“Mission: Impossible – 7” Team Celebrate First Assistant Director Mary Boulding
It’s pretty rare for a director, let alone the stars of a blockbuster film franchise, to take the time to celebrate the work of the first assistant director, but that’s precisely what happened with the Mission: Impossible – 7 team. Director Christopher McQuarrie gathered the film’s big stars to celebrate first AD Mary Boulding for “gracefully managing the impossible” during production for the franchise’s seventh installment. McQuarrie’s Instagram post places Boulding front and center, backed from left to right by Esai Morales, Simon Pegg, Tom Cruise, McQuarrie himself, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ving Rhames.
There really and truly could not be a finished film without the first AD. They work with the director to plan the entire film schedule, work with all the department heads to keep the shoot running smoothly, and essentially keep the film from falling apart by managing the smallest details, the biggest snafus, and the personalities of the entire cast and crew. While the director has the final say on all creative decisions, the first AD’s monumental job of coordinating and wrangling and problem-solving makes the director’s job possible. When there’s an issue on set, it’s often the first AD, not the director, that a cast or crew member will seek out.
Now, imagine the above job in our current pandemic era and increase the difficulty tenfold. Mission: Impossible – 7 specifically has had a tough shoot, with the production shut down multiple times due to the pandemic and a crew member testing positive for COVID-19. This would be difficult to handle on any film, but for a production as massive and complicated as a Mission: Impossible film, Mary Boulding’s work was that much more intense.
Boulding’s no stranger to epic sets—there’s a reason she has this job. She’s been the first AD on some of the most complicated films of the last few years, from Sam Mendes’ meticulously crafted World War I epic 1917 to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s wonderful to see a director and the cast, especially on a film as star-studded as Mission: Impossible – 7, celebrate the work of a fellow crew member, and in this case, shed a little light on one of the most important and least discussed roles.
Check out McQuarrie’s post below. Mission: Impossible – 7 is set for a May 27, 2022 premiere—thanks in no small part to Mary Boulding.
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Featured image: Left to right: Director Christopher McQuarrie, Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise on the set of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions