This is so intermeshed with production scheduling that they can really be considered two sides of the same coin. You can think of scheduling as planning what will happen, and coordination as making it happen.
Part of this role is ensuring everyone keeps on track with their workload. Has the field producer scouted out all of the locations and secured any necessary permission for access? Are the graphic designers almost done with the awesome 3D graphic that illustrates your business’ strategy? Has everyone involved in the shoot gotten back to you with any special dietary needs so you don’t poison an allergic person with shrimp salad during the catered lunch? Oh, you just found out the actress who’s doing the voice work has won the lottery and is flying to Tahiti for a year—can you find a replacement with just three days before production?
As you can see from that last detail, production coordination often involves dealing with the unforeseen. Preplanning is a must and can often mitigate the delays that unexpected problems cause, but you can’t plan for everything. Here’s a fun clip from the movie The Fifth Element, courtesy of YouTube, that illustrates the point.
One little cherry. Sometimes, the smallest thing can cause the biggest problem.
Let’s say there’s an equipment glitch on day two of your shoot that essentially brings everything in the studio to a halt. You have some on-location shoots planned for the rest of the day. Do you wait for the glitch to be resolved and risk falling behind for the rest of the day and possibly subsequent days of the shoot, or do you haul everyone out to the other locations to avoid wasting time?
Time is Money.
Of course time is money, and there’s no sense in having everyone sit around when there’s plenty of work to be done. So it might seem logical to just jump ahead to the next portion of the shoot and come back to the studio later. But bear in mind, an abrupt change like that can bring its own difficulties.
Makeup that was suitable for an interior shoot may have to be redone for exterior lighting, and then done again when you get back to the studio. That could mean overtime for the makeup artist who was planning on being finished by 2:30 so she can pick up her son from school.
Speaking of lighting, you may have counted on being at one location at about noon, when the sun comes out from behind those skyscrapers so you have plenty of natural light in that midtown plaza you have lined up. The sun is not likely to be cooperative if you ask it to move a little faster to create that specific effect. And that plaza? It’s a pretty popular location, and a local puppetry troop just happened to reserve it for a morning show for some local schoolchildren. No access until your scheduled time.
All that time, all that gas, wasted. Then you get the call from the studio that the problem has been resolved. They’re ready when you are, but thanks to road construction, your trip back to the studio will take more than an hour. If you just stayed there and waited that extra 45 minutes….
We don’t want you to think that this sort of thing happens all the time. In fact big snafus are rare. Small things do come up, but this is where having a professional service like Hencar pays off. Many of our staff worked in the news media before transitioning to the private video production sector. We learned to deal with everything from minor technical problems that forced us to haul our entire control room staff to a new location during a two minute commercial break, to huge breaking news stories where critical new information was coming in by the second. We’re trained in finding the most efficient way to deal with emergencies, to think on our feet, and to make sure the show goes on. In just that same way, we’ll ensure your video is completed on time, within budget and to your complete satisfaction.
View our other pre-production services:
- Concept development
- Budget management
- Location scouting