Standing in the lobby of the new Saratoga hotel, 50 cast and crewmembers bustled about, all going in a different direction, each with their own goal to be accomplished. Soon after, we roll a few takes on the shot.

Later that day, a different location within the hotel; same people, different look. The hours melt away, with set up after set up, take after take, and shot after shot.

Organized chaos, as they say.

Moments like these just don’t happen – it takes months and weeks of long term preparation to make a busy shoot day go off, seemingly, without a hitch. With a hefty shot list and a very tight schedule, there’s only one way to get it done: prepare.

80% of any production happens long before anyone steps onto set, let alone before the camera rolls. Locations have to be scouted, scripts to be written, casting chosen, budgets made, crews built, equipment sorted, paperwork signed – phone calls, emails, meetings… You get the idea. Basically, an army has to be built, except in this case, we’re shooting film**, not bullets.

With this army, you create the space necessary for everyone to do their best work. With a schedule in place, the tools of the job laid out, and each member of the crew with a unique responsibility, the shoot day starts at 5:30am.

This is a true test of how well preproduction went, and, if you did your homework, everything runs like clockwork.

** – Okay, we’re not actually shooting on real film, it’s just better than saying ‘recording some one’s and zero’s’