Tag: preproduction

FILM: Doing A Little Bit More… with Signage

I went to a local dog off leash park, and found probably the best location filming announcement ever:

Yup, one for the humans (“park users” / at human eye-level) and one for the dogs (at dog eye-level). Doubt you can read the dog announcement in the wide shot, but it goes like this: “Woof woof woof…”:

The signage is inspired! I mean, why just do you job when you can do you job with a little flare, making the job enjoyable and spreading a smile around to others at the same time? How can one not be more receptive to the disruption of a film set coming to town than by seeing such signage as this!

Way to go, guys. You inspire us in making movies, you inspire us in how we can approach work and school in our lives and make them more enjoyable.

Cheers & a great shoot to you,

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Deb Patz is the author of “Write! Shoot! Edit! A Complete Guide to Filmmaking for Teens” (new in 2017) and “Film Production Management 101” both published by MWP Books. She’s shot on some interesting locations when in production.

WHERE IS DEB? (upcoming events and appearances)
Feb.17 – Digital Media Youth Expo in North Vancouver, BC
(more events and appearances are being assembled)

“Write! Shoot! Edit!” was reviewed in:
(1) Montreal Gazette, and many other newspapers across Canada 
(2) SF Crowsnest (in the UK);
(3) Midwest Book Review Library Watch list (on the Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf)
(4) Donovan’s Bookshelf Recommended Reading / Prime Pick for August (need to search for “Write”)

Words of Wisdom from Film Professors: Planning


“Fail to plan, plan to fail”

My television professor’s words still echo today, long after my university degree is completed, and anyone who has charged ahead with production, not having enough prep time knows this phrase to be oh so true… but… you also can’t get stuck in planning and never “do” or you still “fail.” So how about this small modification:

“Fail to plan, plan to fail… then do!”

Cheers and a good, well-planned shoot to you,

The “What’s True and What’s Not?” Game

I have slept at the Palace of Versailles.

I have been an extra in an IMAX movie.

I have piloted a passenger ferry in Sydney Harbour (Australia).

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Two of the above facts about me are true, and one is not. Which is the false one? If you guess correctly… you win; if you don’t… I win the game. Plus… if you give a reason for your guess when you guess correctly, you’ll win a PM101 Budgeting Pencil (honest, no April Fool’s joke here!).

Actually, instead of an April Fool’s day joke, I thought I’d share this a social game with you. This game could work as an icebreaker game at a preproduction party or as a segue at the end of the final production meeting in prep to a social gathering afterwards.

In the last week of prep the crew is expanding rapidly. Some people will be meeting each other for the first time, while others will have known each other for years. Next week – once the camera starts rolling – this new team will be working together intensely, so it’s nice to get to know a bit more about the individuals on that team early in the production.

You’ll find that much conversation ensues between the group members after this game… so don’t use is prior to the preproduction meeting! The more creative you are with the facts, the more interesting the game… but in this industry, creativity shouldn’t be a problem.

So…which one of mine do you think is not true?

…and good luck with April Fool’s day today.

Cheers & a good shoot to you,

A further thought… to adapt this game to make it useful for developing second language skills, allow each person in the group to ask one or two “yes-or-no” or clarifications questions about the “truths”.

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PM101 in TODo you know about the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://bit.ly/fGP0fq

Edward Woodward: When We Crossed Paths…

When someone dies, with whom you have crossed paths, you can’t help but remember how they touched and helped to shape your life.

I was blessed to have worked with very talented Edward Woodward on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” early in my career… a time when I had much less individual responsibility on the crew than I did later in my career, and so I was gifted to learn a lot by observation.

We worked overtime for every episode of the series, save the one that he was in. You see, starring in nearly every scene of the script, he had the authority to set the maximum number of hours he would work on a shoot day. In so doing, he saved the entire cast and crew from working overtime – for one episode, anyway. Oddly enough, we still got our days and the scenes we needed to cut together a really great episode. It just took more planning to do so. And so early in my career I learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of preproduction. Thank you, Mr. Woodward.

We rarely find out how we touch the lives of others, which is kind of strange since this industry is all about communication of ideas and stories! So, let’s just live well & kind, and trust that we have a positive effect.

In thoughtful memory,