Walkie-talkies . . . check . . . C300 . . . check . . . Teradek and client monitor . . . check . . . microphones . . . check . . . hiring the crew . . . check . . . bed, pajamas, slippers, model releases . . . check . . . 4AM wakeup call . . . check . . . These were the things going through my head as I tried to get some much needed shuteye before my role as producer on the shoot the following morning. Before I made the jump from photography to video production I didn’t really understand what a producer was, and why they always seemed so stressed out.
©Co.Mission Content for Hyatt
A good producer doesn’t let on to the million and a half things going through their head during the shoot, but I know their mind is going at a million miles an hour trying to hold everyone and everything together on the big day.
A lot of the productions I work on are of a small to medium scale with a more close-knit feel between “The Client” and the production team. Some productions, however, have many more pegs in the peg board that all rely on each other to be responsible and accountable for their individual roles, ensuring things go smoothly. Several weeks ago I was contacted by Co.Mission Content to produce the Seattle portion of a multi-city production for the Hyatt, illustrating the theme “It’s Good Not To Be Home”. We were tasked with filming a comedian in his “room” in the lobby of the hotel and in the elevator as he asked guests what the best thing about staying in a hotel was.
Each city needed to have a 30 second edit done by the end of the day with a compilation video delivered to the client shortly after the shoot. My job was to make sure nothing went wrong, but somehow something always goes wrong. In my case, my car kicked the bucket in the parking garage of the Hyatt hotel promptly after arriving, but other than that the day was a huge success. We started off in the hotel lobby as the comedian tried to engage hotel guests as they walked by. There were pillow fights, pillow forts, lots of laughs, and some strange moments. As the day progressed we moved to the elevator, which had its own set of logistical challenges. The team mounted a GoPro camera in the upper corner of the elevator as the comedian rode up and down for several hours, talking with guests on the way to their rooms.
Luckily for me, I was able to hire an amazing crew of PA’s that took care of everything, including getting my car towed, throughout the day. The nice thing about producing this shoot was that I was able to hire talented people to capture the moments between the comedian and the hotel guests throughout the day. Matty Brown, running A-Camera, John Waskey, running B-Camera, audio producer Vincent Gates, and editor Eric Munch, were a dynamite team that made my job that much easier and produced a fun piece that everyone was proud of.