Monday, April 1, 2013

Production Daze

I'm starting to settle into a routine, well as much of a routine as can be had. Traveling in Africa always has its own challenges and living here also brings new adventures my way all the time. Production, even in the best of cases, is a constant state of shifting schedules, running to catch something happening only once, or just waiting for people to show up. So when I say routine that doesn't look like your normal 9-5. Most days look something like this.

6:00 am - Wake up and head immediately to the shower or bucket bath in some cases. Night-time temperatures are still in the 90's so even in sleep you can work up quite a sweat.
6:30 am – Make coffee and breakfast. Thanks to friends and family I have a supply of coffee so that in any situation I can figure out how to start my day with a cup of joe.
7:00 am – Producers Meeting. This is what I've come to call my morning devotions. It's a time when I, the producer, can connect with my “Executive Producer.”
8:30 am – Start work. This often begins with reviewing the schedule for the day. If nothings planned to be shot I'll look at the current projects in Pre, Production, and Post and make sure everything is on track.
9:00 am – Dig In. The mornings are usually the most productive for me. So I try to schedule most of my shoots in the morning, when it isn't so hot (ie. less than 110 F). If I'm not shooting, I'll dig into editing. I try to focus and spend the next 4 hours shooting or editing until lunch.
1:00 pm – Break Time. With the temperatures rising and my focus dwindling, I take a break to eat lunch. This is the hottest time of the day, the perfect time to take a nap and just lie in front of a fan.
2:30 pm – Back at It. Depending on how productive I was in the morning, I may continue what I was working on in the morning. Often though, the afternoons are given to Pre-Production. This means writing treatments, scheduling shoots for the coming weeks, making travel arrangements, or doing emails if I can get internet where I am.
6:30 pm – Clock Out. To stay on schedule with all my productions and to keep me sane, I'm finding it helpful to put in 8 hours of focused work and call it a day.
7:00 pm – What's for Dinner? This always looks different. Sometimes it is eating with the people I'm working with or making my own food. I'll share soon some of my successes and failures, in a future blog.
8:30 pm – Decompress. The amount of stress that can build up in this lifestyle of travel, work, adventure and uncertainty is pretty up there. All work and no play makes Drew very irritable. Evenings are split between reading (I'll read about 1000 pages per month), playing games (with others if they are around or on my ipad), or exercising (right now I'm prepping for a climbing trip in May).
10:00 pm – Shower Again. It's a habit I picked up while living in Brobo, but now that it's “Hot Season” it's essential to shower again before bed to get rid of the build up dust and sweat from the day.
11:00 pm – Sweet Dreams. It's nice heading to bed tired from the day and feeling like a lot was accomplished. Don't believe me try it some day.

That's the schedule I shoot for, but as the saying goes, “Tout vas changer!” (Everything will change!)

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