Easter brings to mind hidden eggs… hidden eggs brings to mind hidden savings & costs in a production budget. The hidden savings are great, but the costs? Well, not so welcome. Here are three situations that typically generate hidden costs that you can watch out for:

1. Tethers In The Shot
Working with animals is challenging and tethers are often used as a training aid. Seeing tethers in the finished shot, however, is not what you have in mind, so you’ll have to CGI them out if you see any. Do you want to spend your CGI budget removing tethers or creating fancy effects shots? Balance the cost of shooting a few minutes faster on-the-day vs the extra (hidden) cost of tether removal during post.

2. Weather Dependence
If you need a certain exterior weather, you need to plan extra time (read “extra money”) to wait for it. Yes, that means the cast & crew waiting for the clouds to arrive, or waiting for the clouds to leave. Can anything move inside (and stay true the story)?

3. Distant Locations
The location may be the perfect for the story, but it’s miles away from the “free travel zone” for cast & crew and you need to be there for multiple weeks. You find that the crew you really wanted to use prefers not to be away from home for that long a time, so you choose your B-choice crew… who happen to shoot slower and don’t have the same sensibility as you do about the film. You also find that equipment and supplies are harder to source at the distant location – so, again, you need more time (and again more money) to make it all happen. Perhaps shooting at that inside location in-town would work and instead use a reduced unit at the distant location for the few critical exterior shots in order to bring the two locations together? Hmmm…

When you think about potential hidden costs, you can often find potential hidden savings. And hidden production savings is the greatest easter egg there is!

Cheers, Happy Easter & a great shoot to you,

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PM101 in TODo you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg