The good news is that he seems to enjoy being an Assistant Director (AD)- it's most of the same technical things as a Director, you just work more with the crew than with the actors. Which can have it's ups and downs! I've never noticed before, but film sets are incredibly complex beasts. There's a lot more to it than just grabbing a camera and acting out scenes...I think that's the actress in me talking.
Things Mr. E has learned:
1. A well fed crew is a good crew. Promise your crew a hearty meal with the option for seconds and they will do a LOT better. This may be because your grips (the movers and shakers) are mostly men. 2. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. 3. An AD should basically be in the back pocket of the director and/or DP (that's Director of Photography). You're their go-to man, the middle man between the creative process and the technical, the neurons, if you will. 4. Know how (and when) to communicate. If you can't communicate well with someone, find someone who will. 5. Keep to schedule. This means budgeting your time wisely, knowing when to stop someone before they've gone too far and ensuring the happiness of your crew members (See #1). 6. Know how to manipulate morale. If that means employing cute girls to encourage the grips, then do so! Or, you know, bring your dog.