What is a Day Player & What’s Their Job on the Set?
The Day Player is responsible for working on the production on a daily basis to ensure they fill in for missing crew members or offer additional help wherever it is needed on the set. This role requires a flexible individual with strong working knowledge of film production and sets. The day player may work one day, two days, or several days in a row depending on the individual needs of the production crew. The schedule is freelance and there is no telling how busy, or not, you will be.
The day player job is not the easiest job to land simply because it takes a lot of knowledge of the set and the production in order to be “good.” Most of the time, day playing requires a trial run in order to see if you mesh well with the cast and crew and can handle the responsibilities that are expected of you. In some cases, if you are liked by the production staff, you can land a full time day player role for the duration of the production.
Day Player Responsibilities
Responsibilities of the day player vary greatly from day to day. They are free to work independently which makes the job exciting, but also tricky if you’re looking for a full-time career with a set income.
Day players are usually hired for a single day with no real commitment in place. If you don’t like the set you work on, you can easily finish out your day and not come back. Likewise, if the film crew doesn’t like you, they can easily not call you back–there is no commitment or understanding upfront that you will be guaranteed work.
This role requires an extensive understanding of the various roles in the production as you may be a runner one day and an administrative support individual the next. As a day player, you are responsible for knowing what the role entails and for picking up on tasks quickly and efficiently. Your role is to allow production to increase substantially without the team having to bring on more full-time crew members.
Day players often fill in for sick members to ensure the production continues to run smoothly. They ensure that the department is not totally screwed if an individual doesn’t show up for work.
The hours may be long, and the work demanding, but being a day player allows you to get involved in the film production and could work into a full-time role. This is a great way to infiltrate the industry and get started in a career in film.
Day Player Skills
Day Player skills must vary greatly. They must have strong technical knowledge and the ability to work well under pressure. They should have knowledge of the various roles in production and what it takes to perform each role. Day players must be willing to work as needed, on the fly. They should be fully prepared for long hours on the location and must be willing to travel to and from the set.
Additional skills include:
- Working closely with others.
- Strong communication.
- Ability to learn new tasks quickly.
- Ability to see opportunity and run with it.
- Understanding of production and the needs of the production crew.