A day in the life of a Booker
Booker: Demi Coulson
Time at Extra People: 2 Years
Projects worked on: The Crown s3 & 4, Hanna s2, The Old Guard, Bridgerton, How to build a girl, Pennyworth
Everyday is different depending on what project I am working on. But it usually starts out with checking emails, responding to clients queries and going through breakdowns.
We always have a team catch-up in the morning where we use specialised team working softwares built for planning everyone’s to do lists for that day. With so many projects this helps us keep on track and see the status of where everyone is at with what.
When we are working through breakdowns we make sure to check the scene and do a lot of research and references to the characters that are required. For example if we are working on a period drama we will be researching a specific look, from their hairstyles to any tattoos and piercings they may have.
We sometimes like to get out and visit the clients on set. On big days we would help sign in and out our supporting artists which can make our clients life a lot easier. It’s also nice to see our SA’s working hard and enjoying their work!
Until someone has worked as a booker, I don’t think they understand just how crazy it can be sometimes. We get a hundred things coming at us from all angles, whether it be a sudden scene change, costume needing options right now, to artists calling up wanting to know something. Having good, trustworthy artists makes such a difference. I know some people complain that agencies have their favourite artists…well it is true to a certain degree.
Imagine you are a Builder and you employ labourers to help you. The ones that are reliable, turn up on time, don’t let you down and get on with the work are always going to be the builders first choice to employ. Well its the same with us, the ones who make our job easier are going to be people we go back to time and time again. Thats not to say we wont try new people, just simply, when you get that first opportunity, ensure it goes well because we want more favourites! Trust me… we don’t want bad apples!
Over the past year, we have introduced the attendance rating. Meaning, we can see the number of bookings someone has had and their attendance %. Those with a high attendance rating will always get put forward over someone with a low %. Why? Because we can trust them.
Being an SA can be very lucrative for the type of work it is. Runners get paid less and they literally wont get to sit down all day. All you have to do is be punctual, reliable and nice to deal with. A good name in this industry goes round quick, a bad name goes round even quicker.
One of the things I would say is, don’t judge agencies for the failings of other agencies. We all hear the stories, the agents that block pencil someone for 3 weeks and they get 1 day out of it. We don’t do that. We would never ask someone to suspend their lives for that. We simply ensure we have an open and transparent dialogue with the AD, so we can better inform our SA’s.
At around mid afternoon we start to receive call details for our SA’s for the next day. We send out all the information we receive to our SA’s. We have an emergency contact no. should any of them need anything. 9/10 everything is all good and they are all prepared for work the next day.
Keeping track is key
One of the hardest things in the job is when SA’s drop out. Sometimes we can make it work, but sometimes it can cause a lot of problems. Essentially the ones that mean we have to stay late in the office or work weekends, we don’t forget that. We have lives outside of work.
With numerous projects and SA’s on set everyday, problems can occur from sicknesses to broken down cars. It can sometimes be stressful juggling several issues at once, but we always make sure we find the right person. That’s what having a great team is for and ultimately it is really satisfying when it all comes together and the client is happy.
The day normally wraps with making sure everyone has ‘checked-in’ via our platform to confirm that they are all set for shooting. We always make sure that we have an emergency phone on hand where our SA’s and clients can contact us out of office should they need too.
Before leaving the office we always make sure that everything is all set for another busy day tomorrow!
I hope to work with you soon,