About the ADA


The ADA is the main organisation that represents the best Assistant Directors and Runners in the UK. Our members cover all aspects of filming worldwide. We represent the interests of our membership and are continually improving standards via training and the sharing of information and experience.

We will continually search for ways to improve working conditions as well as health and safety standards throughout the industry. We seek to establish fair pay levels and working conditions for all our members. We are building an organisation that will speak for AD’s and can therefore enter into reasonable discussion with employers and other professional bodies when needed.

We do not believe in, nor do we seek to establish any form of ‘closed shop’ and respect the promotion of individuals through merit. Our industry demands innovation, creativity and flexibility and we passionately believe in the quality and standard of British AD’s as being the best in the world. The ADA wants to build on that excellence and develop our strengths as a key department of film production in the UK. We hope you will join us.

The History of the ADA

Formed in the summer of 2008 by a group of assistant directors who felt that our department needed cohesion to improve it’s lot, the ADA came into existence at a meeting in a room above a pub. Wanting to create a unified voice that would represent the interests of their department across the whole industry and gain the benefits of the support that an association can offer was how the ADA started its life. Created as a non-profit organisation, a committee of volunteers was formed to take on the responsibilities of building the association. A constitution was written and a basic website created.In 2012 the first part time administrator was hired.  In June 2013 the second ADA website was launched, with new facilities and information for our membership.

2016 saw the membership growing at a steady pace. Now exceeding 160 members, the majority have been those working in commercials but we are now attracting more people from the TV and features world. The creation of the ADA Assistant Directors Forum on Facebook has seen much better communication of information and the launch of the AD Grapevine system allows instant communication about work issues.  The third ADA website was launched in the summer, of 2015 with a new faster guide to all our members.

The disinterest from some AD’s, particularly from those with a memory of the closed shop days of the ACTT union was and still is a difficulty to overcome, but once potential members see how different we are from the old union days, reaction is invariably positive.

One of the main driving forces behind the ADA is to be the vehicle that helps train and promote runners into becoming highly skilled assistant directors. In helping them gain experience and climb the production ladder they will be the future of our organisation.

The ADA is without doubt getting more influential through its representation of more assistant directors and set runners across the industry. A new working relationship with the recently formed AD branch of BECTU has given further strength to our aims. New T&C’s for Film & TV are having a positive effect by increasing rates of pay. We are quickly becoming the unified voice for our department throughout the UK.

The difficulties of running an organisation on a purely voluntary basis while trying to earn a living was and still is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. The committee continues to meet as often as a busy freelance world can permit. It distributes its workload across its members who voluntarily work very hard to build the future strength of the association.

Whatever level you are at in our department, do please join us and benefit from an association that will represent your interests in the years ahead and help you become a first class assistant director.


The current administration of the ADA as of February 2017 is:

Patrick Cadell
Isusko Garcia
Danielle Fox

Brashna Agha,Tom Dunbar
Isusko Garcia, Marcia Gay, Will jasper, Stuart Learmonth,
Richard Lingard

The Assistant Directors Association
c/o Halliford Studios,
Manygate Lane,
TW17 9EG

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