We often hear—from both our clients and freelance vendors--that our sets are relaxed; that our process is a pleasure. We really appreciate that feedback because we believe that being comfortable and feeling safe are key when it comes to developing long-lasting relationships and creating successful products that yield results.
So how do we do it? It’s more than meets the eye. Here are some of our pre-shoot and shooting-day checklist items:
• Be prepared and make sure everyone else is, too. This means getting everyone the information they’ll need as early as possible. Information and preparation are key.
• Go the extra mile and contact everyone that will be on set, personally, ahead of time. This can take the form of an email—or, better still—a phone call. Make sure questions are answered and that needs are or will be fulfilled. Make talent, clients, and vendors know they are both welcomed and appreciated. If they don’t already know it, give all freelance vendors a synopsis of the project, and describe what they can anticipate during your time together.
• Make sure everyone has been issued a Call Sheet. This has both detailed and general information it, such as load-in and parking notes. This helps ensure that everyone gets to your location on time and hassle-free.
• As your cast and crew arrives, welcome them and be sure to introduce them to each another. It’s not only common courtesy; it also makes everyone feel like a valuable part of a team.
• Have snacks, drinks, and meals available at all times. An army marches on its stomach, and we’ve learned (first-hand and observationally) that nothing breeds frustration faster than a “hangry” team.
• Listen. Yes, as producers, we may be the final decision makers, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to feedback. We encourage our team members to pull us aside and give us tips throughout the day.
• Maintain a realistic schedule. Of course, sometimes shoots go off the rails, but taking snack breaks or playing content back helps people reset mentally. Our goal is to maintain focus.
• Lead by example. We strive to keep cool heads, be encouraging, and maintain open communication and a vital sense of humor. All our players know that they are valued for their insights and contributions.
• Say” thank you.” It may sound like a no brainer, but we’ve done many “behind the scenes” shoots for other entities and have been shocked by how often people walk away without being thanked. Gratitude goes a long way.
South Florida Media Group looks forward to working with you!