Whether it’s a crew of two hundred shooting a cast of thousands on horseback, or a crew of twelve filming one person in a room, each and every successful movie production requires a strong First Assistant Director (AD) at its helm. In Running the Show, veteran First AD Liz Gill walks you through the entire filmmaking process through the perspective of the First AD, from pre-production, shoot, wrap, and all in between. This essential guide is the only book that gives you the first hand knowledge to become a successful first assistant director

Key Features

  • Learn the tricks-of-the-trade such as breaking down a script, creating a schedule, and organizing test shoots from a First Assistant Director who’s seen and done it all
  • Understand important elements like turnaround, weather cover, split days, overtime, continuous days and much more
  • Learn how to run the shoot, the set, your department and the cast and crew, from directing the director to training a PA
  • Companion website includes sample schedules and budget templates, along with other materials you can use for your very own movie (


Aspiring directors and 1st A.Ds, directors, production professionals in the feature film industry, film students, Independent Film makers.


No. of pages:
© 2012
Focal Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the author

Liz Gill

Liz Gill has been working as a First AD since 1994, for directors such as Barry Levinson, Todd Haynes, Kevin Reynolds, and more, working on widely-seen films such as The Omen and Bloody Sunday. She has served as the director on several episodes of East Enders. She studied at Columbia University and NYU before beginning her career as an assistant to Martin Scorsese. After stints in NYC and LA (working for Harvey Weinstein), she moved to Ireland where she is one of the top First ADs in the country.