I was hired by a Northeast Minneapolis production company, Mastcom, to produce several (well, ten to be exact) online commercial spots for Travel Leaders Network. The title of Producer meant I worked closely with the project’s Director, Matt Genesis. My duties were vast, and expanded (not necessarily by design) as the project continued to unfurl.
Off the bat I worked with Matt G. to work out every single detail of our production days. With every shoot being on location, the logistics of each day needed to be planned to the finest detail. Through several meetings and phone calls with our location scout, we locked in our shoot days, negotiated location fees and starting planning each minute of our shoot days from there.
We auditioned and booked talent within schedule requirements, booked a sizable crew to execute these ambitious ideas all within their aggressive schedule and doing so while not bursting our budget — which is easy to do with so many expensive cogs in this well-oiled machine. If we shot over budget, I would be to blame — if days were not executed as planned, I would be to blame. With a tight budget, so many moving pieces each shoot day and a demanding client, it was a stressful tightrope to walk during production.
In addition to these high level responsibilities, I was charged with craft services (feeding the entire crew each and every shoot day), finding a plethora of extras when our shoot days called for populated scenes, and set decoration/some wardrobe. Almost always, that type of workload is delegated to several key people on a production crew. With a limited budget, I was forced to make all of this happen. So as you can imagine, that led to some crazy long work days (back to back 80+ hour weeks).
We shot on location in a coffee shop, an elevator, a flight simulator fuselage, two model homes, a moving car, an elementary school lunch room, an office building, and the Union Depot in Downtown St. Paul.
When all was said and done, all the production days were all completed (mostly on time), we stayed under budget and the client was pleased with the final videos.