What Happens in Basecamp Shouldn’t Stay in Basecamp

April 19, 2022 A DGA Women's Steering Committee Virtual Event

On April 19, the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC) virtual meeting featured the panel discussion, What Happens in Basecamp Shouldn’t Stay in Basecamp: Understanding the Workflow from Base to Set to Make Our Days More Fruitful and Efficient. In a conversation moderated by WSC Director Category Representative Valerie Weiss (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), UPM Liz Ryan (All American: Homecoming) and 2nd ADs Alicia Lewis (The Rookie) and Ni’Cole Pettis (Snowfall) discussed the intricacies involved in getting actors through basecamp – the mobile production unit where actors prep before going to the set – and  forward into rehearsals and shooting.

During the conversation, the panel covered topics including: the responsibilities of a 2nd Assistant Director who runs basecamp what support they need from others to make the workflow seamless; how better communication and collaboration can help make days more efficient and enjoyable; and what a holistic approach to this process ideally looks like.

Lewis gave a thorough breakdown of duties she performs as the basecamp Assistant Director from getting talent through hair and makeup in a timely manner, to communicating issues to the rest of the team. She stated that whatever she does is to serve the set.

Pettis was asked what Directors can do to be helpful in the flow and said that Directors who come in prepared with a plan influence the efficiency of the process from basecamp to set.

Ryan said that knowing your crew’s names and showing appreciation goes a long way in trying to make things move more quickly.

Following the moderated portion of the conversation, the panelists fielded questions submitted by the online audience.

Alicia Lewis2nd AD Alicia Lewis
Lewis’s Assistant Director credits include movies for television such as J. Miller Tobin’s False Profits, Don Scardino’s Mission Control, Kenny Ortega’s Legally Mad and Mikael Salomon’s Blue Lagoon: The Awakening; and multiple episodes of series such as The RookieWhy Women KillDear White PeopleCounterpartThe Mindy ProjectAmerican Crime StoryPrime SuspectParenthoodBoston LegalAlly McBealJudging Amy and Melrose Place. Lewis has been a DGA member since 1998and serves as an alternate member of the Western AD/UPM Council.
NiCole Pettis2nd AD Ni’Cole Pettis
Pettis’s Assistant Director credits include multiple episodes of series such as Punky BrewsterSnowfall and Runaways. She was also the 2nd 2nd AD on Thomas Schlamme’s DGA Award-winning special, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote. Pettis has been a DGA member since 2017. 
Liz RyanUPM Liz Ryan
Ryan has worked on over 70 movie and television productions throughout the world as a Director, Producer, Production Manager or Assistant Director. Her UPM credits include features such as Maria Burton’s A Sort of Homecoming; John Sayles’s Go for Sisters and Walter von Huene’s Ancient Warriors; Beth McCarthy-Miller’s movie for television, Amy’s Brother; and series such as All American: HomecomingStation 19Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Aquarius. A DGA member since 1985, Ryan serves as a co-chair of the Women’s Steering Committee, is an elected member of the DGA National Board and the Western AD/UPM Council and is a member of the DGA Diversity Task Force. She also sits on both the boards of the Directors Guild-Producers Pension and Health Plans and the Directors Guild-Producers Training Plan and has served on the Guild’s Negotiating Committees. In 2008, Ryan received the DGA Frank Capra Achievement Award in recognition of her career achievements and service to the Guild. 

Valerie WeissDirector Valerie Weiss (moderator)
Weiss’s directorial credits include the feature films, MixtapeThe ArcherA Light Beneath Their Feet and Losing Control; the movie for television, An American Girl Story: Maryellen 1955 – Extraordinary Christmas; and episodes of Star Trek: Strange New WorldsEchoesMonarchOuter BanksWhy Women KillSuits and Impulse. A DGA member since 2016, Weiss serves as the Director Category Representative of the Women’s Steering Committee. 



The Women's Steering Committee (WSC) was created to advance the professional interests of its members, and to heighten their visibility and career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The WSC currently promotes diversity through sponsoring net-working events, screenings and seminars, and fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities. The WSC’s current Co-Chairs are Tara Miele, Shawn Pipkin-West and Liz Ryan.

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