Sunday, November 6, 2016

Stuck In Pre-production

I wanted to like production meetings and table reads, really I did. But, more often than not, while others were discussing the "how's" and the "where's" and the "why's," I just wanted to be doing the "what." I guess I'm impatient that way--only want to clean if I'll really see the difference, only want to cook if the product will taste good, only want to debate the merits if I can then act on whatever is decided.

So, when I arrive at a day that feels mostly like a too-long production meeting, that is much more full of trying to figure out plans than it is of acting on them, I'm impatient. "Let's just agree, and move on to the doing," I think. "Let's stop planning, and simply get going." It's a worthy goal, using time to do rather than to talk. But life, like television, takes pre-production. The right actors don't just show up, unless the casting directors call them. The appropriate props have to be bought or made with the knowledge of why they are needed--they don't just fall from the sky. Life activities take transport and schedule coordination and agreement on interests, and those things don't fall from the sky any more often than the perfect prop or unplanned fake snow.

Perhaps some days, we spend too much time in pre-production. But if we ignore pre-production altogether, we will likely find ourselves shooting a show for which we are totally unprepared. The key is to plan--but not too much. Work out logistics--but not at the cost of not moving. Discuss--but then decide.

Will I ever love production meetings? Probably not. But when I can see them as simply a means to an end, I'm willing to give them a little time. And then it's "on with the show."

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