In the world of film production alot of sets have gotten a bad wrap. Most producers, directors, and even talent dread them.
Because when you throw a bunch of awesome creative people into one small space there is typically an unannounced hierarchy. Who’s the “boss?” Who’s “in charge”? And why in the world don’t these people have their ish together?
Forget the Hollywood glam, set days can be stressful, chaotic, and sucky. And when a set sucks, it sucks the fun out of everything. Early in our production career we decided as a team: sets don’t have to suck.
Our mission is to provide a seamless experience for everyone involved, from the big wigs to the assistant delivering coffee or coordinating lunch.
So how do we do it?
It’s called systems. We started by thinking through the worst parts of set days and then creating solutions to those problems.
For example, looking at how the location works for all departments as well as for filming. . Thinking through small details like what elevators will we use for load in, how will that impact time of filming, dressing room options and providing privacy for the client, the list goes on and on.
When you choose to work with Southend you’re choosing a partner that’s already thought through these things. We come to the table with solid organizational systems and we run a tight ship. No detail is left uncovered. The work on the front end leading up to set day(s), while exhausting, is worth it. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. And we’ve had plenty of sucky set days.
Culture plays another huge role in an awesome day on set. Egos are checked at the door. The team works together in a way that is supportive vs. aggressive – and if something goes wrong we don’t ignore it, we own it.
Yes, mistakes happen. Yes, sometimes we make the wrong call. We are human. But you can bet we will own that mistake and do everything we can to make it right, as quickly as possible. It’s easy to point fingers in the world of production…instead, our Southend team addresses the problem and creatively works to solve it.
Producer Mandy Wright shares 5 ways Southend makes set days the best days
- A great set experience starts before we get on set. We try and communicate as much as possible about the shoot ahead of time so they know what to expect from creative to crew to schedule so they don’t have to play catch up when they arrive
- Meals! Good food and lots of snack options go a long way when you’re stuck in one place all day or moving between a bunch!
- We take our jobs seriously but not ourselves, we like to have fun. This job is so cool and there is no reason we shouldn’t enjoy making the things we make.
From top down, Director, Producers, everyone is approachable, kind and down to earth.
- We give grace – great people make mistakes, stuff happens. Of course we have high expectations for ourselves and our crew members but we also work hard to start by giving grace, communicating, and moving on when something happens. Removing the stress of perfection as the goal results in a much nicer work environment.
- Everyone has a voice – we love an understanding of set etiquette AND we value everyone’s insight and perspective. If someone from the camera department or art has an idea for an improved line, awesome! If a PA has an idea to solve a problem, great! There is not a mandate for everyone to “stay in their lane” at all times.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with amazing clients and agencies. If you’re tired of sets sucking the joy out of your work we’d love to chat. You can check out some of our most recent projects HERE or contact us for more information on how we can help bring your next project to life. Sans sucky set.