The Indie Schedule

The advent of pre-production for this episode presents its own set of challenges. The gorgeous, creepy warehouse we use as the villain’s lair is pretty much a daylight location. There’s no power, no climate control, no anything. As we slink into October in the Midwest, that means a severely truncated shooting day. We are a VERY small budget show. We don’t have a lot of lights, so we can’t light huge environments. In a massive warehouse location, a lot of our background light is ambient, so when daylight goes, we’re done for. That means I rushed to try and get the warehouse stuff on the schedule as soon as the script was finished.

That brings me to true indie scheduling. Not just trying to get a bunch of actors together for a couple of the same days, but shooting your scenes in bizarre sequence because some actors can’t even stay all day. This is when precise shot-listing comes heavily into play. Say one actor has to leave early on a shoot day with a big group scene. You get all his coverage that involves him in shots with the full group or portions of the group—down to just sections of speeches where you want the guys in the foreground. Shoot directly for the edit. No extraneous coverage. Get all of his stuff but the singles. Then you can get everything from the rest of the group. If you have to come back the following weekend to just grab his singles, then you only have to schedule one person to come back. See, when you don’t have any money you have to be particularly aware of people’s schedules. They have to make money and they have personal obligations. It’s wonderful that they want to be in the show, but it’s also your responsibility to try not to abuse them for it. I try to be as flexible as possible with the schedule, but sometimes things get tight. It’s hard enough just trying to nail down time commitments from 13 main cast characters and 6 main crew. Now I’m trying to beat daylight savings time too.

Thanks for reading, guys.

Oh, and here’s a link to that other podcast that I mentioned last week. We had a great time talking to these guys, maybe my favorite podcast I’ve done.

http://proactiveslackermedia.com/shorts-and-series/2013/9/13/the-shorts-and-series-podcast-episode-48-pops-interview

–Jake

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