Sticking to the production plan

It is really important to stick to the production plan e.g. call sheets, as it enables people to work effectively and it saves time and money.

On our shoot day 2, we ran over time by about 45 mins-1 hour. Although this doesn’t seem like such a big issue, it meant that we had to hire actors for longer, the location for longer, people worked more hours. This costs money and lowers morale on set as people are cold,tired and want to go home.

call sheet 4

Shoot Day 2 Feedback

I picked up on a crucial point when we were filming in the house which Matt said was very well thought of. The shots we got of the ‘dad’ saying the James “Couldn’t play it anyway” seemed really weak and not convincing. He didn’t seem angry enough and it didn’t make the scene feel believable. When I brought this up to Matt, who was helping me direct he said that we should try it my way- more aggressively.

The more aggressive and angry approach worked and Matt said that I had made a really impressive decision as a director and that it payed off!

Matt feedback

Director Equipment

During the 2 days shooting, I was one of the directors. I needed to make sure that every department was happy with what was going on and make sure that I had everything to make the day(s) run as smoothly as possible.

The equipment I needed for my role was:

  • High visibility jacket
  • Clipboard and script (and pen)
  • Headphones
  • Small camera

If the film production had been any bigger I could have needed also:

  • Megaphone
  • Walkie talkie
  • Supply bag incl. tape, screwdrivers etc

I also had to carry around the call sheet with me so that I knew what we were filming at what times. This helped to keep us on schedule and working efficiently as we had to film a lot in a small amount of time.

It is important that the director has good time management skills as any hiccup in the timing of the film could cost the production team a lot of money. To help keep things running effectively, the call sheet should be used by the director as a strict schedule for the day(s).


Here are some of the basics that are needed for most film productions:

  1. Camera- high tech or simple DSLR
  2. Laptop/computer- preferably with a lot of memory or external hard drive
  3. Sound equipment- boom mic, radio mic, headphones etc
  4. Other equipment e.g. clipboards, tape, pens etc.

I watched this video to get someone’s personal opinion as to what equipment they feel is best for creating a film.

We were briefed in a couple of our sessions on what equipment we needed on set and we were shown how to use the equipment safely and effectively.


Creating a shot list

I worked with my fellow directors and cinematographers before the shoot to discuss camera angles and our plan for the shoot. We sat around a table and looked at the location and how we were going to position cameras and lighting so that the scene would look it’s best. This helped us decide where each scene was going to take place and how it would look.

We went through the script and marked on the bits where we wanted there to be the most impact on the audience. We then considered the mood and feel for each individual scene and sometimes even how we wanted to see a character say a particular line. Our scripts we covered in annotations and pen when we were done which is good practice for preparing for a shoot.

shot list 2 Shot listshot list 3shot list 4

We established a first draft of a shot list, coming up with various camera angles to portray a certain emotion or give the scene or shot a particular feel.

It was really important that we met together before the shoot to come up with a plan, so that the shoot days would run smoothly. We had to listen to each others ideas respectfully as the creative environment that we were in required us all to be able to speak openly about our ideas and not feel judged. I think that I listened well to other people’s ideas as well as contributing my own, and was respectful to other people when voicing their ideas or concerns.

As a director, you have to talk to a lot of different people, so getting along with everyone is key. I feel like as one of the directors on our short film that I achieved this successfully, as I felt able to talk to anyone and people were asking me questions which I was happy to answer.

Behavior in the workplace

  1. Be punctual- Don’t be late for work. Even if you feel like your role isn’t the most important, the likelihood is that someone will be wanting you to be on time for a reason. If you are a runner, and you’re even 5 minutes late, this could cost the company money as someone could be waiting for you to fetch some equipment, putting the whole production at a standstill, costing money.
  2. Be courteous and well mannered- People getting along on set is the utmost importance as it enables effective work. If people are polite and well mannered it helps to heighten morale and make the workplace a more productive space with people more likely to voice ideas and concerns.
  3. Take feedback and criticism positively- Even if some of the feedback isn’t as good as you expected, it’s likely that the person who gave you it it trying to help you improve rather than just be nasty. Taking the criticism and turning it into a positive can only improve things and make work life easier for yourself and for others.
  4. Be presentable- The type of clothes you wear say a lot about you. If you aren’t dressed properly to work, then it will affect your work ethic. If you don’t feel the part then you wont want to act it- metaphorically speaking- and so the job wont get done to the best of your ability. You should always dress smartly for work, and if casual clothes are the norm, then these should be practical. Dressing inappropriately wont look good to your employer as they will assume that you don’t take your job seriously enough as you couldn’t even choose the right clothes to wear.
  5. Keep learning and developing new skills and trends- There will always be things that we don’t know, so it’s important that we keep learning and expanding our knowledge in our field of work so that we are on the ball at all times. The better and more advanced you are at your job, the more employable you are the better job you’ll get done. In the media, it is important to keep learning about the latest technology and equipment as these are forever changing and it’s really important that you are up to date and ahead of the game.

I found this site really useful as it outlines good behavior in the workplace.

Effective working relationships

Diversity – Diversity helps to widen opinions whilst working together and helps create potential solutions to problems that occur in the working environment. A range of different people also helps creativity to flow as people who have been brought up in different social contexts have different ideas, opinions and experiences that can be drawn out and used.

Respect- People are more likely to share their opinions if they know that they are being respected and are a valued member of the team. Respect is really important when tackling challenging situations as it can help people work together effectively and focus on the problem at hand.

Trust- People who are in trusting relationships seek input from each other and are more likely to share ideas, especially those that are liberal. Individuals who trust each other can also openly discuss issues and concerns without the fear of being ‘wrong’ or out of order.

I looked at this website to look at the 7 characteristics of successful work relationships:  It was really useful to show the key factors to helping create an effective working environment:

  1. Trust
  2. Diversity
  3. Mindfulness
  4. Inter-relatedness
  5. Respect
  6. Varied Interaction
  7. Effective communication