First Assistant Director / Second Assistant Director
• UK / London based with 5 years experience as a 1st AD
• Worked on numerous Features, Shorts, Web Series, Commercials and more
• Studied film and practical film-making at London Metropolitan University
I have a passion for film-making and lots of experience of assistant directing and production managing low-budget productions. I studied film-making at London Met and production management at the National Film and Television School where I was a Sargent Disc Scholar. I have assistant directed several micro-budget features, most recently Homeless Ashes, a multi-award winning drama about a young boy who grows up on the streets of London, directed by Marc Zammit, which had a market screening at Cannes, a premiere at Raindance, a theatrical release with Everyman Cinemas and was picked up by Indie Rights. Previously, I firsted The Liberator, directed by Ben Lettieri, a UK low-budget action feature, which won multiple awards and was picked up by Leomark Studios. I have also stood in the director's shoes myself, having directed two shorts, which gives me a greater understanding of the supremely important director / 1st AD relationship. In 2019 I was selected for the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew talent development programme.
Personable and professional approach, proactive and hard working, excellent time-management and multitasking, organized and efficient with attention to detail, engaging with strong verbal communication skills, Team work and leadership with tact & diplomacy, enthusiastic and can-do attitude, calm effective problem prevention & solving, stress management and conflict resolution.
Extremely proficient in production and technical aspects of film-making and in the techniques and dynamics of assistant directing. Have worked on internationally multi-award winning Features & Shorts. Experience of multi-location domestic & international productions. Familiar with shoots utilizing Arri Alexa, Blackmagic, Red, Sony, Super 16mm and other cinema camera formats and have managed multi-camera shoots. Proven track record in production Management, in bringing shoots in on schedule and meeting and exceeding project expectations.
Experienced at creating and completing complex and demanding schedules and organising & managing shoots ranging from high-budget professional shoots to low-budget guerilla shoots with limited resources. Experience organising and working with 2nd units, splinter units, foreign shoots and crews, non-actors, crowds, child actors, car rigs, low loaders, tracking vehicles, cranes, motion control, VFX and green screen, SFX, stunts, fights, armourers, squibs, prosthetics, night filming, aerial and underwater filming, intricate art department builds and more.
Experience of working with and supporting directors at different levels in their careers and with different skill-sets from accomplished directors to those working on their debut films, and from those with a technical background to actor / directors. I excel at forging great productive working relationships with directors of differing temperaments and styles and complementing their skill-sets without stepping on their toes.
Extensive knowledge and experience of using Excel, Celtx, Final Draft, Movie Magic Scheduling, and other software to create schedules, call sheets and other documents. Knowledge of relevant health and safety legislation and procedures and of the 1st AD's responsibilities to the cast & crew in this area and experience of producing risk assessments.
Development / Pre-production:
Extensive experience of producing script breakdowns and scheduling. Can apply extensive knowledge of industry methods and technologies to advise on the optimum shoot for budget. Can coordinate pre-production including recommending and negotiating the hiring of HoDs & crew, sourcing suppliers and equipment rentals, purchases and locations to budget, utilising knowledge of crew & kit house rates. Experienced at attending location scouts / recces with Director to assess shoot adequacy, facilities and identify potential problems. Can organise optimal shoot dates and plan and coordinate shoot logistics including cast & crew travel , accommodation & catering arrangements in the UK and abroad. Can recommend and facilitate production Insurance policy.
Will regularly communicate and coordinate with cast & crew, especially other senior crew: production manager, HoDs, line producer, other producers, DP and director in all areas especially relating to achieving creative objectives and optimizing schedule & budget, including streamlining production dates and generating cost savings. Can lead personnel through production meetings and conference calls to fine tune shoot details and to ensure everyone is clear moving forward and fully aware of what to expect. Will create and distribute accurate production documents; contact sheet, risk assessments, schedule, call sheets and verify accuracy.
Experience running the show / managing the day-to-day shoot during the production phase to schedule. Will manage and supervise cast & crew and coordinate all departments so each one is ready when the time comes. Have great set etiquette and will set and maintain a rapid pace coupled with attention to detail. Will proudly bring the director's dream to life and on schedule, whilst making the process a fun and positive experience for all. Ensure talent is happy. Can offer quick and smart solutions to unforeseen problems and remain calmly adaptable throughout. Can oversee and facilitate last minute scheduling changes to keep the film on time and within budget. Will ensure production equipment & assets are secure and that the shoot adheres to health and safety requirements.
First Aid Certificate / DBS cleared / Full clean driving licence & own car insured for business use. Confident driving vans & minibuses / References available upon request.
"David is one of the best 1st AD's I have worked with and I would highly recommend him to film productions in the early stages of recruiting. He is diligent, hard working, a good communicator and most importantly a good team player."
Mark Jeavons, Director & Producer of 'Whatever Happened To Pete Blaggit'
"David is the best 1st AD I have ever worked with. His calm temperament, good communication skills and dry sense of humour were the blood to my directing engine on set - if possible, he will be my 1st AD on every project I ever do."
Lance Nielson, Director & Producer of 'The Journey'