“It’s who you know, not what you know” well, that’s true to a degree. It definitely helps getting your foot in the door if you know someone in the industry, but once you’re in you’ve got to prove your worthy of staying.
I was lucky enough to get onto Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood in 2009, sitting out in the middle of the woods come rain or shine, stopping passers by from getting into the back of shot and making numerous cups of tea for camera crew on set.
But being able to stand next to Ridley Scott whilst he discusses with the DOP what their next shot will be, was something I will never forget.
From there I tried my best to make friends and contacts, and after that, one job just lead to another and another. Working for the Locations Department on numerous films now, such as Snow White and The Huntsman, Rush, Skyfall and currently Fast and Furious 6 (yes they are making a 6th one in the series) has been awesome, getting to travel around the country and see places you didn’t really even know existed, and learning about a niche subject for 4 months at a time, like Formula 1 in the 1970’s on Ron Howard’s Rush has definitely enhanced my dinner table conversation.On the final day of shooting Rush, Ron patted me on the back and to my memory said: “Thanks for all your hard work Vics.” Although I was in shock that this legend was talking to me, I mean this is the man who has won 2 Oscars and brought Willow into our lives.
Being on set for a film, is hard work though, the producers want to use all the day light hours God gives them, so in my department, that means being on location and raring to go at about 5:30am, and no matter what the weather is, you’ll be there, outside all day past sunset and well into the night. It’s not always glamorous red carpets, but you do get to see some cool stunts performed.
Watching Kristen Stewart gallop along the Welsh coast line, followed by 90 extras on horse back and a 4×4 with a 20ft camera jib on top of it, or holding back a crowd of 100 plus at Parliament Square whilst Daniel Craig legs it down Whitehall surrounded by a film crew of 350, 180 extras, 8 prop police cars and 4 cameras, or locking off a runway as Vin Diesel bursts through a ring of flames in some swish fast car, is way better than sitting at a desk from 9 – 5 in my opinion.
It’s hard work and long hours, your social life goes out the window, and I can’t remember the last time I wore dress. But at the end of the day, you’re making a movie for a living, what could be better than that?
Vicki Wilson, Location Assistant
“Fast and Furious 6”
Fast Productions LTD