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Fast Forward Returns

Here we are almost a year later, a year smarter, preparing to produce another 16 Fast Forward episodes. We’ll be traveling, tweeting and blogging again – sharing all sorts of information about really cool Georgia based companies, the people they employ and the jobs they perform. But before we jump in our production van and visit these hot spots we must plan ahead.

Proper preparation or planning in the wide wide world of production is commonly referred to as ‘pre production’. That’s a pretty simple term for a fairly complicated process. A process which when done with care, enables your production to run smoothly. And when rushed, can easily double your workload and stress levels for the remainder of your project.

Pre Production. The term applies to just about any project. If you’ve ever planned a party, a vacation or even a cubicle warming you understand the importance of prepping. Dave and I had a cubicle warming …..

With a series such as Fast Forward, pre production begins with a budget and a schedule. Each depends upon the other. Without a budget you don’t know how long you have to produce the segments. After all, time is money.

Like the money we learned about during our visit to the Federal Reserve last summer.

Without a schedule you don’t know how many people or places you are able to cover within your budget. Time is money.

You may question, ‘how long could it take to create a budget and schedule?’
A day or two – maybe three? Sure, that’s a start. A thorough budget with multiple segments or episodes can take even a week or two. One must consider lots of factors when putting together budgets and schedules. By factors, I refer to the expected, but more importantly the unexpected. The weather can play a major factor, sudden thunderstorms or lightening patterns popping up out of nowhere. Could cause power outages, traffic issues, delays. We learned a lot about that when we visited the Weather Channel last year.

Plan for cancellations, additional equipment needs, flat tires, illness, fuel costs, overbooked hotel rooms, your client’s last minute creative requests, your client’s boss’ last minute editorial demands. It’s never ending.

And the schedule. A production schedule will include pre production, production, post production and final delivery. Use your time wisely. Yes, time is money. And remember, there’s often a fine line between not enough time and too much of it. Especially when working in a creative industry, where so much is subjective. Every piece of the production puzzle can be tweaked, revised, tweaked again, back to the original and then start all over. If you give them the time, they will use it.

So, here we are a month into pre production with 2 weeks prior the launch of Fast Forward Series 2. We have our budget and a schedule. Our crew is in place, contracts being written, backgrounds checks happening, accounts being set up, production vans serviced, equipment tested and a few companies already secured for interviews. On time and on budget…..for now!