10 Steps To Keep Your Set Running Smoothly

How To Bring In Your Movie On Time & On Budget
Hosted by Nick Phillips

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Nick Phillips

Webinar hosted by: Nick Phillips

Producer at PBR Streetgang

Nick Phillips has been a producer in the film business for nearly 20 years, in particular the world of genre films. His career started in New York in 1996 as a receptionist, when he began a nine year stint under Bob & Harvey Weinstein, working for Bob's Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in such franchises as Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, Mimic, The Crow, and Highlander. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of Project Greenlight, which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film Feast through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production. In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City. He helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 Days of Night and Vacancy, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he oversaw a diverse slate of films including Straw Dogs, The Roommate, This Christmas and Country Strong, as well as being involved in franchises such as Underworld and Resident Evil. Nick is currently serving as Executive Vice President of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-­founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (The Grudge, Hostel). During that time they have produced four films - Haunt with Jacki Weaver and Ione Skye; the award winning Beneath with Jeff Fahey (both released by IFC in 2014) and Devil's Backbone Texas, which Fox Digital Studios released in March 2015. They just wrapped their latest feature, entitled Pet, which stars Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, and Jennette McCurdy. They also co-­financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot Fight of the Living Dead with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV. That pilot was picked up by Cinedigm to launch their new genre-­centric network ConTV.com and premiered as a web series in March 2015. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Nick Phillips, studio & independent film producer for nearly 20 years, who has worked with Bob & Harvey Weinstein, Sony Pictures Classics, Revolver Picture Company & more!

You finally have the money to make a film. You’ve chosen a start date, you’ve found your locations. You’ve hired the crew and cast your actors. Now what?

On any movie set, there are two major obstacles: time and money. They can be your friends or they can be your enemies. As a producer, it is your job to make sure that you utilize both in the most effective way possible and not go one second or one cent over. And while you do this, you must walk the tightrope between staying within that budget and schedule while simultaneously producing a film that is creatively satisfying and interesting, with production values that give the film the best chance at succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace.

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nick Phillips will walk you through the arduous, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience of managing a film set. Having worked on sets for almost two decades, Nick has seen the process from every angle and worked with budgets and schedules that range from manageable to ambitious to completely insane.

A working film set is a living, breathing thing, an eco-system with a myriad of moving parts. The days (and nights) are long, exhausting and will prey on your every last nerve. But if you’re armed with the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can sharpen your skill set to the point where producing becomes second nature and actually enjoyable! From location scouting to hiring to shooting days to the wrap party, this webinar will be all encompassing and you will leave confident and ready to manage your set!

What You'll Learn

  • Establish An Honest, Open Relationship With The Director Early On.
    • How to effectively communicate boundaries and set realistic expectations.
    • How to firmly establish your budget and shooting schedule.
  • Decide Where To Shoot And Whether To Use Union Or Non-union Crew As Early As Possible.
    • How this will affect your budget and quality of the crew.
    • How to secure a tax rebate before production starts by choosing the right location.
  • Thoroughly Scout Every Location Before Production.
    • Why this is important for the crew walking through their workflow on the day.
    • How to plan the most effective way to set up and break down your locations in the least amount of time.
  • Form Relationships With All Of The Department Heads.
    • Why talking to them individually is better than as a group.
    • How to walk them through your ideas and plans.
    • Why the DP and gaffer are probably the most important.
    • Why you should never underestimate the importance of a good 1st AD
  • Have The Director Create A Shot List For Each Day's Work.
    • How to stick to it as closely as possible.
    • There will be deviations that occur in the moment due to creative adaptation or situational necessity. Figure out the best way forward which doesn’t affect the schedule.
  • LISTEN!
    • Be on the walkie at all times to hear the communication between the crew.
    • Have the ComTek in your other ear to listen to the actors and directors as they rehearse and adjust between takes.
    • Knowing everything that’s happening at all times makes you a more fully informed producer and more able to make decisions quickly.
  • Create A Timeline For Each Day.
    • How to schedule that day’s work down to the minute, in blocks.
    • Knowing when you need to be moving on to the next scene and by when allows the filmmakers to prioritize takes and setups.
    • How to establish a routine – cast rehearsal, crew rehearsal, setting up the shot, safety meetings, end of day meetings.
  • Establish Trust And Respect With Your Cast.
    • How to communicate that you are there to create something special but you also have a budget and schedule to stay within.
    • How to provide them with as much rehearsal time with the
    • director before production as possible.
    • How to make sure they have appropriate space and accommodations during production.
    • Why good relationships with the cast prevents drama and confrontations when you can least afford them.
  • 2nd Unit Is Your Friend.
    • How to allocate work to allow first unit to focus on their bread and butter work.
    • How this saves time and accrues the extra pieces you need and sometimes gets you shots you didn’t know you needed!
  • Why You Should Always Stay Positive And How To Do It!
    • You’re a leader, the boss. Everyone is looking to you for answers.
    • How to stay calm and take it as it comes. If you’re armed with knowledge and a strong spine, you should have no problems.
    • Fires will come up - how to put them out one by one.
    • Why you shouldn’t ask the crew to do anything you wouldn’t gladly do yourself.
  • Recorded, in-depth Q&A with Nick who has 20 years of producing experience!

About Your Instructor

Nick Phillips has been a producer in the film business for nearly 20 years, in particular the world of genre films. His career started in New York in 1996 as a receptionist, when he began a nine year stint under Bob & Harvey Weinstein, working for Bob's Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in such franchises as Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, Mimic, The Crow, and Highlander. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of Project Greenlight, which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film Feast through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production.

In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City. He helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 Days of Night and Vacancy, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he oversaw a diverse slate of films including Straw Dogs, The Roommate, This Christmas and Country Strong, as well as being involved in franchises such as Underworld and Resident Evil.

Nick is currently serving as Executive Vice President of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-­founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (The Grudge, Hostel). During that time they have produced four films - Haunt with Jacki Weaver and Ione Skye; the award winning Beneath with Jeff Fahey (both released by IFC in 2014) and Devil's Backbone Texas, which Fox Digital Studios released in March 2015. They just wrapped their latest feature, entitled Pet, which stars Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, and Jennette McCurdy. They also co-­financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot Fight of the Living Dead with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV. That pilot was picked up by Cinedigm to launch their new genre-­centric network ConTV.com and premiered as a web series in March 2015.

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

Nick was fantastically generous with his information, experience and time. I got more practical information out of these 90 min than any film book. Please have him on again.” – Annelise P.

Man, you were fantastic! I love your depth of knowledge and you dedication to the genre. Both really came through in your presentation. I benefited hugely from you experience and presentation. Thanks for making yourself available!” – Larry W.

Awesome. Very educational. Thank you for your time.” – Joseph O.

It's obvious Nick is full of experience and is a great resource.” – Clifford D.

Seminar was mapped out well for different levels of attendee knowledge + good mix of examples from his own films mixed with other classics.” - Roland H.

Please do more webinars, I learned a lot and like your energy!” – Dominika P.

Very well done. Covered the material very well.” – Glenn C.

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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