When working on set we arrive as a team and unload any relevant kit off the van for the effects we are doing that shoot day – this could be smoke machines, large fans for wind effects, pre-made fire rigs for campfires or stovetops etc. We sometimes will have to set things up before the shoot day starts; gas bottles, for example, need to be set in position and safely connected up to the rigs that require them so that they are ready to be used as soon as they are needed.
As technicians we work together as a team throughout the shoot day and communicate using radios to provide the effects that the production require. The on-set SFX Supervisor liaises with individuals such as the Director and DOP (Director of Photography) and relays relevant information back to us technicians so we can take appropriate action. Being a trustworthy team player is important as a technician when in these on-set situations, especially when the more hazardous effects come out!
On the other hand, when I’m at the workshop I do more independent work. I might be tasked with a fire rig, so I will start making it myself. There are usually two or three other people in the workshop at any one time, so I can always ask for help if I need it. We have some brilliant minds that work at Real SFX and each person has their niche. I learn from everyone around me.