Establishing a Production Workflow

Whether operating in the corporate work force, being a stay at home mom, or directing a multimillion dollar picture, everyone accomplishes more in the morning than in the afternoon. That is, unless they sleep through most of their morning.

Setting the workflow for a picture is critical to meeting the deadline and staying on the strict shooting schedule. The key factors that directors face in developing their workflow include:

1. Production crews get more work done in the morning than after lunch. Therefore directing the scenes with a higher level of difficulty or more creative challenges can take advantage of the morning crew, while simple set ups are best done in the afternoon.

2. Moving a production team between locations is time consuming and costly. The director and production manager will take this into account and not require more than one move in a day. If multiple locations are required, efficiencies and cost savings can be gained from a second crew by only moving the director and actors.

3. Selecting when the first shot is to take place and sticking with the schedule is a huge factor in meeting daily deadlines. The First AD can help keep the cast and crew on schedule by keeping him in the loop, especially if he is directing the background.

4. Setting milestones within the day for creative shots and difficult scenes is critical to staying on budget. Since there are only six hours from start to lunch, it is crucial that the director hits his morning milestones and only explores creative concepts within the additional time frame earned by reaching some early.

By keeping on pace in the above manner, the director will find the producer hanging over his should far less often. He will be freed up for more creative thought and the extra time gained from these disciplines will allow him to help the actors explore other aspects of their characters, which will strengthen several scenes and the over all film.

Copyright © 2011 By CJ Powers
Photo © amelie –

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