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Keeping Your Production Crew Streamlined Through Technology

Keeping Your Production Crew Streamlined Through Technology

You have a big project coming up and you want to make sure sure you maximize your time and profits. One of the biggest wastes is an unorganized production. You’ll wind up paying people to do nothing but wait. Whether it is budget, casting, locations, or one of the many other pieces that go into a shoot, without proper planning and organization, you will run into issues including wasted time and money.

Photo by Prayitno via Flickr

Budget

Before you can get into any portion of your production, you will need to set your budget. That way you know how big of a cast and crew you can hire, as well as the amount of locations and equipment you can use. Once you have set your budget, keeping spending in check will be the only way you can keep the production alive. You don’t want to run out of money halfway through, or have people walk off for not getting paid or fed. In order to keep track of costs and allow others involved the ability to stay abreast of the finances while on the go, you will want to use mobile accounting software. If you need to wait until the end of the day to go back through and evaluate what was spent, things will fall through the cracks. You know how long shooting days can be. And if someone on your crew needs to wait to find out if they can buy a prop or pay for a location, you will be losing money until they get an answer.

Pre-Production

According to FilmSchool.org, making sure you space everything out and leave enough time for the key stages of production can be a huge help for your organization. One tip is assuring your script is complete prior to holding auditions. This will allow your actors time to read over the material and be prepared when they come in. You will not have to worry about wasting time explaining a scene or waiting for them to read over the parts. When you do hold auditions, try and use more than one day in order to accommodate actors’ schedules. Have a camera set up to record the auditions, and make notes to speed up the review process. Alleviate the need for 2nd readings if possible. If you can distribute your scripts digitally, it will allow for on the fly changes and the ability to control who gets access to them.

Hiring the Right Crew

Photo by vancouverfilmschool via Flickr

This part is essential in keeping your production running smoothly. The British Broadcasting Company states that the 3 most important roles in any production are:

  • Writer
  • Director
  • Producer

There are many other positions that, if your budget allows, will certainly aid in your production, but only if everyone is on the same page. Since there are so many moving parts, and many times you will be working in different locations, you will want to be sure that you’re taking advantage of the latest in mobile technology to assure clear communication.

Staying in Sync

Photo by vancouverfilmschool via Flickr

Beyond the preparation and skills of your cast and crew, it’s vital to make sure everyone is on the same page. This begins with scheduling. School Video News discusses the importance of knowing what is being shot when, and having everyone involved in the loop. They suggest either using scheduling software from companies like Movie Magic or Company Move, or doing your scheduling manually by breaking down your scripts pages, and figuring out all the different portions to each section, location, time, props and more. You can then use a spreadsheet program to lay everything out. Just be sure to use a program that allows online syncing so that everyone involved can see the latest version of the schedule, since it will be constantly changing.

If you can make sure everyone knows where you are with the schedule and budget at all times, by keeping that information synced on everyone’s mobile devices, you should be able to control the biggest problem areas where money is not managed properly in production.

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