1st Assistant Director: Certified Mail

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February 9, 2016 | 1-Exposing The Crew, AD


Certified Mail


1st Assistant Director


Paul Rader, Jr.

“The 1st AD is the master of the schedule.  Scheduling a 30-minute film is no easy task.” (Justin Jackola, Director at JJack Productions).

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us here at Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!  

This week’s ETC HIGHLIGHT is “Certified Mail”.  Written and Directed by Stephen Joseph Lanus, a young man struggles with the unintended consequences of receiving his neighbors’ mail.

This 30-minute film was shot in FOUR short weeks.  Having a 1st AD who can create a shot-by-shot storyboard, and a solid timetable for filming is why we chose to highlight the talent of this film’s 1st AD, Paul Rader, Jr.

When I asked what equipment and/or programs he used to track the scheduling of this film, Mr. Rader stated “…we actually took pictures on my smart phone and tied each photo to a particular day in film time with a simple emoji sticker.”

One of their biggest concerns was that some of the scenes involved being filmed at golden hour (shortly after sunrise and just before sunset, when the daylight is redder and softer).  Since this timeframe is extremely short, the 1st AD is responsible for making sure that every crew member and actor is in place at the right time.

Thank you for watching this week’s “EXPOSED” short film, and reading our new blog Exposing the Crew: A Place for Chicago-made Short Films!

See you next Tuesday!