Getting started in media production can be a daunting process. Often, the rules and etiquette are unspoken, and a good producer has to rely on a healthy sense of tact and organization to navigate a shoot.
When it comes to the production process, a producers organization habits can determine the difference between a fun successful shoot or a chaotic nightmare shoot. Solid organization habits allow more time to prepare a schedule, get call sheets and paperwork out to the crew, while leaving a larger window to anticipate last minute changes. Overall, an organized producer is an informed producer, who knows the shoot implicitly, able to answer any questions related to any aspect of the production.
Manners and mannerisms are still an essential skill in the producers tool belt. As a producer, it’s important to remember that you’re the leader, and that the crew is always looking in your direction when they have a question – even if it’s a technical question out of your field. A good producer needs to find that sweet spot between being relaxed and easy-going, but firm and serious about deadlines. I have worked with a Rolodex of disorganized, stressed out and unpleasant producers, and their poor attitude affected the morale of the set every time, and ultimately the final product. Your energy and attitude is as important as work ethic – you’ll see it reflected in your crew.
A good producer should leave their ego at the door. Listen to suggestions your crew may propose. Often, members of the crew work in a variety of other creative trades, so use their valuable experience towards your own project. Your crew will respect you for considering their input, and will create a harmonious set where everyone is working towards a singular goal. You are an authority on the set. Act like it. Be confident, organized and accept suggestions.
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