July 26, 2023
Secrets of Effective Production Management.
Without wanting to sound too cheesy about the whole thing, filmmaking is all about teamwork!
There are a multitude of different departments all working together to achieve the same goal; to tell stories that will entertain and enlighten audiences, ideally to the point that they are willing to depart with some of their hard earned cash!
The problem is that the different departments, although sharing the same goal, often do not sing from the same hymn sheet.
It is the job of the director and the producers to oversee the whole shebang, often to the point that they can overlook the minutiae of the production.
One of their most useful tools in their arsenal to avoid this is the production manager. The production manager is the link between the different departments and the different members of the same department. You could view them as the conductor of the orchestra, keeping everyone in harmony (I’m pretty sure a producer would take umbrage with this analogy, but this is written by a production manager so we’re sticking with it!)
The most crucial aspect to production management is communication. A clear brief is at the core of this. Although the production manager does not write the brief, it is their job to ensure it is communicated as effectively as possible to every department.
The brief should contain concise information regarding the overall vision, the artistic style, breakdowns of the story and characters, potential deadlines and preliminary schedules, and any technical requirements.
Once everyone knows what we are making, the most important part of
communication is culture.
By creating a culture where people are happy and comfortable, people will be willing and able to communicate clearly. If for example an animator has fallen behind on their schedule, this can easily be fixed by giving some of their work to an animator who is ahead of schedule.
If however the animator is not comfortable with the production manager, they may not be willing to say that they have fallen behind, meaning the issue can not be managed.
Creating a happy healthy work environment where people are not afraid to communicate is the first step in effective communication.
As simple as it sounds it is important to be available.
Having an open door policy, literally and metaphorically helps nurture this culture where everyone feels seen and heard. Regular team meetings not only help in the exchange of information but can help build the interpersonal relationships of the artists, and help build a team atmosphere, where people work for each other as well as for the project.
Face to face communication, whether virtually or physically is important, but equally important is having clear online communication channels.
As productions become more and more virtual in a post pandemic world, and more and more people work from home, these communication channels are more important than ever.
Emails are great and should of course be utilised (and replied to promptly), but instant messaging apps such as Telegram, (other instant messaging apps are available) or team workspaces such as Notion (other team workspaces are available) are more crucial than ever to allow for the
fastest, most agile communication possible.
And of course don’t forget about good old fashioned phone calls!
Another crucial tool in communication, and is the production manager’s bread and butter, is tracking.
Production tracking is the systematic management and monitoring of all resources, assets and tasks. It is crucial to keep the project on track in terms of schedule and budget.
Using tracking software, or project management software is very useful, but often costs money that the production may not be willing to pay.
For my money, nothing is more useful than google sheets.
Having a collection of production documents that everyone can access, keeps everyone on the same page. People can use the documents to input their progress (for example how many shots, frames, or seconds an animator has animated last week, and will animate next week).
It is the production manager’s job to keep on top of all things tracking, making sure everyone is using it effectively and the production’s progress is clearly… well… tracked!
All of the above is particularly useful as there are many different departments, all working towards the same goal, but often speaking different languages as they do so!
For example, a sound mixer and an animator sometimes need help to communicate effectively, as the technical jargon they use, or perhaps the knowledge about the length of time it takes to carry out a particular task, can be lost in translation. The translator is the production manager, and they use all of the above tools and methods to carry out this task effectively.
The production manager is key in making sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, the orchestra is playing in harmony, and everyone’s instruments are in tune, so that the project is completed on schedule and crucially, (if you like having a job) within budget!
Clear, concise communication is the most important aspect of this.
Do you want to control the look of your skies in post-production? It's important to work with high quality assets to achieve photo-realistic results.Text Link
Secrets of Effective Production Management: Learn how clear, concise communication can harmonise diverse departments.Text Link
What are the key areas that require your focus when scaling your business?Text Link
The importance of People Skills is often overlooked. However, it is considered to account for 85% of your project's success.Text Link
In this episode of the Royals & Rogues podcast I speak to Alec Miller about the Future of Digital Short Films and the power of an open-source IP.Text Link
To ensure customer satisfaction in sales, decide on the ticket price based on the combination of material value and emotional reward.Text Link
In moments of challenges and setbacks, fostering understanding and avoiding negativity become essential.Text Link
The power of inspiration and the art of reflection in achieving your creative goals.Text Link
Imagine telling a story from the perspective of a selfie-camera...Text Link
What are the basic concepts one needs to know before promoting their website?Text Link
Learn about the important aspects of working with clients effectively while providing the most value.Text Link
Learn about this simple 5-step approach to elevate the world of your story.Text Link
Some things in business never change but have an undeniable effect on your quality.Text Link
When thinking about self promotion have you considered how much noise you make?Text Link
At Blauw Films I’m primarily responsible for IP Development. Whether through Transmedia, World-building or simple storytelling, I’m always thinking about stories.Text Link
Recently I had the pleasure of following an acting masterclass by Ivana Chubbuck. She is a wonderful coach most well known for her Chubbuck Technique.Text Link
Freelancing, if you're starting out it can be quite challenging. These tips are unconventional but have helped tremendously with my freelance career.Text Link
This thought has been at the core of the Blauw Films philosophy. What does the future of film distribution look like?Text Link
They say some people are gifted with vivid imagination. However, creativity is a skill anyone can learn. And it’s a skill necessary for those in the arts or modern business.Text Link
Learn how we tackled the dreamy desert landscape in Operation: Deli Platter using Cinema 4D and Chaos Corona.Text Link
Hello, hello! My name is Leo :) I’m the founder of Blauw Films and a director. The company has grown over the years and I’d love to take you on a trip down memory lane!Text Link
Learn about the storytelling that influenced our design decisions for Operation: Deli Platter.Text Link
Discover the behind-the-scenes of creating the Operation: Deli Platter poster. Learn about the techniques used to render a realistic banana and banana clip.Text Link
In this article we will look at the power of the ACES color space when rendering over-exposed assets such as our Moon in direct sunlight.Text Link
The early developments of Syntactic Labyrinths have been key to defining the look and feel of the film.Text Link
A brief look at the early developments of our tribute project Yu-Gi-Oh! Game of Shadows.Text Link
As a huge Pokémon fan I redesigned the classic Pokéball in CG based on original sketches and the universe of Silph Co.Text Link
Learn how we made an establishing shot featuring a star-filled night sky, created using Corona Renderer's camera settings in Cinema 4D to achieve the perfect balance of brightness, bringing an accurate and enchanting touch to the scene.Text Link
Discover the captivating shots of Saturn, from abstract strokes in The Library to the grandeur of the entire planet, and explore the technical process behind creating these stunning visuals in Corona Renderer through an informative tutorial.Text Link
A look at how Earth Digital was used to render a realistic scene from Dragon Ball ZText Link
Earth Digital has been used consistently in our productions. Explore the techniques we used in the following space shuttle scenes.Text Link
Using clouds assets during sky replacement can dramatically change the quality of your compositing.Text Link
Last year we had such a project with frequent collaborator skttrd for their track ‘Instant’. For passion projects it’s important to stretch your creativity, take some risks and achieve a desired result.Text Link
Our skies are ever-changing and bring natural beauty to your shots. Explore how we use our Complete Clouds assets to elevate our renders.Text Link
The first entry in our Lighting Mastery series covers the lighting design techniques of Caravaggio, unlocking your knowledge of Clair Obscur.Text Link
Looking back at the first video collaboration of many we did with King Khamen for his album Powertools.Text Link
How do you capture the essence of natural beauty in a non-photorealistic artwork? We will explore the techniques behind Earth Digital for Operation: Deli Platter.Text Link
Exploring the techniques behind achieving an accurate night-vision effect through compositing and rendering in Chaos Corona.Text Link
Discover The Graffiti Scrapbook, a hand-crafted collection of over 150 real graffiti decals that address the common issue of unnatural-looking graffiti assets in CG renders.Text Link
: Dreams of Blauw are any form of crystallised thought based on honest expression. Sometimes they linger a shade of blue in your after-image.