First Seven Steps to Becoming A Pro in the Camera Niche.

Chapter 1: Alicia’s Journey Into the Camera Niche & Must-Have Book References

Chapter 2: The Bags Alicia Brings To Set

Chapter 3: How Alicia Keeps Track of Her Finances for Taxes

Chapter 4: How Alicia Uses Tape to Keep Track of Her Media Cards

Chapter 5: All About Slating

Chapter 6: All About Camera Reports and Camera Notes

Chapter 7: How Alicia Handles Greeking

Perfecting Your Resume and Email to get Work in the Camera Niche.

How To Write and Edit A PA/Grip Resume

Before Feedback:

After Feedback:

Melissa R.

MY DP from the 48 gave me some HUGE feedback!!

Any camera peeps read up! This is long.

I asked my DP for some feedback on my performance. Initially he said “only feedback I have is to keep it up. You were great. Maybe build a better Ronin? You’d barely done it once, can’t complain. I think you were our best asset on set. You spoiled us.”

The next day I got this:

Okay, so I gave it some thought and came up with some constructive criticism. Not a big deal in this scenario, but something that you could improve if you’re going to be an AC for others in the future…

Keep a close eye on batteries. There were a couple of times where we were in the middle of a scene and I realized suddenly that our battery was almost dead. An AC should be on top of that and either have one in their bag, ready to go… or swap them out before they have a chance to interrupt a scene. Also, make sure they’re always getting charged. There were a couple batteries in the case that were pretty drained, like they got put back in the case after being used and weren’t charged. One reason this could be a big deal is that I’ve seen batteries short out and die completely in a moment. What if we had a full battery and it died…but the others weren’t charged? And that goes for batteries for accessories too. Double AA’s, 9v, Canons for the monitors. The AC should always be sure there’s plenty of power available (within arm’s reach) and whats been used is getting charged.

Again, not a big deal in this scenario because we were fine, but in another circumstance

…it could be a thing.

Also, don’t store gear with batteries in them for long periods of time. Short term (in between locations) is fine, but overnight or at the end of a shoot, make sure all batteries get removed (and charged). My follow focus still had two AA batteries in it. Luckily, the Eneloop batteries are very stable, but I’ve scene Duracells leak and destroy equipment after a few days. That’s why there’s one stuck in my Mini Mag Light, haha

And now I’m gonna geek out on batteries…

I ordered a new AA/AAA charger that will allow you to change the intensity of the charge. Lower amperage is great because heat is the big enemy of rechargeable batteries. Quick chargers are handy, but they shorten the life of a battery. So this one can be changed depending on need. Slow charge if you have the time, or quicker charge if it’s an emergency. Also, at the end of the charge, it will tell you how many milliamp hours are in the battery, so you can identify which batteries are in better condition. Guess there was a good reason David forgot to give back the charger.

I just remembered I AC’d a gig that came into town from LA last year. Totally forgot. One of the things I’d do would be to give the DP status on the batteries to see if he wanted to swap them. Sometimes the DP has something in mind and is willing to risk it. So I’d say, “You have 10% battery, ready to swap?” Sometimes it’s a yes, sometimes, if they’re in a moment, they’ll want to keep pushing it.

Also, it’s a really bad idea to overdraw a battery. It can destroy them. I lost two AB batteries (about $1100) because they got drained past 0%. So that’s something to always avoid.