As part of our advice season for our artists, we sat down with Crowd 2nd, Andy Richards to get some advice to help our artists understand what its like from the other side….
Thanks for taking the time! You’ve got some amazing credits under your belt, all very high end... Wonder Woman, Hans Solo and this summer you booked crowd on the upcoming Netflix film, The Old Guard starring Charlize Theron. Could you quickly sum up what the role of a crowd 2nd AD does?
A crowd 2nd AD acts as a liaison between costume, hair and make up and sometimes locations departments to logistically help bring the directors vision of the scene to life.
So you’ve played a part in booking a lot of SA’s it seems? How many roughly would you say?
The crowd varies a lot from film to film - I’ve been on productions with 1000 SA’s and 11000 on others. I often find that the crowd is more specific the smaller the job. Which is why I find that good relationship with the agency can make a big difference.
So your relationship with the agency is pretty key?
Yes, good communication and relationship with the agency is key - you all have to be able to work as part of the same team.
“Having worked with lots of people, we remember the good ones… and the bad”
When the agency sends you a lookbook, what are you expecting to see?
The basic things that I would be looking for would be a current selfie, a clear full body shot and head shot of some sort. Clear full measurements and height. If someone is missing that, then I think they are not engaged with their profile enough, so I move on to the next person.
So, the pictures and measurements are pretty important?
Yes both are very important, a lookbook won’t necessarily be viewed just by myself - it may go to other departments who will be looking for something specific. On a period drama, sometimes people cant be booked unless both costume and hair and make up have approved them. They could be looking for anything from measurements, your current hair style/look or perhaps trying to match you to one of the actors.
So lots of people see these images? Can you give us an idea who?
A lookbook can be seen by various people in various departments - most commonly costume and makeup or on occasion the 1st AD or Director.
What are the best things an SA can do to impress you?
Turn up on time consistently, be up front and honest and have a good work ethic.
What are the worst?
Not turning up on time consistently, not being up front and honest - Not be forthcoming on set.
Call times can be pretty early yea? Not many jobs ask for hours like this. What would you say to someone getting into the industry?
Try to come into it with a good work ethic and positive mindset. Things can change on a daily basis - scenes may get pushed, call times may get shifted last minute or the day may run later than expected. Crowd AD’s should always have the welfare of the crowd in mind so they’ll try to ensure that everyone is being looked after and is as comfortable as possible in those situations. Be honest, enthusiastic, polite, flexible and prepared to work hard - we’re all trying to achieve the same goal and we’re all in it together.
What advice could you give our artists to help improve their chances of getting work?
Be as comprehensive with your profile as possible - Upload as many photos as your agency is asking for - fill in your profile with as much information as you can. Respond promptly to job offers and also be friendly and polite with the people you meet at the production. Be self sufficient and prepare before a job, know where you’re filming and how long it will take you to get there to ensure that you're not late.
On that note, thanks for taking the time!