Creating a Healthy Environment

Creating a Healthy Environment

I love the aftermath of production. There’s still a ton of work to do- equipment returns, final accounting, organization, cleaning up our house (it looked like a hurricane hit it)- but the big outstanding questions have been answered. We got the shots we needed, stayed on schedule, took great care of the equipment, everyone had enough food to eat, etc. That’s not to say everything went perfectly- this is production, people, come on. We had our fair share of snafus, but the cast and crew reacted to everything with a sense of “get-through-it-iveness” (yeah I’m coining that, and there’s nothing you can do about it).

 

Shoot for this

Setting that kind of tone is, I think, one of the most important jobs of the producer on set. The cast and crew are going to do their best work in a focused environment, with as little stress as possible, especially when you’re talking about a production with such a low budget. Everyone is wearing multiple hats and trying their damnedest to get everything right. That being said, nobody is perfect. Stuff is going to come up- this was forgotten, that was broken, whoops who’da thought we would need that? Usually this mean the producer needs spend time and/or money to fix the problem. I have met a few producers though that seem to think this means it’s attitude time- even for the small stuff. That the grip, dp, director, PA, someone, anyone, must pay for the mistake in self esteem and stress. What’s the point? Rolling the dark clouds onto a set when everyone is already feeling the pressure to perform is a sure-fire recipe for getting off schedule. Best case scenario, you are going to wind up with an inferior product than you would have otherwise.

 

NOT this

A producer should diffuse situations. If your DP forgot the monitor and you have to go get it, do it with a smile on your face. Because really, that’s what you’re there for. If he’s good, he’s beating himself up enough about forgetting it, and you want him focused on setting up the shot. Care about your cast and crew. Make them feel like they are supported, appreciated and taken care of. Watch out for their health and safety- provide healthy food (NOT pizza- seriously, sandwich meat and bread is better than pizza), bring bottles of water to your grips, double check they are dressing cables and sandbagging stands. Smile, joke, thank them for their time, tell them they did a great job and your cast and crew will go to the moon and back for your project.

Aloha,

Kendall

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