I like to call the week before a play opens or a film begins shooting “crunch time”. No matter how much time you have given yourself for rehearsals, to prep for a production or how prepared you think you are, this is a stressful week with lots to juggle…and for some reason there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get is all done.
For a theatre production this is probably the first time you get a chance to work in the space/theatre you will be performing in. Certain adjustments need to be made to accommodate the new space and sometimes the cast is a little thrown and forget some of the lines and direction they were solid on the rehearsal prior. This is typical and why the term “Bad Dress, Good Show” makes sense.
For film during this time you are finalizing details with casting minor roles/extras, rentals, permits, scheduling, gathering props and wardrobe etc. to make sure everything is ready to go for the duration of the production prior to the first shoot day.
The most important thing to remember during crunch week is Don’t Panic! Emotions are usually running high and sometimes you are even second guessing the idea of why you wanted to produce your project in the first place. Don’t worry, we all tend to feel that way at some point especially if you are new to producing.
Having detailed lists of prop, wardrobe, scene, character and location breakdowns are a life saver. This is where your Production Bible becomes your most important tool to keep it all together. I also like to write additional lists of task that need to be accomplished for each department and check them off as I go. I try to break to big picture down into many smaller and manageable pieces so it’s not so overwhelming.
During Crunch Week I try to get lots of rest (but it’s not always realistic) , productions are a marathon and will take everything you’ve got…and them some. I don’t always remember to eat when I am busy so I have to keep reminding myself to so I have the energy to get things done. I also force myself to go for a 20 minute walk each day to clear my head and release some stress.
What are some things that you do in order to help get through Crunch Week? I would love to hear how other deal with the stress and the pressure.
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