My head is spinnin’ from the Producer’s Workshop today. Brian has worked as a producer before, but this is all new to me. From 9-5, Tom Busch taught the participants about the responsibilities of a UPM. He demonstrated breaking down a script, scheduling, and budgeting. He showed us many of the accompanying documents, such as the assumption sheet, projected cash flow chart, post schedule, contract lists, deal memos, day out of days for cast and various departments, *deep breath* complete schedule, call sheets, and production reports. And he also gave us a brief tutorial of Movie Magic. Whew - just typing that wears me out!
It was a great crash course, and Tom had a lot of entertaining stories from his Hollywood experiences to illustrate his points.
The most nerve-wracking part of the class for me came near the beginning. Because Tom used our script for his demonstrations, everyone took the first fifteen minutes to read the screenplay. I held my breath as the sixty people in the room read our words. Were they laughing at the right time? Crying in the correct place? Or were they bored out of their minds? Flipping pages have never sounded so loud! Fortunately several people told us afterwards how much they liked the script, but that could have been because they were angling for a job on set.
After it was over, Brian and I had the pleasure of taking Tom to dinner, where we got to pick his brain even more. I just hope I can retain all of it. The scary thing is I get the feeling he just scratched the surface of everything I need to know.