Back in November on two beautifully crisp and sunny days, we shot the AW20 collection films for Biehler.
This was our first collaboration with the German brand so we hoped to impress. Unfortunately their team wasn't able to come over for the shoot due to complications with Covid-19 regulations in Germany, which meant we had to run the show fully ourselves.
We've done several projects with cycling brands in the past so we know the drill. We found 2 replacement models in time, but then the kit didn't arrive. Delayed one week we managed to shoot 2 beautiful days in Bormio before the new restrictive measures came into place in Italy.
I'm a big fan of actively learning with each project, wrapping up what happened and making sure everything has been debriefed and understood. Balancing a team of 4 and 2 models while operating on the roads calls for some careful planning and attention, and pre-production must, as for many gigs, take priority. Without proper planning the project is destined to fail. As Benjamin Franklin once famously said:
"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."
Here are a few points I've considered from the project
Leaders eat last. I've been a big fan of Simon Sinek for some time and enjoy what he has to say on leadership. Oftentimes when the days are long and working in a bigger team it's easy to let fatigue overcome you, but it's of paramount importance that all items are checked off and everyone is fully briefed before the leader can take a break. That extra bit of energy goes the distance when ensuring success the next day.
Just because someone is inexperienced, doesn't make them unqualified for certain jobs. There are many roles on set that anyone can do, so entrusting someone to successfully do it can go a long way in creating balance in the troupe, while taking a mental load off the Director/Producer. Working as an organised whole will seem more effective than the sum of every individual's efforts if not effectively collaborating or delegating. That's some gestalt right there.
When plans change, make sure everyone is caught up. This really isn't unique to the environment of filmmaking. Every business should operate this way, but more often than not, a key player is often out, reducing the effectiveness of the operation.
When renting an Airbnb for your crew, consider things like the cooker not working. Someone call the pizza delivery!