Working as a 3rd Assistant Director

The 3rd Assistant Director, also known as the TAD, has the main responsibility of assisting the 1st Assistant Director and the 2nd Assistant Director. The following list outlines the responsibilities of the 3rd but know that this list can grow depending on the size of the project and the amount of background talent being used.

Skills Required of a 3rd Assistant Director:

  • Communication: No matter which role you are playing within the AD department, you need to be a great communicator. If all of the AD’s are keeping in communication with one another then the day should run quite smoothly. As the 3rd you want to know when you need to have background ready and when you need to have them traveling to set. You need to communicate with the 1st when you are on the floor, maybe directing traffic or background talent. You will also need to communicate with the background performers, you may have a lot of bodies to deal with, you need to keep them focused and together, let them know what is going on and when.
  • Organization: This again is a skill required to work in any position within the AD department but as the 3rd Assistant Director  you need to organize your time as well as organize people. There are shoot days that might employ hundreds of extras and background performers, on these days it is up to you to organize and work with them. You will more than likely have help on these days but it is up to you to keep everything together and moving. Part of staying organized is keeping in communication with your 1st and 2nd, know when and where you need to have your talent and get them there as efficiently as possible.
  • Confidence: As the 3rd you will be dealing with a great deal of people on any given day. You may be organizing crowds of hundreds. You need to be the voice in charge, you need to lead with confidence. If you are quiet or confused in any of your directions then the talent with be too. Be authoritative, give clear and concise directions, call on the help of production assistants if necessary.
  • Patience: Keep your cool, things are going to get stressful and sometimes pretty hectic. Be patient and stay calm. If you panic or stress then so will everyone else. Your confidence and patience needs to transfer over to everyone else, they need to feel like you know what is going on and that they can come to you for direction.
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