Remembering names on a film-set


Reading time: 2 mins

I noticed how one of the 1st ADs I worked with recently remembered my name only after one short introduction.
Even after not having worked together for a week or so he greeted me by my own name.

I was curious if it was something that came naturally for him, or he was working on it deliberately. So I asked.
As it turned out, he writes down everyone’s name secretly, even the names of all the extras.

It helps him communicate much more effectively than just trying to point at people and say “hey you please move to the right, sorry not you, you”

“Peter move to the right” much quicker right?

And it is not just about effectiveness.

We human beings like our names. We dislike people who forget who we are, and we straight out hate when someone is trying to order us to do something by saying “hey you over there”.

We also love rebelling against the people we don’t like, meanwhile we love cooperating with people we do like.

We feel respected when someone we barely know remembers our names. And we love helping people we respect.

So by writing down everyone’s names, he becomes not just quicker and more efficient in his work, but also more respected and liked. Becomes someone everyone likes working with.

Try it out, write down all the new names secretly, when no one is watching.

Writing it down on paper helps your memory more than typing it digitally, but do whichever you like more. The point is to keep doing it.

Also, don’t worry if you miss a couple of names at the beginning, or you have to keep looking up the names. It will take time and practice, but in the end, you might get to a point when you can even burn the paper right after writing down the names

When you have a minute of break, test yourself from your paper. Look at people and try to recall their names, then check it against your list.

About the author

Peter Varnai
By Peter Varnai

Peter Varnai

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Heey, I'm Peter. Father of 2, filmmaker, solopreneur, and a helper of other solopreneurs and self-employed people. :) Feel free to reach out to me and let's have a virtual coffee. or Sign up for the newletter.