What would you do differently next time?

Prior to working in film/tv I used to work in the business / non-profit sector as a creative media producer. Part of working in the corporate world was filled with team meetings and trying to figure out how to improve the organization as a whole. One process that I actually enjoyed involved After Action Reports, which where utilized after an event or program was finished.  It was a tool we used to analyze the success or failures of said event and provided ways to learn from our mistakes.

When you wrap a film or tv show do you ever wonder how things could go differently? What would you do so that the next project would go smoother?  Below I have listed 10 questions to ask yourself at the end of each shoot is complete?

  1. Which crew members would you hire back or recommend again? Why or Why not?
  2. Did all of the locations or sets work for the scenes in the script? Were there any locations you wish you had more options for?
  3. Did you end up picking the best time of year to film? If you had to start over would you choose another season of the year to film in?
  4. Which processes or systems were missing that you would put in place next time?
  5. Was there a dept that was lacking prep or man-power? How could you you predict this in the future?
  6. Did any dept go over budget? How did this happen and how could it be fixed in the future?
  7. Were there any specific scenes that took longer than planned and what was the cause of the delay?
  8. Did any of the cast present issues or prove to be difficult? Was this handled appropriately?
  9. Did you have enough dept mtgs during prep? Was prep a well oiled machine or lacking structure/systems?
  10. Was there any drama behind the camera and how could this be minimized in the future?

Whether or not you do an official AAR with your team, its a good practice to do by yourself or one or two other crew members.