International School of Los Angeles

My day in the ‘business’

“Places please”


“We are rolling”

The first take, the very first scene, the first hour, the very first clasp of the camera assistant marking the start of a long and exciting day. I woke up very early for a Saturday morning, 6 a.m. to be exact. I never thought that I would be willing to wake up at such an early time, but none the less I had.

With the sluggish movements that I was making, carrying the camera equipment, walkie talkies and all the other gadgets, I was finally able to make it to the car where my father was waiting for me. A gray sky greeted me as we pulled up to the location of the shoot at chubby short building; this is where we were going to spend the next 12 hours, and when we would leave the sky would be welcoming me in all its darkness.

I braced myself still tired from not being used to getting up so early, I guess this is what it means to be in the “business” as my dad would say. This wasn’t my first time being on set and watching the many activities role in front of my eyes like a puppet show. The whole process seems almost like an ant’s nest hard at work.

I had always been surrounded by the world of media. My parents are both in this field, and we live in a society where media is a backbone of everyone’s life. We all have something that we love to watch, either it be a movie, a show, on tv or any other platform. But what we see on our screens isn’t exactly what goes on. There is a whole other side to it, and this is why my dad calls it the “business.”

I had the chance of being able to witness and take part of the magical process that is filmmaking. In my case, an inanimate object such as a puppet can be brought to life to tell a story.

Some of you might as well be wondering how does this all work. Well, it starts with a wake up call, this means that everyone must be on set at a designated location on time and ready to start the long, long process, which is contrary to belief that not filming but rather setting up. Everyone is on the go, no one has a moment to spare, there is a tight schedule to be followed and it is not possible to miss a beat because if you do the that means there is a chance that one day of filming can become two. That is never something that you want.

If the job is supposed to be done in one day then that’s the time that it will take. To make what can be worth three minutes of finished footage can take up to 12 hours to shoot.

In those 12 hours, I was able to truly understand the labor that involves making these wonderful creations that we enjoy so much watching. For anyone who has ever wondered how it is that your favorite show, movie, series was made, or even if you haven’t. If given the opportunity, I really couldn’t encourage you more than to have any other experience. It is so unique and amazing how this process unfolds in order to create a story, for everyone to see, and enjoy no matter the style or platform.


Here we see equipment such as The Alexa, a powerful camera that has replaced the usage of film and is what everyone from big film makers to smaller films use to film shoot. I had the opportunity to see how it functioned.