How does the DP work with the AD?


New member
I'm a planner by nature. When I was in school, I meticulously planned my cinematography assignments with storyboards, shot list, schedule, and lighting plans. When we got to set, they ran like clockwork. It was great.

When I had to collaborate with a student director, I often had to force them to sit down and make a shot list, storyboard (what they described was not often what they drew). Sometimes we had a 1st AD, but they were also a student and were more of a clock-watcher than involved in the planning process. I still had a heavy hand in the scheduling.

Most of my paid professional work is as a 1st AC. As such, I'm not really part of the planning process. If I'm DP on a local commercial, the agency has already dictated the storyboard & shots, those run like clockwork.


I'm starting to do more narrative work as DP again. I know this planning process isn't my lead but rather the Director and AD.
But how is this supposed to work? I mean....I would much rather NOT do someone else's work and focus on my own.

How do you usually coordinate with a capable AD?