Spring 2018

Marty Eli Schwartz

Schwartz's Comfort Zone


Marty Eli Schwartz loves his job. "Even having done it for as long as I have, my adrenaline rises when I get on set"—this from a man who worked as a stunt performer earlier in his career.

The 1st AD's day begins the night before. Schwartz studies the call sheet and shooting schedule and pulls the pages for the next day. "I wake up and I have everything in my head that's going to take place or needs to take place that day," he says.

For Schwartz, making sure the actors feel comfortable is all part of the job as an AD. "It gives them the ability to give the best performance that they can," he explains, "their performance depends on how you run a set."

Recently, Schwartz worked on FX's Feud, about the conflict behind Robert Aldrich's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? "You have two very highly acclaimed actresses pitted against each other," says Schwartz, referring as much to Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange as to their on-screen characters of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. "Susan and Jessica kept themselves from each other, because they didn't want to come off as being friendly," he recalls. "As an AD, you can help by understanding what they're going through and how they prepare."

(Photo: Brian Davis)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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Check out the latest DGA Quarterly, featuring articles about the craft of directing feature films, documentaries, television content, standup specials and commercials. In addition, we explore of the theatrical experience in the cinematic age and discuss the net neutrality conundrum.