Liz Gill’s Tips for First ADs

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?

Liz Gill:

(#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.



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