The Power of Great Production Scheduling
Whyyyyyyyy would I want to take time out of my day and read about great production scheduling? It is usually someone’s least favorite thing to do.
But I LOVE IT.
The production schedule is where reality sets in. Most importantly, it’s where the magic happens, and where the plan your entire team will follow comes to fruition. On the other hand, if you have a bad schedule, the whole project falls apart. Therefore, good planning and a hearty schedule is the backbone of the creative process. No one ever says, “I want to produce so I can create an awesome schedule.” But without one, creative is all over the map and deadlines are missed. This makes for very unhappy clients.
Successful Production Scheduling = Successful Project.
For example, let’s take the Fire Starter Studios insane production schedule on the project National Endowment for the Arts, United States of Art.
Fire Starter Studios has to create 67 films in 18 months, with 12 of them complete in 90 days. Oh, and each film is shot in a different State! I won’t lie that we all stared at each other for about 5 minutes before we dug in and tried this beast.
We take our time and run different scenarios of how to start molding the production schedule. Each film had its own separate cast, crew, scripts, and producers. Therefore, we were not only scheduling programming deadlines, but logistics of thousands of people simultaneously.
Met every single deadline EARLY and was nominated not just once, but two years in a row for a Primetime Emmy. Meanwhile, as of this posting, we are still the only independent production company to be nominated in this category. PLANNING IS EVERYTHING.
Keys to Great Production Scheduling
- Don’t rush it. Take your time in making.
- Put it away, then come back and review. You would be amazed at how many times you will look and say, “What was I thinking?”
- Get ALL of your team to review their part in the schedule.
- Run different scenarios in your schedule. I mean, there are 50 ways to (not) skin a cat.