I was reading all the other blog entries on the NexTV site this week (bunch of really great bloggers) and it made me nostalgic for my early days on the blog. I started out by doling out all the tricks in the no-budget trade I had picked up over the years. Concept to script writing to pre-production, production, and post, I laid out everything I thought I knew. Now I just talk about our weekly production progress, which is all well and good, but I want to be helpful too. So here’s a tip I thought of as we work on pre-production for episode 7. Get rid of that little nagging thing called pride that wants you to think you can do everything yourself and ask for help. If you’re trying to make a show that looks way bigger than it’s budget, you need help from everybody. Your friends have access to locations or know people who do. So do your parents. So do your parents’ friends. These people may also have a pivotal prop that you need or know where you can find it. Right before I make one of these phone calls or send one of these emails I take a deep breath and just dive in. I use phrases like, “It’s ABSOLUTELY no problem if it doesn’t work out…” or “I REALLY don’t want to inconvenience you…” because I really don’t want to put people out, but if you’re going to get what you want for free, it depends on people being willing to inconvenience themselves. Here’s the amazing thing though. People want to help. Against all odds, when the easiest thing to say is “no,” most people instead say “no problem.” I’ve theorized as to why this is—maybe they like seeing people try to pull something off, maybe they feel obligated to say yes, maybe they’re simply miracle-people—but I tend to hear “yes” way more often than I hear “no.” It doesn’t mean asking gets any easier, but our show looks way better thanks to a thousand little inconveniences people have borne as the cost of our creativity.
So just take a deep breath and ask for what you need. Just be straight with people, don’t tell them it’ll take less time than you think it will or try to sugarcoat production. Just tell them what’s going on and take ultimate care of whatever they’re lending you. And, of course, thank them profusely, ‘cause they just made you look good.
Thanks for reading.