Exclusive Interview conducted by Jody Michelle Solis
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: What are the most challenging aspects working as a First AD?
Liz Gill: Personalities! It’s always challenging to lead a combination of very different temperaments and it’s different on every job. It’s crucial to have empathy and also to admit mistakes.
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: Can you tell us about your transition from First AD to director?
Liz Gill: It was less a straight transition than a bit of back and forth – First AD was my day job when I was writing until I got my second film made. Then even after directing a number of TV series I firsted commercials as they were still useful and educational. Time on a set is always precious and as a director you get that less – and there are certain jobs where I’d prefer to be the First than the director!
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: What was one of the most important things you learned while working on set?
Liz Gill: Collaboration – understanding other people’s points of view and trying to help them do their best work.
StudentFilmmakers Magazine: If you could share your Top 3 Tips for aspiring ADs, what would they be?
(#1.) Listen carefully to instructions and report back when a task is complete.
(#2.) Ask the dumb questions.
(#3.) Mind your manners no matter how much pressure you’re under.