Peter Clarson, Movie Set Chief Lighting Technician, Author
Peter Clarson is a Chief Lighting Technician who was educated by some of the most talented Industry Professionals all over the world. His credits include: OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, BREAKING BAD, FORREST GUMP, RUSH, THE MIST, BACKDRAFT,
MISS CONGENIALITY, BACK TO THE FUTURE II & III, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, RUSHMORE, AMERICAN OUTLAW ...Colleagues describe Peter as calm and self assured. He has gently taught and transformed hundreds of film technicians throughout his career.
I accidentally found my way into the Film Business in Sydney, Australia. I was nineteen. I had just endured a long and boring year at the University of New South Wales studying Electrical Engineering. One thing I knew for sure - I wasn't destined to be a Suit.
I concluded that I'd take a little time off and figure out exactly what I did want to do. My very proper, very disciplined father concluded I was an idiot.
I managed to land a job at a North Sydney Film Studio sweeping stage floors and other menial tasks. I earned a whopping $45/week. But, hey, it was enough pay to fill my gas tank and spend my weekends surfing.
I was a quick learner and a hard worker. My fascination became a passion. My enthusiasm was infectious and people took notice. I fell in love with the business.
A short two months later, I was promoted. I traded the broom for a pair of leather gloves and went to work on the Stages in the Lighting Department at twice the pay! I never set foot on the campus of UNSW again.
There are several decent technical manuals dedicated to the tutelage of those who seek to break into the business. However, I am unaware of a single publication that defines: who we are, what we do, set-etiquette, cinematic language, invaluable instruction, inside tips from the trade, and caring, practical advice to avoid deadly career pitfalls.
Peter and his wife, Cheryl, have moved back to Texas and are running their restaurant "The Hippie Cowboy" located just south of Dallas and Fort Worth in Midlothian, Texas.
The Motion Picture Industry gets a standing ovation for employing people to earn as they learn. In fact, they have been doing it for years. While filmmakers won't expect newcomers to know everything about their alien-like biz, they will expect smarts of the basics:
• set etiquette
• rudimentary protocol
Learning the unspoken rules of Hollywood's working game is not common knowledge.
One needs a play book. This 121 page manual is that play book
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