What is an Assistant Director?

Written by 90 Seconds
Last updated: October 4, 2023
What is an Assistant Director?

An Assistant Director is a crucial part of the video production process, responsible for assisting the production manager and director in various aspects of the production. There are different roles within the Assistant Director team, each with specific responsibilities.

First Assistant Director

The First Assistant Director (1st AD) is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the production. They work closely with the director, production manager, and other key personnel to ensure that the filming stays on schedule and that all necessary arrangements are in place. The 1st AD manages the cast and crew scheduling, oversees equipment and script logistics, and ensures a productive and focused working environment. They play a vital role in coordinating the various elements of the production to ensure smooth operations.

Second Assistant Director

The Second Assistant Director (2nd AD) is the chief assistant to the 1st AD and supports them in executing their tasks. The 2nd AD works closely with the Production Coordinator to create the daily Call Sheets, which provide the crew with essential information about the shooting day, including the schedule and important details. They assist with coordinating the logistics of the production, including organising the crew, managing paperwork, and facilitating communication between different departments.

Third Assistant Director

The Third Assistant Director (3rd AD) works closely with the 1st AD and may collaborate with the 2nd AD as well. Their responsibilities often involve coordinating on-set activities, such as moving actors from the unit base to the filming location, organising crowd scenes, and supervising one or more production assistants. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the production runs smoothly on set by assisting with various tasks and supporting the overall operations.

Overall, the Assistant Director team works collaboratively to support the production manager and director in managing the various aspects of the production. They help ensure that the filming stays on schedule, maintain a focused working environment, and coordinate the logistical and administrative elements of the production. Their contributions are instrumental in the successful execution of a film or video project.