You may be spending time on the set due to production issues, or you may just want to ask to visit the set once during the production’s time in your jurisdiction. If the latter is true, first ask the producer or production manager (or start with the Location Manager) when a set visit would be convenient for them. It is common for some shoot days to be ‘closed sets’ – when there is a particularly emotional, difficult or intimate scene between actors – which will mean no ‘outsiders’: no press, and even essential crew only may be allowed. It is important to respect this, as it is part of a director’s and actors’ processes. Don’t forget – they are at work!
1. Once a date for a set visit is scheduled, check in the day before to make sure it is still a good day and to see the best time to arrive. The schedule could have changed considerably due to length of shoot days.
2. Be sure to ask where to park. Parking in the wrong place, especially in the way of production, is a huge issue and one that will not quickly be forgotten.
3. Never bring anyone with you if they have not been approved prior to the visit.
4. Wear casual clothing that is comfortable and appropriate.
5. Sets are dangerous places – with cable and equipment everywhere – wear sensible shoes and watch where you step! This is also why bringing children to a set is highly discouraged.
6. When approaching the set, shut off all electronic devices to ensure that they do not make a sound when camera is rolling.
7. When “rolling” is called, stand or sit perfectly still and silent, until “cut” is called.
8. Do not engage in conversation with anyone that is in the midst of working. Again, you are visiting someone at work, so be as respectful as you would expect someone to be if they were to visit you in your office.
9. Do not overstay your welcome. If you are paying attention, you should be able to tell when you have been on the set long enough. And asking to visit the set multiple times can harm an otherwise positive relationship.
10. Do not take any pictures without explicit permission!