Episode 87 - GREGOR WILSON - Production Manager (2 replies)
Team Deakins speaks with Gregor Wilson in this episode and looks closely at the role of production manager. Gregor tells us that one of the first important things he does is hiring the right crew and working to lock in the budget. We learn about Bond companies and the function they fulfill. Gregor shares his experience on Prisoners - his witnessing the relationship between Denis and Roger, his surprise at the cable costs of the camera crew, and the role the weather played in the shooting of the film. He also talks about mistakes that can be made in his role, the importance of stress management, and dealing with the long hours of production. We also delve into keeping up with new technology and dealing with rebates. A deep dive into the wide-ranging role of the production manager!
Please post further discussion and comments below.
I enjoyed this episode of the podcast. I like it when you dig into the roles that other (non-camera) jobs play in the process of making movies. I did take offense to one comment Gregor made, that crews and their desire to make overtime are the reason we have long days. I have been an IATSE member for 25 years and the vast majority of crew members I know want to work shorter days. My wife is a 1st AD and she is always trying to schedule shorter days. The push back always comes from an inability to lengthen the schedule. The crew has almost no input on the length of the schedule or the hours worked. Other than that, loved the episode, love the Podcast. Thank you.
Productions certainly want to keep schedules tight and, in many cases, would rather a crew work long hours than return to an expensive set or hire an actor for an extra day. That said, it is absolutely true that some crew members like working long hours as they can earn good money in overtime. Crews may not have a choice but there has been little push back from the organizations that represent them and that could make a difference. As became apparent when both Haskell Wexler and Conrad Hall were involved in the work hours issue, you need solidarity.