From scripty to director: 5 on-set jobs and the lessons we learned

Recently, members of the GOLD Community have been busy making amazing web series. Late Bloomers and Rat Czar represent hours and hours, days and days, of hard work by talented casts and crews. Every time you do a job on-set–whether it’s your first or hundredth time performing in that role, is a new opportunity to learn skills and improve your work!

Here are 5 on set jobs, straight from the source–what to know, what they learned (so you don’t have to), and their impression of the role.

Script Supervisor

Rat Czar was my first time as a script coordinator, or “scripty.” Every day, every scene, and every line taught me something new. The most valuable lessons were the power of organization, efficient note-taking, and the importance of continuity. Taking an hour after wrap to log notes is a practice I highly recommend. Rat Czar was, by far, the coolest experience I have had on set.”

– Abby Silverstein


Late Bloomers was (pretty much) my first time directing and I learned so much! I tried to plan as much as I could in the weeks leading up to production, but then when you get to set… so much changes! We had to work around the schedules of 5 busy people, so we often had to shoot a single shot of someone talking to someone else when that person wasn’t in the room. A lot of times, we had our grip/gaffer, or even me read the lines. While this was good from a scheduling perspective, it made editing a bit harder. Honestly, it is just always surprising how much problem solving and providing answers is involved in directing.”

– Nanda Saboia

Production Assistant

“If you logged my activities on Rat Czar and compared them to any other PA gig, the lists could be interchangeable. Carry stuff, get food, quick–grab that paper that’s blowing away! The tasks weren’t different, but my perspective was. On Rat Czar, I learned the importance of the smallest tasks, and of support. It’s easy to feel useless when I’m assigned to stopping grumpy New Yorkers from walking in front of a camera, but that changes when surrounded by a cast and crew that’s constantly lifting each other up. Snack runs are more fun knowing you’ll be met with genuine thanks, no matter what flavor granola bar you get, and that attitude bleeds readily into that annoying part of my brain that thinks that “pursuing comedy” is a “good idea.” I learned on Rat Czar that there are teams entirely made up of people who just want each other to succeed, and it shines through in a way that’s inspirational, encouraging, and memorable. ”

– Hebba Gouda

PA with a side of “slate”

“It’s always been my dream to work on a scripted project and working as a PA on Rat Czar was the perfect way to learn! There was an opportunity to slate some scenes which I had never done before (and had never seen done for a scripted show). I didn’t know what I was doing but our crew was extremely patient with me while I learned and encouraged me after every take. Learning the skill of slating has changed the way I look at the structure of a show and how shot lists are created. I’m really grateful to have learned this skill because I know it’s only going to make me a better future producer. ”

– Guneet Singh

On-set Writer

“Granted, I was also acting in Rat Czar, but during the scenes my character was not in, I got to be an on-set writer for the first time. Being the person on set dedicated to upholding, implementing, and improving upon the script–on the fly!–was high-pressure but so fun! When one of your heroes stands six feet in front of you, on-camera, looking at you for alts and adlibs…I still GRIN LIKE A FOOL thinking about it. Having only one job on-set is a strange privilege, something that (when I was in college or dreaming of this career/life) I didn’t think would be so rare in the “real world.” So even though I was co-producing and starring in Rat Czar, the moments when those things would fall away and I could just be ‘the writer’ felt exhilarating and bizarre and like living the dream.”

– Maggie Scudder

Want to support these artists? Watch Late Bloomers and donate to Rat Czar‘s post-production fund now!