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Find your half-way point in the day
On any given day during production it can be challenging to "make the day" for a number of reasons. You might not get everything or go into overtime or even have to push scenes to the next day. While this may be expected on occasion, having this happen everyday on production can get quite frustrating and rather expensive. Even the best production schedules will sometimes have unforeseen delays or mishaps and this is understandable to a point.
One of the best ways to really "make your day" is to make half of it. If you can make half your day then making the other half is a whole lot easier. Do the DP, Director, UPM and 1st AD all agree on the half way point? Where does everyone want to get by lunch? Is this answer is known by all or is the answer kept secret by the 1st AD? If shooting 10 pages will you accomplish 5 pages because they are all pretty even or will 2 pages be the needed amount because the last few are a phone call and have no coverage.
When the 1st AD figures out the ideal half-way point with the help of the Director and DP the day can feel a lot more manageable. Instead of trying to shoot 10 pages in a day you are only worried about shooting 5 pages before lunch and 5 pages after lunch. Having this mini-goal creates a sense of urgency that is sometimes lost in the beginning of the day when you feel like you have all the time in the world.
If you decide on the half-way point and get there...it's all down hill.
If you decide on the half-way point and are still behind on any given day its time to regroup. A discussion might be needed on what to do in the second part of the day whether its loosing shots, moving scenes or shooting more efficiently.
Deciding the half-way point is not a science and sometimes guessing what is really the half-way point is not always easy.
If you don't decide on the half-way point you are in danger of slowing down and then racing at the end of the day.