Spring 2020


Nate Hapke

Adapting on the Fly

By Becca Nadler

"One of my favorite parts of the job is taking this giant puzzle and putting it all together," says production associate Nate Hapke, one of two PAs for ABC's General Hospital. Hapke's prep involves aggregating disparate script and production notes from multiple departments into finalized schedules and rundowns, "making sure that the next day's production is going to run as smoothly as possible," he says.

On booth days, Hapke's comprehensive prep allows him to efficiently regroup when confronted with problems outside of his control—as happened recently when an actress recovering from illness became too dizzy to film. "The way that it was scripted, she was supposed to be in the background of three or four scenes," explains Hapke. As the person most familiar with the schedule and rundowns, he was able to recommend contingency plans to the director and producer. "I took authority and helped smooth everything out, determining what part of those scenes we could actually shoot. It went really well," says Hapke.

Logistical problem solving, for Hapke, is its own kind of creativity. "There are hundreds of permutations of how the day ends up going," he says. "So it's just being willing to be flexible, being willing to think quickly and on your toes, and being able to maintain a cool head."

(Photo: Brian Davis)

At Work With

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

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