Posted by: Noni | April 1, 2010

Advance Prep Essential to Film

Oscar Statue

It's not just a dream...

I wrote my Oscar acceptance speech the other day. I haven’t exactly been nominated yet, but since I have a theory about visualization and actualization… well, I wrote the speech. It was short and sweet with both touching and comic elements. I actually got choked up when I re-read it later.

The point is that on something as monumental as a film project you have to visualize all the way to the end result. Just as the writer must have a firm grasp of the ending of the screenplay, the producer must have the entire production process clearly mapped out, including a good ending. I think of it as my light at the end of the tunnel. I have dreams, goals and aspirations that give me the inspiration to get up in the morning and get on with my day.

When I was a kid, about 10 or 11, my best friend Darynn (a girl believe it or not) had a charm bracelet with a coin and the word “TUIT” engraved on it. I asked her what it meant, “Its a round to it. My mom got if for me so now I can get other things done.” While I didn’t fully understand at the time, I certainly do now. If you have an opportunity to do something, get it done right away. Don’t put off for later what can be done now.

That’s the secret to good planning in production. Do whatever you can right away. Get all your contracts prepared, paperwork sorted, anything that doesn’t rely on a specific time-frame done in advance. Too many times I have heard, “We can take care of that later” All those later’s pile up and create a mess when you are against a deadline for deliverables.

Writing the speech in advance doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m bound to say each of those words verbatim. Obviously things change over the course of time and my words might not reflect an accurate picture of my sincere gratitude. No worries, at least I won’t be dumb-founded. I can adapt and revise along the way. It’s easier to tweak a document than it is to create one from scratch. Same is true for production.

Example: Have a well thought out shot list. Prepare for alternatives in case of missing cast, weather or location restraints etc. It’s far more effective if you have anticipated possible hiccups along the route and are ready and flexible to change.

Each day when I get bogged down in my overwhelming pile of priority duties I stop and ask myself “What can I do right now that is simple and will propel my project bringing me one step closer to my goal?” Doesn’t matter if the task takes 2 minutes or 2 hours GET IT DONE. This blog is riddled with cliches and common sayings, but… one more shouldn’t break the camels back…

Each journey begins with a single step.

I’m off to write thank you cards for all my investors. (I can address the envelopes later when I know who they are.)

Live for today but plan for tomorrow!

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