On The Set: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette

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9780977291113: On The Set: The Hidden Rules of Movie Making Etiquette

When it comes to Hollywood etiquette on the movie set, nobody gave better advice than Spencer Tracy. Asked by a young actor what advice the master could offer him, Tracy replied, Know your lines and don t bump into the furniture. Strangely enough, no one has collected Hollywood s movie set rules of behavior until now. Backed by the industry and film unions, there is no other resource book like Movie Sets 101: the Definitive Survivor s Guide by Paul J. Salamoff, an eighteen-year veteran of the movie industry with credits spanning over fifty films, ten television series and numerous commercials. Whether you are new to the industry, a seasoned pro or just interested in what the credits mean at the end of your favorite movie, this book is for you. Salamoff has worked in the industry as a Special F/X Make-Up Artist, Producer, Writer, Director and Executive and has compiled what he has learned throughout the years on movie sets to help others. Not only will you learn about the different jobs on the movie set but, for the first time, you ll discover the hidden rules of movie set etiquette they don t teach you in film schools, explains Salamoff. Each chapter covers a different movie set department (i.e. talent, grip, costume, electric, etc.). Offering practical advice from over 70 top industry professionals this vitally useful information is presented with wit and humor and packed with anecdotal advice that will not only help those wanting to break into film but actually help them succeed while trying.

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About the Author:

Raised on a healthy diet of science fiction and horror from the age of five, Paul J. Salamoff parlayed his obsession for genre filmmaking into a successful run as a Special F/X Make-Up Artist, Producer, Writer, Director, Author and recently as a Film Executive. In his eighteen years in the business, he has worked on over fifty films, ten television series, and numerous commercials. He currently lives in Burbank, CA with his wife Melissa (an Interior Designer), children Samantha (a Preschooler) and Ethan (an infant) and his cat Banshee (a brown-mackerel tabby).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

There is nothing in the world to prepare you for what it is actually like on the set of a motion picture. The experience is truly like something out of a movie itself. If you think I'm joking, just consider the fact that an average film costs in excess of $40 million dollars with many upwards of $120 million. Studios spend a great deal of time and effort into making sure that they see a return on their investment, sometimes even matching the budget of the movie with an equally expensive ad campaign. Not only are jobs at stake but also the studios themselves. This fear of public and financial failure trickles down all the way to the set where the films are being shot. Studios watch over Executives, Executives watch over Producers, Producers watch over Directors, and on and on down the chain. Now this isn't to say that working on a set can't be a fun and rewarding experience, it's just important to be prepared for the type of environment it is. Even down to the most miniscule student film, you have to remember that somebody's dime and/or reputation is on the line. A good movie set becomes like an extended family where people work together for the well being of the group and a common good (i.e. completing the film on time and on budget). There will be squabbles and disagreements but the end result is people pulling together. On the other hand, a bad movie set can become a war of attrition where people are constantly fighting and working against each other culminating in a general feeling of oppression and dissatisfaction. Let's face facts, movie sets are primarily made up of artists and most artists are known for their egos and stubbornness. Learning how to deal with people and be easy to deal with yourself is just as important as doing your job competently.

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