We typically build our production days around a 10-hour schedule. This allows about 7 hours of time for shooting and the other 3 for setup, breaks, and teardown. The important thing here is to pace yourself. Make sure you what you want to accomplish each hour you’re on set so you can measure progress or take corrective action.
While we try to maximize the day, we don’t try to kill the crew … there’s a difference:
- Make sure you have enough help to load gear in and out so you get off to a good start. For that matter, be sure to use a rolling cart to cut down on wear and tear on your body and speed up moving times between locations.
- Be sure to allow time for meal breaks. Keeping people from eating will only make them cranky and less productive. Try to bring some snacks and drinks on the set to keep people comfortable and from wandering off.
- Keep the schedule reasonable. We try to not to let the client schedule the first interview for 8:00 a.m. We’ve often had to convey to the client, “If you schedule this for 8:00 a.m., it means we have to leave our houses at 4:30 a.m. in order to have to everything set up on time.”
- We routinely have to remind clients that an eight-hour day does not mean eight hours of interviews. We also have to point out that it is a contiguous eight hours. You can’t schedule a crew to start at 9:00 a.m., then give them a five hour break in the middle of the day, and want them tape something that goes until 10:00 at night.
- Be sure to work with your clients and gently educate them. Sometimes we’ve had to say, “Yes, we can do this. But we’re going to have two crews and we’re going to have a changeover period here and the second crew will step on to the set and continue into the night.” Be smart: Respect your clients and your crew if you want the best results.
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