9 things you don’t want to hear in a pre-production meeting

By - CTL
February 6, 2017

By Marcus Honesta.

Pre-production meetings are tricky to navigate. They seem to go on for all eternity. The paperwork deemed essential for their success is so voluminous it’s a surprise the Greens aren’t jumping up and down and screaming about destroying rainforests and affecting climate change.

Shooting boards that are supposed to represent what the final commercial will look like are minutely scrutinised. Wardrobe, talent, props locations and much, much more are all placed under a microscope by people desperately trying to understand exactly how the vast amounts of money they are shelling out will be spent.

In truth, (although it is rarely acknowledged) come pre-production time, the fact of the matter is the ship has already sailed.

However a good pre-production meeting usually means a good shoot. Here are 9 things that should, if you hear them or similar, ring alarm bells.

1: “Bugger, this is the wrong script.” (Copywriter)

2: “Not my fault.” (Producer in response to 1)

3: “I can’t see anything in this script that will make anyone want to buy my product.” (Marketing Director 4 days before shoot)

4: “It fits on the storyboard.” (Art Director on being informed by director the voice over is too long)

5: “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it in post.” (Too many to print)

6: “Do all the other children understand I’m the star.” (said by 9 year-old lead talent.)

7: “If you don’t sign off on everything now, we’ll miss our on air date.” (Producer to Marketing Manager.)

8: “I don’t see what cows have to do with buttermilk.” (Ice cream client getting involved in production for the first time.)

9: “The agency has conspired to make the talent more interesting than my product.” (Same ice cream client in same post-production meeting.)

Kermit the Frog a Muppet character created by Jim Henson

Exactly; “You can’t make this shit up”. These conversations actually took place. Except the copywriter in 1: didn’t say bugger.

In the spirit of good fun, and dare we say truth in advertising; please share with us some of your own “Oh My God” moments from your own PPM’s.




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