5 Tips For Working Under The Wire


Oh no! You’re still waiting for that last piece of music from your composer, and some of your media has gone corrupted AND your audio engineer wants to record new VO… and you have less than twenty-four hours to get it all done to make a deadline!

Sound familiar? I think it’s fair to say many if not all filmmakers have found themselves in an “under the wire” type situation where they have to work around the clock over two days to solve things that need a week ‘s time and make sure it’s perfect for a deadline. It’s these moments that are hard but worth it once our baby is locked and ready for release. But they are trying, man are they trying…

I have a few things I do that help when I work under the wire and since I just found myself in that situation, they’re fresh on my mind. I thought I’d share them with you here and please feel free to add your own in the comments section.

5 Tips When Working Under The Wire

1. Let others know to leave you alone.
Inform your significant others, roommates, loved ones, pretty much anyone you regularly come into contact with that it would be best not to disturb you while you’re in the thick of it unless it’s an emergency. An actual emergency, like someone lost a limb.

2. Turn off distractions.
You may think this is a no-brainer but it’s far easier said than done. Ignore the fun email from a friend or a phone call from a family member. Do not check Facebook or Twitter. Forget text messages. Again, only emergencies should capture your attention. Otherwise, it can all wait. You have work to do. Remember the days when people couldn’t reach us with the press of a button?

3. Dial down the drama.
You’re under the wire so by nature, you are going to be high stress and tense. (And if you’re not, please share…) The last thing you need is additional drama. The reality of the situation provides enough, so do what you can to breath and not take things too emotionally.

4. Be direct with everyone.
Yes, there are times for being delicate with your words but this is not one of them. Be direct and as concise as possible. It will not only save you time and energy but it will provide a greater chance that you will get exactly what you need. Be respectful yet firm.

5. Have a treat ready for yourself.
At the end of the grind, there will be sunshine and you deserve a treat for getting the job done. And even if you don’t, rather than beat yourself up, learn from it and still give yourself a treat for trying. I like a great bottle of wine, which sometimes I’ll even share with my husband.

Happy filming!