When you’re a small team trying to achieve big things, every single one of you has to be on-the-ball on a shoot. If someone’s not pulling their weight, it can jeopardise an entire production.

If we’re on a shoot, and I notice that someone has an arse for a face (y’know, looking a bit fed up), I’ll pose a simple question:

“Where you at?”

I may get the following reply:

“I’m approaching 40% at the mo, bro.”

We’re referring to a scale we call ‘NUFT to WUFT’.
NUFT stands for “not up for that” and WUFT, “well up for that”.

It’s pretty simple, really.

A zero on the scale means you’re completely NUFT. You’d rather be at home doing the washing up after curry night (which we all know is the worst).

“Fuck this shoot. I am *this* close to fucking off home. It’s cold, I’m knackered, that second camera angle looks like utter shite, and frankly I couldn’t care less anyway because no one seemed to give a flying badger’s arse about my opinion on the camera’s poor low-light performance when I mentioned it in preprod. Sigh. Do I even really want to be doing this? I might check out that job listing Mum sent me the other week…”

Zero is bad times.

“This shoot would go so much better if everyone wasn’t a complete arsehole”

Conversely, 100% means you’re currently in a state of production euphoria. Ain’t nothing gonna stop you — you’re on a fucking roll. Did anyone even see that cheeky lens flare when you panned across to that swan!?

On difficult shoots, having a simple way of gauging everyone’s energy levels has got us through some tough times. We always have each other’s backs. Everyone tends to be at different levels at different times, so it’s up for the WUFTs to look after the NUFTs, so to speak.

9/10 times, if someone’s having a grumpy tantrum or sulking around instead of being productive and motivated, it’s because of low blood-sugar — nothing an emergency dose of chocolate and a pat on the back won’t sort out.

What do you guys do to keep everyone going on those tough shoots? Throw down a comment and suggest some life-changers.

About the author

As Managing Director of Storm & Shelter, Gruff has the ultimate responsibility for the company’s performance, overseeing the Production Director and Creative Director to ensure continuous development of company processes and policies, gearing the company towards growth and profitability. Sounds a bit grown up, doesn’t it?

Read Gruff's bio Email Gruff
Gruff Vaughan