How to Be a Dream Client on Set

As a client, the first thing you should know is that you can be as large or as small a part of the process as you like. Some clients enjoy brainstorming creative ideas and others want no part of that. Some clients are perfectionists and take the reins on particular components, while others would rather leave it to the production house. In any case, it’s important to note that there are no rules set in stone when it comes to the working relationship between the client and production company.

Here are some small tips for the best etiquette on set:

Arrive on time: Film schedules can often be very tight, and commencing on time is a huge part of getting off to a good start!

Be quiet on set: It’s okay to talk quietly amongst yourselves while setups are occurring, but it’s crucial for the smooth rolling and concentration of creatives to be quiet – and alert/aware – when it is close to rolling time.

Turn phones off or on silent: It’s easy to forget, but make sure your phone is off (or on silent if permitted by the 1st AD), so that the audio for a take isn’t tainted by a ring in from mum.

Give feedback at the right time: Giving feedback is often essential from a client, and is part of a standard sign off process. That said, if you are looking at a monitor wondering why a shot looks dark, there’s a good chance that camera and lighting department aren’t finished setting up yet. If you’re not sure, a good approach is to speak to the 1st AD, who is across the production and can tell you where things are at without disrupting the key creatives.

Trust your production company: Try to remember that film professionals are highly experienced at what they do. Trust that you chose wisely, because nine times out of ten, you’ll get the best result when you let them do what they do best.