If you’re a TikToker, you might have seen this hilarious series of “Film Crew” videos that capture nearly every type of person you’d find on a set—from the director, to the first A.D, VFX pro and talent (even the child actor, stage mom and on-set teacher).
The set-up is simple—set to Electric Light Orchestra's classic track, “Mr. Blue Sky,” we see character after character emerging from the right side of the screen, each one a hilarious, spot-on caricature, portrayed by a single actor, Aimee La Joie.
The director coolly strides in wearing shades, sharply dressed in a leather jacket. Then there’s the angry first A.D. screaming into headphones, the frazzled P.A. hauling a box, the harried screenwriter shuffling through pages and pages of script, all kinds of grips (creepy grip, hot grip, grip who has seen sh*t), the props person, stunt guy and even the green screen actor, dressed in an full-body emerald leotard.
Although she portrays all of them, La Joie skillfully tailors her facial expressions, costumes and movements to become someone anew.
La Joie, an actor based in San Diego, says she was inspired by the TikTok trend that has seen people recreating characters you’d find in various situations, like women going out for ladies’ night and attendees of an Indian wedding. “I hadn’t seen anyone making a video using this trend with a film crew, so I thought I would work with what I know,” she says.
Aside from acting, La Joie also has done plenty of work on set herself as a videographer and photographer, all skills she relied on for this project. She’s not only the actor, but she shoots all the films on her own, using her own equipment. When things get a bit hairy, “occasionally I’ll ask for help from my parents—my mom is the one reaching for the apples for the props character,” she says.
The idea kicked off with one video, but a massive response from viewers in the film community requesting their departments to be featured prompted her to create more.
Her roles both in front of and behind the camera have served as inspiration for subsequent films. “I would pull from what I know or what I’ve seen others do on set,” she says. “Many times my interpretations have not been perfect, but I’m working with what I know.”
While playing multiple roles might seem a Herculean task, La Joie says the biggest challenge has been her anxiety. “While the response has been mostly positive, I’m the type of person who fixates on the people who point out when I’ve made an error or they don’t like the way I’ve represented their department,” she says. “I’m a people pleaser, but it’s been a learning process to know that I can’t please everyone. I can only try to do my best.”
La Joie is a working actor who has appeared in short films, TV series and local ads. She says getting jobs lately has been a struggle, so creating social videos have proved to be an edifying outlet. “Acting gigs have been unfortunately slow for me the last several years, so I really had no other option but to create my own content if I wanted to keep pursuing acting. Hopefully it’s finally paying off.”
As of yet, La Joie says she has yet to be approached by brands, “but I would absolutely love to do branded content to promote any film-related items.”
La Joie had no idea the films would become so popular. “Had I known, I would’ve put makeup on for my first video,” she says. Now, she says she’s working hard to keep creating. She’s moved from the “Film Crew” series to making related videos like “Sh*t Grips Say” to dig further into various departments featured in the originals.
“Even after going viral on multiple platforms I know that it could all be over at any moment,” she says. “Every day is a hustle to stay relevant.”