May 17

The production train

GetOnBoard

Production has to keep moving. That’s how it works. Scripts lead to boards which lead to animatics which lead to everything else. Every element in a production depends on the previous elements. And so a single jam in the system can cause no end of delays and put everyone in a situation in which they have no idea when there might actually be a show.

That’s why we have schedules. That’s why we have deadlines.

One of the hardest things new people coming into animation from college have to face is the pace of a fast moving production. Meeting deadlines is hard. And so, so crucial. If you’re new, meet your deadlines!

But it may not surprise everyone to know that this advice has to be given to people at all ends of the business and at all ranges of experience. Those of us in the midst of production, running shows and delivering shows must keep moving. That’s how it works. It is an age-old analogy but it applies: in each part of production, the train is leaving and you just have to get on.

I learned this very early on as a director. I have worked on many parts of production and I think the director has more decisions to make every day than anyone else. Every minute involves a decision that will affect the show. Many small, some huge. And you just have to make the decision. Hold something up and it will bite you in the rear end. Hold it up for long and it may bite so hard you might never quite recover. Production has to (say it with me)… keep moving.

So yes, this is advice to new people but it’s also a reminder to every other person involved in productions at all ends. The train is leaving the station. So get on!

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