Whether brand new or a seasoned veteran, a career in film work will most likely mean that at some point you WILL be a “day player”. You are considered a “day player” when you have been hired for a single day or multiple days, but are not classified as a full-time (core) member of the crew. Here are some things to consider when “day playing” for those who are new to the industry.

As a “day player” you have been hired because the scope of work has increased beyond the capability of the core crew and the department that hired you needs your additional help! SO BE ON TIME!!! In film work, generally speaking, most of the URGENCY occurs FIRST THING in the morning. Arriving 10-15 minutes before your scheduled call time is a good habit to get into. DO NOT BE LATE!!! Everyone understands situations can occur that are out your control that can prevent you from being on-time or able to show up at all. Always make sure that you obtain the contact information for the person/department that you are reporting to. That way, you can properly inform them of any such situation and a replacement can be found.

First things first, for on-set or off-production work, fill out your start paperwork on your first day of employment.  This will denote your first day of employment and establish the necessary payroll information so that you can get PAID!  Start work is either hard copy or digital depending on the production.  Please be prepared for either option.  For digital startwork,  it is a  good idea to have a picture of your Driver’s License  pre-loaded in your phone so that you can upload the document when prompted. For paper documentation, make sure to bring a pen with blue/blank ink.  Write legibly! Additionally, both methods may require proof of Social Security Card to complete. Each start packet should contain a Dues Authorization Form.  This form authorizes the employer to deduct your 3% Union dues obligation.  Whether an active member or an over-hire (non-member), this obligation is required. Please remember to check your pay stubs and monthly statements from Local 476 to ensure good standing.

Each employer has a distinct set of working rules that you will have to read and initial in your start paperwork. Many of the rules are universal, however, some provisions can vary from production to production. By initialing the rules you are agreeing to the terms within the document. It is your responsibility to understand and follow the rules. If you have any questions you can ask your department head, steward, or the Local 476 office.

If you are hired for on-set work, make sure you receive and review the call sheet! Call sheets include vital information for the following day of work; such as:

  • Base Camp Location
  • Breakfast/Lunch location (provided by location)
  • Call Time
  • Crew Parking
  • Departmental Notes
  • Map
  • Nearest Hospital
  • Next Days Work
  • Pre-Call (if applicable)
  • Safety Information/Protocols
  • Set Location
  • Shuttle Time to Set (this may require an earlier arrival to crew parking than anticipated)
  • Special Equipment (i.e. techno crane, process trailer, condors, scissor lifts, etc.)
  • Weather Bulletins
  • Working Trucks (where you will most likely report)

On location you will be required to park at a designated crew parking lot away from set. At times you will need to be shuttled by van to the working location or may need to walk further than anticipated. Plan accordingly and give yourself plenty of time. Even though there is usually clear signage directing you to where you’ll need to go, be sure to set yourself up for success by arriving early. If you are unsure where you are expected to report and when, contact the person who hired you.


Not all filmwork takes place on set. Many crews are needed to build, paint, rig, decorate, prepare, and strike sets. These positions are often referred to as off-production jobs. If you are hired for off-production work, Be prepared by bringing the appropriate tools! The basic tools required on almost all jobs are a razor knife, gloves, tape measure, multitool (Leatherman), and crescent wrench. If you are uncertain on what tools you will need specifically, ASK THE PERSON WHO HIRED YOU OR THE OFFICE. Because we are a “mixed local” each department may require specific tools. To be successful, you should always ask questions if you are uncertain.

Make sure to know the following:

  • The contact information of the person that hired you.
  • The address of the location you are reporting to/parking at.
  • If you will be responsible for providing your own lunch.

When considering  what to wear on the job it is important to keep in mind that we are a professional labor organization. We are often in the presence of directors, producers, actors  and studio executives. Clothing that is torn, stained, or might be considered offensive to others does not represent you, or the Union well. 

In addition, living in the Midwest, we all know that weather changes instantly and extremely! You want to perform your best, and that means being prepared to function in all kinds of weather related scenarios. It is a good idea to purchase the following items. Please note that when purchasing items you may want to consider buying top quality products to ensure efficacy and durability.

  • Additional Footwear (waterproof shoes/boots, Neos, winter boots)
  • Bibs, coverall, insulated pants, thermal base layer clothing and socks (wool)
  • Construction Boots for Work on Concrete
  • Gortex Coat
  • Neck Covering
  • Raincoat/Pants
  • Sun Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Waterproof Gloves
  • Winter Hat

It may be a good idea to bring additional socks, shoes, and gloves. These items are the most likely to become saturated during inclimate weather.

Lastly, the best way to represent yourself is to bring a good attitude, be ready to work and willing to learn what you may not already know. Remember, by following this checklist a single day can lead to many more days on the job.