Preparation is the key to a successful and fun filmmaking weekend.
It’s a good idea to get all your potential cast & crew to sign all release forms BEFORE the competition starts. This will save everyone from a great deal of stress on Sunday evening. Make sure the names are correctly spelled ahead of time, so you don’t have to keep asking people when writing the credits. Try and make sure that when your crew are asked to turn up somewhere they aren’t waiting around for ages before knowing what they are needed for.
Let people who you MIGHT need, know whether or not you are going to need them as soon as possible, and keep everyone informed as to what you are planning on doing when. This means a lot of phone calls or SMS after you get your genre and items on Friday Night – make sure your phone has credit and you’ve got a list of everyone’s numbers in hand.
Keep them fed and hydrated. During the 48 Hour Weekend it’s important that you take note of the fact that everyone will be too focused and stressed out on the task to take time out to find themselves food and drinks. Or if they DO take a break, it will probably be at the time when you really need them most. Everyone will be happier and focused if plenty of food and drinks are in hand, when taking a break to eat together. Plan to pitch in and order something or designate someone to be responsible for meals to save precious time during filmmaking.
Sleep will be very limited and probably none at all for the Team Leader. Therefore, it’s important that you inform your team that there isn’t time for a sit down discussion about who is going to do what and why during the hectic weekend. Figure out each member’s role beforehand so that everyone has time to allocate rest. Nevertheless, if there is anything else that needs doing out of their role, team members should also be willing to act on instructions of their team leader and director to ensure a successful film.
As a team leader, just because you are in charge, do not let the power get to your head and start bossing people around all the time. Most people will, if given clear instructions, get the job done. If a team member is having trouble with a task, try to ask them how you can help or what they need instead of barging in and doing it yourself. Taking over everything will quickly lead to people feeling unnecessary and disappearing right when you need them the most.
Keep in mind that even though it’s a challenge, filmmaking can be fun and harmonious. Avoid petty squabbles.