Whether you’re a film production house, an advertising agency, or an events organiser – time is money! You need to be able to keep everything running on schedule to keep your clients and your finance team happy, but with so many variables and last-minute changes it can be difficult to stay on top of everything.
Here are a few things you can do to try to keep your project/photoshoot/production on schedule!
1. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
Before undertaking any project, it’s important to have contingencies in place for when (not if!) things don’t work out as planned. Having a Plan B, and even a Plan C, prepared ahead of time means that you can pivot faster on the day. Here are a few areas to get you started:
- Tech: Regardless of what equipment you are working with, it is always a good idea to bring extra batteries, adaptors, chargers, extension leads, and cables.
- Staff: Ensure you don’t have any one person who is a single point of failure within your team, and arrange back-up staff who can be on call if any last-minute emergencies come up. The last thing you want is to be locked out because you only had one team member with a key and they didn’t show up!
- Locations: Are you on-location for a shoot? Try to scope out at least one more location in the same area in case your original becomes unavailable due to weather or any other reason.
- Transport: What will you do if your van breaks down? What if there is a train strike? Having an app you can use while you’re on-the-go
If something goes wrong—if the van with all your equipment breaks down or if one of your cast members doesn’t show up—have contingencies, like booking a black cab using Gett, ready to go!
2. Factor in plenty of set-up and breakdown time
Assembling equipment at the start of the day, packing it all back up, moving it, and setting it up again is almost inescapable – you can minimise how often you have to reset things, but you can’t eliminate it. Not factoring in enough set-up time is one of the most common ways your schedule can go off track, because it will often have a knock-on effect throughout the whole day.
How much time you should set aside will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on your specific project, but in general most experts recommend allowing for at least two hours for assembling and disassembling sets.
3. Run the day in order of priority
At the start of the day, it’s very easy to get stuck shooting one scene, or perfecting one area of your event, or fiddling with the lighting until it is ju-u-u-st right… until all of a sudden you only have one hour left to cram in 4 hours of work!
Situations like that are much less stressful when your schedule has been prioritised ahead of time, so that the tasks that absolutely have to be done, get done first. A good starting point is to create a production timeline that lists tasks, time estimates, and deadlines. It can be tempting in the moment to be a perfectionist, but try to resist that in favour of getting through your priorities
4. Make sure everyone arrives on time
One step that might seem obvious, but can often lead to problems is to make sure that everyone arrives on time. This means planning ahead and avoiding relying solely on public transportation as much as possible. If you know that someone needs to be somewhere at a certain time, it pays to pre-book their transport ahead of time rather than gambling on the reliability of public transportation.
5. Build in flexibility
One of the key traits of successful producers is their ability to remain agile when dealing with unforeseen situations and last-minute changes during the course of production. It’s important to keep an open mind and not get too attached to any one specific plan, as there will likely be times when you need to improvise to meet deadlines or keep budgets on track. A few ways that you can build flexibility into your plan include under-scheduling each day, to allow for things to overrun, or trying to combine tasks – like doing quick make-up touch ups in the cab on the way over to the next location.
Keeping things running on schedule is essential for any media company – but it’s not always easy with so many different variables coming into play! By taking steps such as pre-booking transport wherever possible, having a plan B ready for when things go wrong and prioritising tasks every day, you’ll be able to keep everything running effectively and efficiently – saving both money and minutes along the way.
How Gett can help
Gett is a leading ride management platform for professionals on the go in the United Kingdom, allowing businesses to centrally book and manage rides with thousands of different taxis, private hire vehicles, executive cars & more – all in one place!
Whether you’re taking a VIP to a grand opening, rushing some equipment to set, or heading to a big pitch meeting, our app and online platform puts the power to manage all the rides for your employees and clients at your fingertips.
Provide your teams with a faster, more reliable, and higher quality service – from booking, to riding, to invoicing and reporting.