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I know why I think I make a good producer. My ability to maintain control, my ability to see things from a professional point of view, and my ability to think on my feet, allowing me to react and make decisions when put under pressure.
It’s something I’ve prided myself in.
Of course, the professional environment always has never been a one man deal. I THOUGHT I was ready to accept that when I entered the program. After all, I was to be a producer, in the end, if things got out of hand, I was supposed to lead. If they were still inactive, then I must’ve been a bad leader.
This semester, I’ve been rather busy with multiple projects. Heck I’ve been so busy that my blog is rather dead! Due to this workload I’ve been forced to be somewhat dependent on my teammates. It’s been rather uncomfortable for me really, because I like having things under control. I suppose I should take note (and find some way to deal with it) that no matter how much I plan, I’m going to have to account for the fact that I have to TRUST others to stick to my timetables.
It’s done… visually at least.
Unsurprisingly, my DoP/Editor made it happen. He’s gotten his cuts to work with the music, he’s put the ADR in there for my SM to balance and he’s done all his effects. It’s rendering right now in AE.
We decided to give a good charge towards the end line and just worked overnight. He cut, edited and balanced whilst I sat there supporting him, giving feedback, and working on other assignments.
I personally feel that we haven’t had much exposure to Adobe After Effects in our course though, it seems to be a really good tool.
It’s rather humbling really. I’m sitting here, next to this guy, who’s already put in so much effort, and I realize that I still have so much to learn, and whilst te program may be a good foundation, I honestly think that the program itself is insufficient to produce the level of work I aim to achieve. After this semester, I’m going to try working on some video projects of my own. Small stuff.
So… The ADR recordings weren’t too fantastic.
In one set of recordings, the person assisting the talent by reading out the lines of other characters kept cutting the talent off so we had a lot of trouble isolating the talent’s lines. In another set of recordings, the levels on the Zoom H2 were too low and the sound quality ended up very poor. My Editor has decided to do what he can with it and leave it to our Sound Manager to balance the dialogue, though he’ll put the soundtracks in when the musician sends it over.
The musician has sent a few sample tracks that have been received quite well by the Editor and Director so she’ll be putting the finishing touches on those and then will send us the final pieces.
I’m still waiting for the information regarding the screening to go up, though I have asked Paul Ritchard and he’s said that cast are allowed to attend the screening.
I suppose I’ve reached a lul period. I’m not too worried right now because I trust my Editor almost unconditionally regarding editing so I know he’ll meet the deadline one way or another. It’s not to say that I didn’t have any faith in my team (I’d be doing everyone’s roles if I didn’t have any inkling of faith or hope in them) but my Editor/DoP has been the one person who has been very clear about his abilities and limitations. He’s not a yes-man, he’ll actually think about whether something is feasible before committing to it. That is what I look for in my team for me to trust them. I don’t need a team that’s eager, I need a team that has a measure of their ability to be able to say what they can and cannot do.
We are in our second year, and I feel that if people in the course are still confused toward their professional direction, it may pose problems. For now, I can still understand it, tough I expect some technical standard, but if this sort of mentality continues to third year, I foresee a lot of problems regarding my ability to work with them.
So we’ve finally done all the ADR recording sessions.
There was a slight hiccup wit the musician. The instructions that she’s been getting have been too vague and she’s gotten quite upset. I managed to advise my Chief Editor (who as been in direct communique with her) how to respond in an effort to do some damage control. We’ve managed to keep her on the project and are now proceeding with the edits.
We’re behind schedule in my timetable, because we are scheduled to be burning the DVDs for the cast next week but between the ADR and SFX that my SM needs to pass to my Editor, the musician still redoing the tracks because of a miscommunication and the stress of other deadlines, wed be lucky to have the fine cut by the end of next week (which is important because I leave on the 3rd of June and won’t be able to supervise anything after that).
As a Producer, I think that I’m required to be aware of what all the roles can do. If I am to produce, then I am required to be able to manage, organize and control the team (at least with my style of producing). Doing that effectively means that I must be able to do things such as:
-Estimating the time required for specific tasks
-Facilitating communication between different sections of the production
-Being able to identify what I’m looking for, in a potential member to the production team, to be able to choose the most appropriate person for a task.
I’ve taken note of several things that the musician broguht up, especially in regards to providing reference tracks (which we unfortunately did) so I hope this will be useful in the future.
First ADR recording session will be on Monday. Hopefully it goes well.
Dog ending is likely not going to make the final cut as the dog obviously doesn’t want to be there. WE’re currently considering our options. Sebastian has confirmed that we have a shot of our protagonist at his desk and it may be possible to use flashbacks to create an ending.
Thus, despite changes, we’re going to have to default to a voiceovered ending.
Well, I’ve just finished making sandwiches for the cast and crew. We managed to get a last minute talent for the roles that weren’t filled so we’ve got our cast all ready.
Just had another dispute with the director who wanted to edit the script and add lines that did not contribute to the causality of events and was just a random line he wanted in, but a line that would further confuse the audience towards its importance to the narrative.
Just had the second rehearsal.. Lots have happened.
Firstly, in reference to my previous entry, we have yet to find a substitute father. We have tried various options but have received negative responses, either due to their schedule, the short time frame or their lack of interest in the script. I tried my best to convince the director that the script was not of a optimum standard citing many aspects that were not liked by both me (having mentioned it several times), the DoP and several potential talents we had approached. However, he has remained insistent and I have made it clear that I would continue to try my best, but admitted that I was not fully confident of the project. Evan Grizos is our temporary stand in, as we had to have a photo taken for the shoot that will be used in the film as a prop.
Second, our lead actor has had to drop off from our project due to a paid job offer. It’s unfortunate but the most I could do is to give a professional response thanking him for his interest anyway. However, similar to the issue with the father role, we’re getting mostly negative responses. We have interested one potential talent and will be meeting him later today to present the script and storyboard, as well as to arrange a separate rehearsal time. Hopefully, it’ll all go well, however, I have concerns due to his claim that he is also involved in another film project.
Finally, it distresses me to note that I feel that my AD and SM are not performing up to standard. My AD does not seem to have the props and equipment lists prepared like I have reminded him to do and contributed very little to the planning of the shot schedule, which ended up being done by my DoP. My SM, has also not prepared a marked up script copy with the sound effects she needs. Whilst she has claimed to have all her sound effects prepared, my DoP (who is Chief Editor) has informed me that he has not been given any.
Limitations and strengths.
My DoP and I were talking about our past experience in production of any sort, and I made a comment about how despite the fact that we were both ahead of most in our course due to prior experience, I still had to concede that he was vastly ahead of me. I remarked that it must have been his sheer amount of experience.
He then made two points as an alternative to that reasoning.
The first was that he knew his limitations better than most we had come across. As people who see nothing but the potential in things due to our youth, he felt that most did not fully grasp their limitations, and were too quick to overestimate themselves and their abilities. It was not a blind arrogance as much as it was a sincere but misplaced faith that determination and desire alone could bring anyone anywhere. Also, he felt that it was a fallacy to believe that wit training, anyone could be anything. He felt that people were naturally attuned to specific roles, such as my proficiency at organization. Understand what your strengths are, instead of assuming that your desire alone will motivate you, was crucial.
Second, he felt that many we had observed were consistently trying to push limitations rather than work within them. We agreed that pushing past limitations wasn’t a wholly bad thing, but it often required a lot more effort than we could entirely distribute amongst our other tasks. We felt that many of the flaws in our project were due to team members spending more time to work around and past limitations in a way to get what they really wanted into the production, but then put their other tasks on hold as they were too assured that they could get their desired goal, which would require us to change and work into that path.
Well we just had our first rehearsal… which was a disaster.
I suppose, in part, it was not the fault of the team that the raws servers went down on the deadline day for a major assignment for another course (IM namely). However, the fact that most of the team went back and forth between the actors and their laptops during the rehearsal didn’t show well on our standard and focus.
I woke up today to an email from one of our actors that he had lost confidence in our production and thus, decided to withdraw.
As a producer, I am a leader. I have to manage, and I have to be on top of everything that goes on in the production. For me, that means I can’t show weakness, especially to those outside the core team (this may mean no one outside the production company, no one other than director,etc depending on the structure of the team.)
I was stunned, and quite lost about how to react. It took me awhile to gather myself before I replied. I sincerely hope, that my team learns from this.
We may be students, but the minute we operate beyond the confines of a classroom, we forfeit the right to hide behind the veil of ‘we’re still learning’ because if we have been trusted enough to be propelled into the public domain, then we should have the skill, resources, and discipline to carry ourselves with the bare minimum professional standard.
There are two kinds of producers, and both have their strengths and weaknesses. I shall describe them in the perspective of a director.
First there is there is the Friend. The Friend understands you and let’s you go your own way, whilst never leaving your side and supporting you. Sure, sometimes he’ll try to pull you back, but if you’re determined about something he’ll let you go on your own way, and only start to set things in stone when you feel you’re ready. It’s great, and you honestly believe he cares about your ideas. However, he’s your Friend, and if you take too much time he won’t press you to settle your ideas, so he may not realize that he’s just not given enough time and in the end, he may not be able to make your idea a reality. However, as he was understanding of your need for more time to conceptualize the film, you’ll need to be understanding that he didn’t have enough time to get the resources and materials you needed to make the film.
Then, there is the Dictator. Cold and ruthless, the Dictator expects everything to move at a pace that he has decided. Every move you make is micromanaged and you’ll have very little space to creatively breathe. Mess with his production timetable and prepare to face his wrath. It’s not that he dislikes you personally, he just can’t stand things falling out of order. However, since everything runs orderly (or else), he has planned very clearly how he will acquire the resources and materials the team needs, and has also probably prepared contingency plans. It doesn’t hurt that his orderly method of presentation is impressive to look at and commands authority. Under the Dictator, you’ll better ensure that you’re sure of an idea before it gets to him, because you won’t get much chance to change it. On the bright side, he will bring the best quality resources and materials to the table for the team to use, ensuring a high standard of production even if the final product isn’t particularly innovative or interesting.