Film Schedules, Chicken Little and The Power of Now
Pushing film schedules is all part of making movies. It’s not an ideal situation to push dates once you have a locked filming schedule that works for cast and crew. There are different reasons that dates have to be pushed and filming delayed. Film schedules change more than any movie producer would like.
I recently reread a book called “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle that ties together lots of existing ideas about taking life situations in stride and staying in the present moment. I’m not here to pitch his book. I read lots of books, but “The Power of Now” related to me as an indie filmmaker.
When a film schedule has to be pushed to a later date there will be a movie production ripple effect to deal with. Making movies involves many moving parts. The thing to avoid doing is letting your thoughts runaway with you. On my very first short film a scheduling problem forced me to push the date. Being new to making movies I hit the panic button and let my thoughts run wild with “What if?” scary film production scenarios.
Playing “What if?” is mentally and physically exhausting without any benefit to the production as a whole. “What if” we lose this actor, this crew member or this location? When a filming schedule needs to be pushed stay in the present moment and think about a practical solution. Like with all things in life, things don’t always happen when you want them to. Patience is really a virtue when making an indie film on a smaller budget.
We had to push the Psoro film schedule for the Southern California part of shooting. Cast and crew were contacted with a new filming schedule to see if they were all still available. Some actors and crew were working on other gigs on the new pushed dates. The changed film schedule doesn’t work. The Psoro production team isn’t panicking like “Chicken Little” yelling “The sky is falling!”
I spoke with the owner of a ranch location we badly need for a scene and they are going to give me a new window of dates we can use it. With that information I’ll go back to cast and crew with available filming dates to see what dates works best. When it comes to producing indie films you have to be flexible. All cast and crew attached believe in this project. It’s just a matter of finding new movie shooting dates that can bring us all together on set to work on Psoro.
I’m not going to kid you. Sometimes pushing a film schedule has ripples that turn into waves. It could be you do lose an actor, crew member or key filming location. I personally have had it happen with actors, crew and locations. I completely understood where they were coming from when a pushed film schedule cut into another shoot they were scheduled to work on or on those dates locations were now unavailable. Film schedules keep your project moving forward without walking down a road without know where it needs to take you as a film producer.
Leaving the door open for people to return if the timing ends up working out and not rushing to replace people too damn fast with a knee-jerk reaction can prove to be a wise move. Just like you had to push your film schedule it happens to other shoots. It could be the project you lost someone also gets pushed and an actor or crew member is now available for your new film schedule.
Even if you lose actors and crew for good by pushing shooting dates don’t go “Chicken Little.” Regroup and move forward with an updated filming schedule. Before looking to replace actors and crew always lock your locations down first. Without locked film locations you have nowhere for actors and crew to work. I put a lot of importance on film locations. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing FADE OUT