himself to be late he is not worth the job.

Christopher Binder

I remember when Spielberg was shooting Lincoln a mile down the street from where I was going to school. Somebody I knew told me how one day an experimental film major who had gotten a PA stint (and who had no concept of the hierarchy in place on a film set) walked right up to Spielberg and chatted with him for a couple moments. Everybody stopped in their tracks and even Spielberg's bodyguard put his hand over his mouth and shook his head wide eyed. Afterwards the Key PA went up to the 1st AD and asked if he should fire her. The 1st AD said no but to give her a new job that kept her as far away from set as possible. She was never on set ever again. Not the same as being late but I'm sure you get the idea.

Lindsay Thompson

That's pretty powerful. Late is part of etiquette, too, so I get where you're coming from. Thanks everyone! I'll set the expectation early and deal with it as it comes up. Hopefully it won't become a habitual problem.

Dan Murphy

I show up to work a good half hour early and I'm almost always the last to leave. Anyone that works for me needs to be on time and ready to go at call time. If they cannot do that regularly... they will be the first to go and most likely not be back.

Christopher Binder

It's not my story.

Thomas Higgins

Sorry, late is a problem whether habitual or not. Late with coffee in hand is even worse.

Harlan W. Groom

Higher me and I'll be there 30 early drinking my coffee energy drink getting ready to out work anyone. I can build almost anything, fix mechanical stuff, ran many businesses, I get it from a get er done perspective. I am from the Midwest I have values and you can trust that my word is bond! If I give my word or something is expected as simple as being on time, you would never have to even tell me. I would never disrespect you, your time, everyone else on sets time, etc. I have common sense, I am very appreciative and when I make it big, I will be loyal to the ones that helped me get there. Harlan W. Groom Marinated Gentleman Just looking for one shot, to prove my value.

JD Hartman

@Harlan Groom "Higher me and I'll be there 30 early drinking my coffee energy drink getting ready to out work anyone." Nobody on the crew likes a showoff, it's not about you, film making is a team effort. Maybe volunteer at a community playhouse or a student short and learn how things really work. From your brash statements I can gather you don't know squat about cameras, lighting, sound, grip or electric. Poking Romex though holes in a stud don't count for much on a film set.

Harlan W. Groom

Not trying to offend and my attitude far from a show off, but except your critique and will adjust accordingly. Thanks for the reply and I hope to show you some day the kind of character I have. I guess my enthusiasm got the best of me and I thank you for your recommendations. God Bless You

Dan Murphy

I lay them off and not hire them again.

Robert Franklin

Inform early on......and speak in private. Treat as human beings!

Royce Allen Dudley

The first rule of film and television is BE ON TIME, and the industry saying is "if you are early, you are on time, if you are on time you are late, and if you are late, you are fired." If crew do not comprehend the cost of each production minute on set and the importance of adherence to the call sheet, they have no future in real work. Simple. Not my opinion. Industry standard. Any new crew or cast need to look at the call sheet, allow for traffic, understand where crew parking is and how long it takes to get to the set from there, understand pre-call is when you eat your breakfast burrito, not general call. If an actor is allowed to get away with tardy, which does happen, it potentallyhurts crew and the other cast and the project. It also hurts that actor no matter how good or big as having no respect for the company that makes them look good on screen.

Jeremy Oliver

Time is money, ditch em!

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