Tag: maniac mansion

The Most Famous Star I’ve Worked With

When you work in the film industry, you inevitably hear the question: “So, who have your worked with?” This question, of course, really means: “Which Stars have you worked with that I know really well, and totally admire?”

Yes, I have worked with many Stars over the years. Some have been more famous than others. Some became famous after I had worked with them. And many of those who I admire may – or may not be – the same people the questionner is quietly pondering… but I can say that I have had the pleasure of working with the most famous Star of them all: Santa Claus.

So famous, so admired, Santa had to have a dressing room on a separate floor of the building to keep him at a distance from the child (a.k.a. fan) with whom he was sharing scenes. He was – and is – a total professional. Very aimable guy. I found him to be everything we’ve all expected him to be over the years! What an honour!

So… who have you worked with? 🙂

Happy festive season to you!


P.S. For a little work-life balance this holiday season, I will not be posting a blog entry next week (December 25). Enjoy the festive season and see you for New Years!

Pumpkin Carving Contest On Set

With pumpkin season upon us, I remember a year I hosted a pumpkin carving contest on set. The parent company wanted to have multiple carved pumpkins for their (amazing and one-of-a-kind) halloween party, so we supplied the production with a collection of pumpkins, and we held a contest.

As host, I knew I wouldn’t have time to carve one myself, so I nabbed some black camera tape and decorated my oh-so-orange sweater with the face of a jack-o-lantern. I figured it would be good advertising, a obvious in-your-face reminder for the crew to find and carve a real pumpkin on set.

So, a  pumpkin carving zone was set up in craft service, and during the hurry-up-and-wait of set, all kinds of folk lent their hand and creativity to carving a slew of fantastic pumpkins: scary ones, comic ones, traditional ones. They were great!

The producer reluctantly accepted the job of judging the winner of the contest. A tough job, because in this creative industry you can imagine how imaginative and diverse the pumpkins were. How could he choose one winner?

So, he surprised us all… he judged me to be the winner with my homemade jack-o-lantern sweater! Nothing quite like being the “pumpkin of the set”…

Happy pumpkin carving!


Keychain Clapboard

The shot had to start really close on the food buffet, and then pull out for the action of scene.

Sure we could start with the camera on wide angle, use the clapboard, and then reset the camera for that extreme close-up beginning… but all that takes precious film-rolling-thru-the-camera time.

Sure we could tail-slate – using the clapboard upsidedown at the end of the scene; however, if not well-practised, tail slates can be forgotten, providing an editing nightmare… or the camera can be in just as an inaccessible position at the end of the scene as it was at the beginning.

I like what our camera department did… using one of those touristy clapboard keychains, and very small writing – the keychain clapboard was just the right size to fill the frame of the extreme closeup. We saved precious film stock, we got a good “clap” (proportionally that is!), we got the shot.

Who’dve thought those touristy things you buy (like keychains) could actually be used on real film set!



Hello and welcome!

I’ve just celebrated my 12-year anniversary in print with my book Film Production Management 101. Wow! Having worked on Maniac Mansion which started with Episode #1 “10th Anniversary Special” – the cast reminiscing their 10 (fictitious) years on the air – I figure starting a blog on my 12th anniversary pretty much fits in somehow.

I plan to chat here about production-related issues for the international film and TV industry… gosh, that sounds soooo serious! I DO plan to include a healthy does of smiles too. Ya gotta keep the balance in life!

So… cheers & enjoy,