How to make it as an assistant director (from a successful one)

So you want to work in film. You want to rub shoulders with Robert DeNiro. And link champagne flutes with Jennifer Lawrence. Who doesn’t?

Well it’s not impossible, but it sure isn’t easy either. That’s according to assistant director Daisy Baldry anyway.

She’s been working in the industry for a few years now, and at the tender age of 25 has racked up quite the portfolio of work.

Working on In The Heart of the Sea, Exodus, Now You See Me 2 and The Sense of an Ending, she even got on to forthcoming blockbuster Pan, starring Hugh Jackman!

We caught up with her for a chat about all things film, and for her top tips on how you too can make it in the industry. Enjoy.

1. What do you do? And how did you know you wanted to do it?

I’m an assistant director; we support the director by organising and planning everything on set, leaving them free to concentrate on the creative angle.

I remember seeing a TV program about the making of a film and thought it looked really fun. I was amazed that people got paid to make films!

2. How did you get started?
3. Talk us through your day…

That’s one of the things I love most about my jobs – there is no normal day, no two days are the same. It keeps everything interesting and fresh.

Our days usually start one to one and a half hours before crew unit call, as we’re in getting the actors ready. We’ll usually work anywhere between a 12 – 16 hour day depending what we’re filming that day.

4. What are the best things about doing what you do?

The fact that no two days or no two jobs are the same. We never work in the same place for too long either, which keeps it interesting. You get to meet some amazing people and travel to some really exciting places. I’ve been to Macau, La Gomera, Malta and Morocco just for work!

5. What are the worst?

The hours and instability of it all. You can’t plan hardly anything in your life in advance because the film schedule changes so often.

6. What do you think people don’t realise about your job?
7. What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the industry

Make sure you really love it before you go for it, because it’s hard work and you’ll be a runner for two to four years before getting promoted to ‘third assistant director’ usually, which can be disheartening, but it’s worth it once you get there.

8. Have you ever had a moment of self-doubt? What happened and how do you get through those?

Sometimes, but it’s usually when I’m exhausted at the end of a long and hard shoot. Once you’re rested up it’s all okay again!

9. What would you say to your 15-year-old self?

Keep going, it’s worth it.

10. What are your career goals?

To continue working in this industry and keep moving up and working on interesting projects with people I have fun with.

Now what?