Heroes of the set part 104: AD’s (Assistant Directors). Guillermo (pronounced Gijermo) is my A.D. or Assistant Director. In many ways his is the most onerous job on a film crew. It is his responsibility that the cast are on set at the right time, that the correct props have been called for, the requisite camera equipment (cranes and steadicams etc) are available and a whole host of other details. If we are running behind his is the first name that is called on set and he’s also responsible for all the actions of the background extras. He arrives onset earlier than I do and leaves long after me. Though today is a Saturday and supposedly a day of rest he has spent most of the day with me going through the unshot scenes line by line to make sure we haven’t missed anything – in the pursuit of on-set excellence and efficiency we both felt it was necessary to spend the time and double check our already copious notes. Usually this kind of detail is taken care of in the production meeting but ours only got as far Day 10 which is long behind us now and he does not want me to be frustrated by the kind of snafus that left me so furious during the last week. I have found myself much moved in the last few days by the effort put in by Guillermo and Joan (D.P.) to give me what I have asked for on set. So often I have looked across the busy set to see them with the desperate and worried looks of lieutenants trying to martial their troops against the crushing odds and unrealistic deadlines demanded by their cantankerous general (me) but my heart warms when I see them smile – they are both wonderful men who I shall surely miss when I leave Spain.
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