Any number of things can cause troubles to your production. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to go through a shoot without a single problem arising. However, you can make it go as smoothly as humanly possible, and we’re here to help with that! Here are 5 factors that you might not have thought to consider for your next shoot to prevent some unwanted production problems. Remember, if you need Cast, Crew, Gear, Locations, or Promotions, we do all of that!
1. Power at your Location
You need to have a power source wherever you’re shooting. Whether it comes from a generator, a stockpile of batteries, or (the most preferable) just an outlet, you need power. Make sure to talk to your DP and Gaffer beforehand to see what they’ll need and what the solution can be for each location. On most occasions, this won’t be the biggest issue you face, but when you inevitably do run into a power problem, this can ruin your day and cost a great deal. One more thing to note while we’re on the subject of locations; keep in the back of your mind a couple of ideas for how you’ll transport the heavier gear within your location. If you’re constantly going up and down hill, maybe you’ll need an extra truck. One final note, you do not want to blow a fuse you can’t fix in the middle of your shoot. So, try not to and do whatever you can to prevent it!
2. Crew Park and Gas Expenses
Your cast and crew need a place to park! They also need to get there somehow. If everyone is self driving, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of cars, and if they have to pay for parking too, you’re not going to have a happy crew. It’s important to keep this in mind while creating your budget. The people you hire will expect to get reimbursements for parking costs and potentially gas if your location is far away. It may even be worth your while to shuttle everyone to set. That’s a judgment call that you’ll have to make. Be sure to make all of these calls during pre-production so that you’re not rushing the day before. This is such an easy thing to forget to add to your budget and yet, it can add up insanely quick.
3. Get Releases For Everything
And I mean everything. Don’t leave anything up to chance. Have all of the necessary releases on hand and ready so that when you see the person who needs to sign it, they can right then and there. These releases aren’t just for people in front of the lens, it’s for much more. Shooting on private property, using copyrighted material, stills, anything that you think can come back to bite you, get a release for. It will be lengthy, expensive, and can even delay your film if you’re running around having to track down that one person who didn’t sign. Keep in mind as well; releases are required to sell your film. Do you understand how serious of this is yet? This is most important when it comes to production problems.
4. A Trained Stills Photographer
Everyone loves to see incredible behind the scenes photos. Plus, these will come in handy for marketing and production purposes. That’s why it is crucial that you hire a skilled stills photographer. A trained set photographer will keep out of shot, know when and when not to use flash, not make any noise, and create stunning BTS photos. You can also use them to help make your poster or other non-candid promotional photos. I promise that this will help you in the long run. Regardless of if you do end up using them or not, think of the memories!
5. You Get What You Pay For
If your shoot is no budget, don’t expect the best. Some people, especially friends and beginners, will happily volunteer on your shoot. You might luck out and get a great cast and crew who show up on time and work hard till ungodly hours, but unfortunately that’s unlikely. What’s more likely is that you’ll run into problems at some point along the way. Always have a backup plan. This goes for everything else you’re not paying for too, such as gear and locations. Now, it’s difficult to have a backup for everything, but do your best!
Do You Have Tips to Prevent Production Problems?
Everyone has their own experiences with shoots. Do you have any tips to share that’ll help prevent unwanted production problems?