Production meetings can be long and drawn out, they can sometimes be boring and maybe seem like a waste of time but I am a true believer in having them and having as many as you think your production will need.
Holding a production meeting is the best way to get the key players of a film or TV crew onto the same page. That being said, make sure to hold separate meetings for different matters. The gaffer does not want to sit through a meeting about the schedule and the wardrobe artist isn’t needed for a discussion about equipment.
Why should you hold production meetings?
1. Production meetings are the best way to have the crew address their concerns before shooting begins.
2. Production meetings allow for discussion and trouble shooting, when more than one mind works on an idea the higher the likelihood of the best resolution.
3. A quick production meeting before a shoot day begins is a great way to bring people up to speed on any recent developments or changes.
4. Closing a shoot day with a quick production meeting is a good way to make sure everyone is aware of what is happening the next day on set.
5. Production meetings should be an open forum where ideas can be shared and suggestions can be taken into consideration. It is better to do this before principal photography starts and solve problems before they exist.
6. Members of the production team should be having multiple production meetings with all departments to make sure that the schedule makes sense, that the right equipment is being acquired and that any other departments needs are being met.
7. Production meetings are great for making people aware of sensitive issues or topics that may arise during filming.
8. Having production meetings is the best way to make sure that everyone is doing what they are supposed to, by getting everyone in a room together you can be sure that people know what needs to be done. You can avoid having two people doing the same job or stop people from working on something that doesn’t need to be worked on.
Production Meetings within or Between Departments
Production meetings aren’t just for the Production Department, often times smaller meetings will be helpful within Grip, Lighting, Art Department or any other department that has items they need discussed.
Why would these departments want to meet?
1. Discuss gear, crewing up, schedules or special items.
2. View and breakdown any look references sent by the Director or Cinematographer
3. Makeup and wardrobe tests need to occur for director approval.
4. Camera tests should always occur before principal photography.
5. Lighting tests may need to occur before principal photography.
Lately in my job there has been a lot of confusion about what the most important tasks are and who should be doing what. Getting everyone together in the same room and making firm decisions about who is doing what and when it should be done makes life so much easier. Organization is such an important part of production and it takes a strong, efficient leader to make things work.