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Running the Show by Liz Gill

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Chapter 2

Pre-production

Give me five hours to cut down a tree, and I’ll spend three hours sharpening the axe.

Abraham Lincoln

Pre-production, or prep, is in many ways the most important part of the shoot: there is still time to solve problems and it’s much cheaper to do so now rather than later. Prep is about imagining the worst-case scenario and doing everything possible to avoid it, and so requires imagination, communication and execution. Most of this imagining stays private, but those elements that involve taking action will be shared. And no matter how much planning you do, there will always be surprises and disasters. The difference between a good First and the one the crew wants to string up is whether these disasters are self-inflicted. ...

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