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Archive for April, 2011

The Royal Wedding has me thinking about that pre-wedding dilemma some of us go through… to change the last name after the marriage ceremony or not. The choice is, of course, personal, but in this industry there are some extra factors to consider.

If you change your last name…

… and you work freelance… How are you going to inform your network? As a freelancer, it takes up precious job-searching time for your network to learn you’ve moved from one job position to another, and think of you in the new role. How long will it also take them and to reconcile you are the same person now that your last name is different? Plan to spread the news of your new last name for multiple times, using multiple channels and over an extended period of time to ensure people know who you are.

… and you have a website using your birth name… What are you going to do with your domain name? You could have two, with one automatically forwarding to the new one for a few years as people get to know you with the new name.

… and you choose to use your birth last name for work, but your new last name for home… How are you going to deal with social networks that overlap work and home life? If you use your Birth Last Name on LinkedIn whereas your New Last Name on Facebook, you’ll be able to keep your home social network more separate from your work network, but you’ll still deal with confusion about what label to use for yourself and when as work and home networks overlap.

… and you hyphenate your last names… Will you use a hyphen or a space between the ames? You’re bound to run across mis-spellings and mis-filings that will make it that bit harder to find your name, but depending on the two last names could make your new name more distinctive and easier to find.

And – though no one wants to consider the possibility at time of a wedding – if you get divorced, are you ready to go through what’s necessary to change your name back again to your birth name?

Considerations, considerations. Whichever choice you make, ensure it’s the right one for you.

Cheers & enjoy the coverage of the Royal Wedding,
Deb

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PM101 in TODo you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto on May 27 and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg

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Easter brings to mind hidden eggs… hidden eggs brings to mind hidden savings & costs in a production budget. The hidden savings are great, but the costs? Well, not so welcome. Here are three situations that typically generate hidden costs that you can watch out for:

1. Tethers In The Shot
Working with animals is challenging and tethers are often used as a training aid. Seeing tethers in the finished shot, however, is not what you have in mind, so you’ll have to CGI them out if you see any. Do you want to spend your CGI budget removing tethers or creating fancy effects shots? Balance the cost of shooting a few minutes faster on-the-day vs the extra (hidden) cost of tether removal during post.

2. Weather Dependence
If you need a certain exterior weather, you need to plan extra time (read “extra money”) to wait for it. Yes, that means the cast & crew waiting for the clouds to arrive, or waiting for the clouds to leave. Can anything move inside (and stay true the story)?

3. Distant Locations
The location may be the perfect for the story, but it’s miles away from the “free travel zone” for cast & crew and you need to be there for multiple weeks. You find that the crew you really wanted to use prefers not to be away from home for that long a time, so you choose your B-choice crew… who happen to shoot slower and don’t have the same sensibility as you do about the film. You also find that equipment and supplies are harder to source at the distant location – so, again, you need more time (and again more money) to make it all happen. Perhaps shooting at that inside location in-town would work and instead use a reduced unit at the distant location for the few critical exterior shots in order to bring the two locations together? Hmmm…

When you think about potential hidden costs, you can often find potential hidden savings. And hidden production savings is the greatest easter egg there is!

Cheers, Happy Easter & a great shoot to you,
Deb

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PM101 in TODo you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg

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Stepping barefoot in the grass… you know what I mean?

As Rapunzel leaves the tower for the first time in her life, there’s a lovely moment when she stops her elated downward slide… just inches before touching ground. She extends one tentative foot to gently touch the grass with her toes before stepping down, completing the entry into her new world.

I can feel the grass along with her, can you? I imagine anyone who’s experienced walking barefoot across the lawn on a summer’s day must know that distinctive feeling: the soft grass flattening under each step; the few blades that manage to slip between the toes; the solid but uneven ground beneath.

In that moment Rapunzel turns a lifetime of wishing and wondering into reality. She enters a new world on her own terms and her senses are heightened. She notices and feels everything. How true that as significant changes happen in our lives – whether we make the change  happen or it happens to use – our senses are indeed heightened. It is in moments like these we can feel the grass between our toes, see the details around us that other days we take for granted. A feeling of really being alive! And yet by just noticing those details (like the sensation stepping barefoot in the grass), we can reawaken that feeling of aliveness. Oh yes!

Look around you… what fabulous detail can you notice today?

Cheers & a good shoot to you,
Deb

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PM101 in TODo you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg

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Deb with PM101 2ndEdHave you been to Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat at www.rexsikes.com?

I was interviewed by Rex this past week where we discussed the differences between a PM, Coordinator, Producer and Line Producer, talked about the development vs preproduction, and a host of other PM-related and production topics. Not really a place to go to listen for a few minutes… because the interview was an hour long (as are all his interviews)!

Still, when you have the time, peruse the interview archives. You’ll find directors, producers, actors… everything film. Since the interviews are recorded live and unedited, it’s really like being there with the host and with Rex. A unique opportunity.

My interview is at: http://bit.ly/g13GQU

Cheers & happy listening,
Deb

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PM101 in TODo you know about Deb’s appearance in Toronto and the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://on.fb.me/hEdmNg

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I have slept at the Palace of Versailles.

I have been an extra in an IMAX movie.

I have piloted a passenger ferry in Sydney Harbour (Australia).

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Two of the above facts about me are true, and one is not. Which is the false one? If you guess correctly… you win; if you don’t… I win the game. Plus… if you give a reason for your guess when you guess correctly, you’ll win a PM101 Budgeting Pencil (honest, no April Fool’s joke here!).

Actually, instead of an April Fool’s day joke, I thought I’d share this a social game with you. This game could work as an icebreaker game at a preproduction party or as a segue at the end of the final production meeting in prep to a social gathering afterwards.

In the last week of prep the crew is expanding rapidly. Some people will be meeting each other for the first time, while others will have known each other for years. Next week – once the camera starts rolling – this new team will be working together intensely, so it’s nice to get to know a bit more about the individuals on that team early in the production.

You’ll find that much conversation ensues between the group members after this game… so don’t use is prior to the preproduction meeting! The more creative you are with the facts, the more interesting the game… but in this industry, creativity shouldn’t be a problem.

So…which one of mine do you think is not true?

…and good luck with April Fool’s day today.

Cheers & a good shoot to you,
Deb

A further thought… to adapt this game to make it useful for developing second language skills, allow each person in the group to ask one or two “yes-or-no” or clarifications questions about the “truths”.

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PM101 in TODo you know about the “Toronto Area PM101 Facebook Challenge (for a free book)“? To learn more, click here: http://bit.ly/fGP0fq

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