The Procrastination Effect

The last couple of episodes have been spurred into production by different factors of actors’ schedules, weather, or something out of my control that I’m trying to get ahead of. It’s always been about beating some kind of exterior force. So, before I even know it we’re just in production. This time, however, do to locations and actors schedules, we couldn’t beat it, I had to re-write, and the deadline I’m trying to beat is much farther away. It gave me a couple of moments to breathe and it brought back something I had long forgotten: In my heart, I’m a procrastinator. [SCARE CHORD!]

Did that scare chord get you? I know jump scares are cheap theatrics, but it’s almost Halloween. Get into the spirit, yeah?

What I mean by that is prior to the last few episodes of beat the clock, there’s always been a time right after the money is raised where I haven’t put the schedule together. There a span of time where I put of the scheduling because I know how busy I’m going to get as soon as the schedules in place. Once the schedule is in place and sent out, the production train is moving and it’s up to us to get everything into place in time to keep up with it. Production is exhausting. There’s an exhilarating energy to it, but it’s also an endless series of fires that need putting out. We need to assemble, plan, and provide everything we want to appear on screen. I’m not someone who ends up on set and goes, “Oh, yeah. We’re supposed to have a gun for this scene. Does anyone have a gun nearby?” or “I was hoping to have some fake wound makeup here, can someone drive an hour and buy some?” or “I was thinking this scene would be better with a crane up. Does anyone have a crane in their car?” I always know what I want to see and I want to make sure I can get it, so it’s all planning, buying, assembling, shooting, planning, buying, assembling, shooting, planning… You get it. It’s a lot. And it lasts a few months.

So, now that the ticking clock is a little farther out, I find that old bit o’ procrastination kicking in. I totally forgot it existed. I’ve been fighting it, and the time for scheduling is finally upon us.

Celtx (screenwriting software) doesn’t calculate eighths of a page automatically, which is what I use to determine the amount of days on our schedule, so I’ve been calculating eighths for the last couple evenings. Now that I’m almost done with that, I’ll have no more excuses not to put the days on the calendar and get to shooting. So…

Here we go.

–Jake

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