F minus 10

Nothing could possibly go wrong could it? Unless you’re camera assistant suddenly finds he has to work on another project the weekend of the shoot. That’s the camera assistant who is providing (i) the essential help you need in order to DP and direct, and is also providing (ii) the contact with the facilities company who are loaning you equipment without a hire charge. He’ll know by the end of the week. Uh oh.

It would be sensible to give up wouldn’t it. Really. It would. Commonsense says knock it on the head. Walk away. Relax. Spend the money on something else. It’s not like you have the money anyway, after all.

Commonsense has nothing to do with film making.

Think laterally

This is what a producer really does. Problem solving.

Problem #1: no camera assistant.

Solution: place advert on Guild of Television Cameramen mailing list; place advert on Shooting People mailing list; phone Mike (lead actor) who has just appeared in low budget feature and see if he has any contacts; phone Ruth (person stills photographer met in pub) who has just appeared in low budget film and made a pop video and see if she has any contacts; phone Andy (a DoP) and see if he might be interested in getting involved/advising at this stage.

Sit back and wait for phone to ring/email to fill up.

Problem #2: no police station exterior.

Solution: phone local newspaper and see if news editor knows anywhere using their encyclopaedic knowledge; phone county police HQ and ask for press officer; mention to absolutely everyone you know or talk to that you are looking for this location.

Follow up any leads this throws up.

Come up with a dozen more possible solutions as the week progresses until problems are solved.