Tammy Smith Casting 2012

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4. Script “Sides” and Blocking:  
As was mentioned before, you will be working closely with various departments , especially the camera department and the DIrector of Photography (“The DP”). 
When you’re on set, you will receive “sides.” This is the term for the small  packets that have the Call Sheet and Script Pages reflecting the work for the day. It is very important that you read the sides, and understand the scenes. You should always have your sides, and a PEN, with you on set.
For each scene, there is usually a rehearsal for the actors, with the crew (and YOU)  to watch. Many sets may want you to take blocking notes on your sides, or YOU just may want to for your own reference, if the scene is complicated and you just want to be sure. If the actor moves their head, or picks up a prop while saying a certain line, jot it
down. When the actors leave set, you will be asked to step onto their marks for the lighting and camera crews to do their thing! Stay focused. Listen for direction. You will not leave set until the 1st AD dismisses you.

5. Talking to Actors/Crew:  

When you are a Stand-in, you are there to do just that. Depending on the actor you are there to stand in for, you may be very excited to work with that actor, but you have to remain professional. Same goes with the crew, especially the director, producers, etc... Please do not chat with the actors, or with crew, for the most part. Keep any conversations to a minimum, especially while actually doing the job. If someone starts speaking with you, asking how you are etc -by all means respond, but don’t take that as an invitation to now start a chatty exchange. The actors normally have lines to remember, or  they are getting into character, or may simply not want to chit-chat and just want to be cordial but that is it. Be prepared that some actors don’t like to talk to their Stand-ins. Don’t take it personally. Not all actors are comfortable with the idea of having a Stand-in, for various reasons that have nothing to do with you. Bottom line: if you are talking to the actors, without the conversation being initiated by the actor, or if you are too chatty with them, that is usually not a job that is going to last for you ;-) This rule usually applies to the crew as well. It’s not to say that the crew wont be friendly and that you shouldn’t be as well, but remember, the crew has work to do, and so do you!. Chatty Stand-ins cause a distraction ;-) Remember, “low-key is the key!”

2.  What clothes/shoes to bring:  
As a Stand-in, it’s always best to have a small carry-on, duffle, or garment bag filled with clothing and shoe options. In order for the lighting to be set correctly, the Stand-in needs to be wearing similar colors as the lead actors. It’s always best to bring a good assortment of your own clothing each day you Stand-in. Every day when you arrive, you will go to the wardrobe truck to get “color cover, “ which means the wardrobe department will give you few basic pieces (usually a shirt/jacket, etc..) that is the color that the actor is wearing in the scene. Ideally, even though wardrobe will have pieces for you, especially when the actor is wearing a unique color, you should always strive to be wearing your own clothes, when possible.  It is almost guaranteed that your clothes are more comfortable, considering that what the wardrobe department hands out for color cover can be solely for the color, and not for comfort at all. HEADS UP: having the right/similar colors on for lighting the scene is important. If you ever experience difficulty with getting color cover when you go to the wardrobe department,  please let an AD or Casting know immediately.  

Easy and typical clothing items to bring: 
 Shirts in an assortment of long sleeved & short sleeved in neutral colors: black, gray, white, brown, tan, navy blue, denim, etc.. Ladies can also add some tank tops in various colors to their pack. Some jackets or hoodies are also ideal, especially when you know, for example, that your actor is wearing a suit.  Have options of standard colors, solids. TIP: Have an “arsenal” of T-shirts and long sleeve shirts at an inexpensive clothing store (like Old Navy, Goodwill, etc..) 
 Shoes with varying heals. Men & Women - this means one flat pair of shoes with NO heel,  and then a pair of boots with a 1” heel, a 2” heel, and even higher, especially for the ladies.  You want to be able to match your actor in their height, including whatever shoes/boots he/she is wearing in the scene. Not to mention if you are slightly shorter than the actor, you will need to boost yourself up a bit.  TIP: Bring shoes that you know are comfortable and you feel you can wear for long periods of time, but with the various heel heights. A suggestion is cowboy boots at times, or work boots, or solid wedges or dance shoes for the ladies. Sneakers are also fine, especially considering sneakers now come in various heel sizes!

6. Breaks and Cell Phone Use:

When you are dismissed and Cast steps in to shoot, this is the appropriate time for you to grab a snack or use the bathroom. You always need to tell an AD or PA where you are going. This is also the only time, other than lunch, for you to look at your phone or other electronics, for a brief time.

Keep your cell phone/ electronics use to a minimum. Not only because you need to be paying attention to when you are being called for and/or needed, but also because of safety. This may also seem to go without saying, but never have your cell phone out while actually standing in...even if it is at a moment when you think things are quiet and it might be ok to just peek at your phone to “check that quick text that just popped in,”  etc.. From a SAFETY standpoint, there are a lot of moving parts on a set and you cannot let your guard down for a minute. Even when you are on the sidelines, please only use your phone (for any of it’s uses)  when you have been told by the AD’s to relax and/or you are completely certain you have a few minutes to do this. Other than that, you need to keep your “head in the game” without having a huge text conversation going on that will distract you, too many phone calls, etc..

1.  Go Teams!!
 As a Stand-in, you are part of what is called “The Second Team.” The main actors and actresses are considered the “First Team.” When you are on set and the Assistant Director or the “AD” calls for Second Team - make sure you are on your feet and ready to step into the spot of the actor you are covering.

7. Call times/call sheets/Confirming:

Even if you are a regular Stand-in on a project, please ALWAYs confirm your info, EVERY NIGHT! Even if you were handed a call sheet at the end of the night, BY an A.D.,  we have no way of knowing that, and you could have easily been wrapped early in the day instead, etc... Also, often times, call sheets are revised and a final version can be released after you have left, as well as the AD telling us a verbal change, sometimes. ALWAYS, our info we send you is the final word, and it is important that we know you have the right info. We hired you, and you are are our responsibility ultimately. Please, also confirm in a timely manner. When we haven’t heard from you, we will be concerned and have to track you down. Thanks in advance! It takes just a moment to reply to us with a “Got it” and then we can breathe easy.

minimal texting throughout the day
keep phone calls “short and sweet “ ...

3. Being On Time:

Being on-time in our business means EARLY especially with Stand-ins. Make sure you allow time for traffic, weather, set two alarms, etc… The Director, DP, and 1st AD need you to be ready and on set, at call, so they can discuss the scene.

The crew should never be waiting on you to arrive and get to the set. Being ready means that you’ve already had breakfast, checked in with the PA, and are wearing your color-cover. Make sure you arrive early enough to do these things. Whatever your “call time” for that day, you should plan on arriving 45 min early just to allow for the morning routine once you get to set.


What is a Stand-in? 
Stand-ins are an integral part of the film industry. They are men & women who resemble an actor (similar size, hair and height) that stands in for them while the camera department sets up camera angles and lighting**. While a Stand-in is on set, “on their mark,”  the actor is usually getting dressed and receiving  their “final touches” from the hair and make-up departments, getting ready to perform in the scene

What makes a good Stand-in?
Stand-ins need to be solid and reliable people for the job. Hiring experienced Stand-ins is always a ideal, however there are other possibilities. Having some knowledge of Theater or Film Acting is always a plus! It helps when you need to remember blocking notes and with some of the technical terms heard on sets. Sometimes, when you haven’t had any experience as a Stand-in, but yet have had theater experience or acting experience, those people are often a great candidate for who we hire to be Stand-ins for the first time! Having other set experience is a plus as well because, even if you haven’t ever been a Stand-in before, often times you have watched the  job while being an extra, etc… If you have worked on a decent amount of sets as an extra before, and if we need a Stand-in that you are a good physical match for, we will often hire you and give you your chance to do the job!

A good way to look at it:
Being a Stand-in is a great way to learn about movie and television production, with a front row seat! Although it might be cool to be near the actors and work with the crew, first and foremost, it’s A JOB, an important one, and should be treated as such! A Stand-in is often considered to be a part of the crew and it is so important to have the right disposition and attitude while working as a Stand-in.  The sections will go over the “Do’s and Don’ts” and overall here is a way to look at it:  “Being a Stand-in isn’t necessarily a difficult job- BUT- it’s also one of the easiest jobs to mess up.” 
-that’s if you stray away from any of the guidelines that follow. The job is ideally about behaving professionally, following directions, having a good, low-key and attentive attitude, being on time (which means early) and listening. It sounds easy, and it is to a certain degree, but you would be surprised how easy it is to do it wrong if you don’t adhere to the following list of guidelines and info.

Below is a list/rundown of the important info you need in order to be  a good Stand-in. These come from our department as Extras Casting, as well as AD’s, Camera Departments and Wardrobe. If you are standing in for the first time, or even if you are an experienced, read over this page and you are on your way to being an awesome Stand-in, or more awesome than you already are ;-) 

**Footnote about STAND-INS for child actors: most of the time, for child actors, we use the smallest adults we can find (small females for boys, etc... ), rather than actual minors, due to labor laws/time restrictions, availability (school, parent’s schedules) and temperament, etc..


<<Color and Style Examples  >>

(to give you ideas and get you started...)

Final Note:
 Even though being a Stand-in is a job first, we always hope you enjoy it. With that, the best tool to bring with you on the day is a GOOD ATTITUDE! With all of the rules in play, the ultimate good Stand-in is someone that the crew wants to have around.  

PS Note: 
If you find, on the day that you are working, that ANY crew members are giving you a hard time or harassing you in ANY way - please contact us at Tammy Smith Casting IMMEDIATELY! Even though we aren’t always there on set, we are here for you, and any mistreatment needs to be brought to our attention right away. Please call  404-333-3919 or email tammysmithcasting@gmail.com (this email is monitored regularly). Please also refer to the “Important Notes” section in your detail emails we will send you for Safety and Harassment and set policies.  
Stand-in guidelines and info