Being on a film set can be overwhelming to those new to the situation. There are all these people running around doing jobs you’ve never heard of before. Not to mention all the equipment. Then you have all the unfamiliar terminology flying around.

This training video by Marc A. Hutchins of Alexander Films, will help anyone new or wanting to brush up their on set etiquette or “setiquette”. It’ll help you to avoid learning what not to do the hard way.

The information in the video is aimed at American setiquette so there are a few differences for Australian crews and a few bits of information that many won’t agree with. A couple of those are below:

1. We follow the British system and have a 3rd AD rather than a 2nd 2nd (personally I think it just makes better sense too).

2. If you want your film career to last longer than ONE DAY, don’t EVER say “CUT” out loud. That is the director’s job. Even if there is a safety issue, follow the lines of communication mentioned or find anyone with a walkie talkie and tell them. (This isn’t just my advice but feedback from the video).

Plus there are a few things I want to reiterate and emphasise. The most common faux pas of those still unfamiliar with the industry. A select few are a listed below:

1. Don’t touch equipment from other departments!

2. Avoid an actor’s eyeline! Remember Christian Bale’s tirade?

3. Do not touch a hot set! That includes talent! Unless you are instructed to touch that apple, do not touch that apple! Continuity is already difficult enough without you touching things.

4. Echo the cut! Nothing has frustrated me more than standing outside the set and realising I could have been working because no one echoed “cut”. It’s just as important as echoing “quiet”.

Copy that? Now go use your setiquette and be a more responsible and effective crew member.



Q: What do you think are the most common and/or annoying setiquette failures?