Archive for April, 2019

TRAVEL TIPS: “How Can This Be A Thing” Part the Infinity

April 27, 2019

International flights sometimes means booking a redeye. Returning from a flight last week from London and, out of the entire aircraft, this person had their window open the entire 11-hour flight keeping at least eight other passengers from sleeping (I always bring a sleep mask but not everyone does).

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ACTION ITEM: Please close the shades when everyone – I mean everyone – is trying to sleep

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Get Some Long Straws

April 5, 2019

This came up on a shoot recently in the SF Bay Area: everyone on your shoot has some basic physical needs that you need to prepare for in your planning, scheduling, and execution. I know this sounds silly, but I can’t tell you how many times a day has been planned with no time for breaks to use the bathroom; no periods, however short, to catch a breath between set or location changes; or to spend 30 minutes contemplating a tuna sandwich and an apple. These are not nice-to-haves – they’re critical for the effective functioning of your crew (I had the DP mention to me, specifically, as we rounded 4:00 pm with no lunch break, that he was getting concerned about making errors). Plan for having humans on your shoot and accommodating their very-human needs.

Protip: have extra-long straws available for your female speakers to use (I snatch one or two from Starbucks when I grab that morning’s cappuccino) when drinking from a water bottle – they’ll appreciate that their lip gloss doesn’t smear while they sip.

ACTION ITEM: Be sure to incorporate the physical requirements of talent and crew in your production schedule

Your Giggle Reel ≠ Your Whole Life

April 4, 2019

Despite my contributions to this blog (and other social media platforms), I’m not generally a big fan of social media for reasons best described a couple of weeks ago by a SF Bay Area-based producer friend. She’s used the example of making corporate videos: our real lives are like the entirety of a videotaped interview with all the glitches and outtakes, hemming and hawing, and derailed trains of thought. Whereas the bits our friends and associates post are their best clips, free of hesitancy, awkwardness, and doubt. I think the real injury is, sometimes, comparing our raw footage with others’ “best-of” clips when the two are not really comparable at all.

ACTION ITEM: Keep your perspective

Just Say Yes

April 4, 2019

When I started in this business like eleventy billion years ago, I worked on a design project where the graphic designer acted tired and super annoyed at any and every suggestion. He just seemed unmotivated and predisposed to negativity, and I vowed to Not Be That Guy; rather, to approach every job with enthusiasm and a you-betcha attitude and, when practical, never say No. Now I often find myself challenged by clients who sometimes ask for work that’s not likely to happen due, usually, to time or budgetary constraints (BTW, you should know that enough time and enough budget can make the impossible possible ;-), and I hate – HATE – having to say no. To Be That Guy. Generally, my strategy is to say “no, but…” so I can at least provide more practical options. But I’m eager to know: how do you handle a client who – almost always coming from a position of inexperience – asks for something that can’t or shouldn’t be done within the constraints they’ve set? Any thoughts? When has your approach been the most creative or helpful?

ACTION ITEM: Try to find creative ways to say “yes” when a customer asks for something


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