An appropriate metaphor: The director carried by the ADs.
On the right is John Dion, the 1st AD. We've worked together a number of times, in different roles. Last year, John directed a short film, Into the Unknown, which I edited with my friend Ryan Frost, and which was selected for the Palm Springs Film Festival this year.
On the left is Kaveh Taherian, 2nd AD. His first job as 2nd AD was on Into the Unknown, and he has been a good friend and colleague ever since. You can find his blog here.
In the middle is Isaiah Inderrieden, also 2nd AD. John randomly interviewed him for To Rest in Peace, which was a stroke of good fortune. He recently worked on another USC thesis film I produced.
You can also see the hand of Tony Bushman to the right, a good friend and fellow USC student, who was 2nd 2nd AD for several days. (I never did understand why the title is 2nd 2nd, not 3rd AD).
This team went far beyond their job description, carrying the production through some difficult challenges. The film would not have been possible without their support.
The picture is from our last day of production, after we wrapped.