Ensure film sets are set-up and changed to suit the Director.
What does a Leadman do?
Like the atoms in a molecule, props on a movie set aren’t static. The Director doesn’t like the way the lamp light falls? Move it. The couch is crowding the main Actor? Get rid of it. As a Leadman, you play an integral role in switching things up, and it’s your job to oversee and manage the crew that puts props where they need to go on set.
When you’re a Leadman, you answer to the Production Designer who works closely with the Film Director to come up with the overall look of the film, and then passes on exact directions for you to follow. It’s your job as the Leadman to make sure those directions are carried out exactly for each and every shot. If the plant was on the Actor’s left in one scene, it needs to be there five frames later, which is no small feat when you remember that shooting just one scene can take days.
This job is super collaborative. For example, when a prop breaks, you contact the Prop Master right away to ask for a new one. If Set Decorators get lazy, you keep them on task.
You also work closely with the Cameraman, as spacing is very important during filming. It doesn’t matter how well a set fits the film’s vision if the camera can’t get into the room to capture the scene.
Expect long days in this job: A Leadman needs to be there from the start of filming to the end. At the beginning of the day, you make sure things are set up and prepared for each scene, and at the end, you see to it that everything is correctly put away.