Hi, I’m Amy. I’m part of the production team here at Storm & Shelter, and here are some things I wish I’d known before I started.
Get it written down
I cannot stress this one enough. If you have a conversation with someone, follow up with an email and get it written down.
- Just got off the phone with someone? Send them an email.
- Grabbed someone for a chat at their desk? Send them an email.
- Have a whole bunch of separate WhatsApp chats? Send them an email.
Guaranteed it will be something crucial six weeks down the line and when everything is everywhere things that have been agreed upon or discussed can easily get forgotten.
All it takes is an email to go, “Hey, this is a thing. Are we all on the same page? Great.” And then you don’t have to worry about it again.
Pay the sanity tax
If it makes your life easier, if it makes someone else’s life easier, find the money, pay the money, and just do it.
It will always be worth it in the end. Whether it’s spending a bit more on a particular crew member that you know gets on really well with everyone and you need that energy, or if it’s getting hot lunch for the crew rather than the salads just do it.
Because if people are happy at the end of the day and your life is easier, you get a better product at the end of it for the client.
But then also everyone’s a bit happier, which is never a bad thing.
Make as many mistakes as you want. Just try not to make the same one twice
It was a piece of advice that was first given by the very first producer I ever worked with when I started out as a broadcast assistant. And it’s so true. You will make mistakes.
Mistakes are great to learn from. Just own them and don’t do it again if you can help it.
Get to know who you’re working with and how they work
You’re going to be working with a lot of different people, whether it’s in-house or with freelancers. It could be crew, it could be clients and everyone works differently and you’ve got to get the best out of them.
Whether it’s from the schedules, making sure they’ve got enough time and different people work better with different people as well.
So it’s about putting the best teams together that you can and in situations where they might not work that well together, it’s going in knowing that and having a framework in place of how you can get it to all work out in the end and everyone be happy.
Make sure you look after yourself
Being a producer is not an easy job between wrangling creatives, clients, products, people, and schedules there is a lot going on at any one time which can be very stressful.
You can’t go back to back from project to project. You need to take the time in between to sort of reset, learn from what happened last time, look forward to what’s happening next time, and just get yourself back into a place where everything makes sense and you’re not just reacting.
Production is always changing, so those are probably a few things I wish I had known that I know about now, but I’ll probably have to do an update at some point.