St. John The Divine Cathedral - Elton John's Aids Foundation award dinner.

Producing On Location

Although I’ve been a photographer, filmmaker, writer, and have worked for newspapers, magazines, events, I’ve always maintained that the essential thread that connects everything I’ve done is “Productions.”
The ability to organize, predict, anticipate, prepare, book, direct, and articulate goals and priorities, IS “Production,” and determines whether a story or film, ever is released, and exceeds expectations.
The “Creative” side of any project is our dream. But whether that dream comes to exist, is the nuts and bolts of “Production.”
Here, I want to touch on some of the challenges and successes of producing on Location.

Whether a location needs to be dressed, built, lit, or is weather-sensitive, the amount of time is urgent for every crew.

For talent who have to be dressed, made-up, styled, the space and lighting, and temperature controls have to be monitored.

Who is the audience and what is their first impression? Is that controlled by geography or camera angles?


What we see here, are directors and producers walking through camera and cast movements, lighting specific to scenes, and taking advantage of location qualities.

Creating image, and production on location demands foresight.  We walk-through locations both with the creative and production aspects in mind.

What shots are needed, desired, or tell the story? How does the audience feel, and see, the story?

The Location loses value, without evaluating and balancing both the creative AND pragmatic aspects. Whether a winter snowstorm, a wrapped palm tree, a vineyard created on a New York hotel rooftop, a collapsed structure on a Montauk pier following a hurricane, or a stage built at a yacht club, we’ve produced events, films and editorial stories.

Production challenges are broken down into basic areas: Natural issues: weather, terrain, time of day, time of year.

Societal issues: permits, approvals, laws, rules, regulations.

Content issues: models, children, animals, style, look.

Working with the “content” issues means thinking from the perspective of what we are trying to say, and then finding the way to say it. With the cooperation and understanding of the team, our flexibility allows us to produce. Working with the “natural” and “societal” issues, is a quick understanding of limitations and acceptance of reality. Refusal to do so can cost a production valuable time and resources.