The Big Picture: Production Planning for Features and Television - 2019

The Big Picture: Production Planning for Features & Television

March 24, 2019 A Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee Workshop

For two full weekends in March, DGA AD/UPM members received valuable training during the workshop, The Big Picture: Production Planning for Features and Television. Held in the boardroom of the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters, the immersive course that began on March 9 and ended on March 24, was designed to develop and enhance film production knowledge and management skills of working Assistant Directors and Production Managers.

For the fourth year, this workshop was hosted by the Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee and taught by UPM Marie Cantin (Dante’s Peak, Collateral), UPM Brian Frankish (King Kong, Field of Dreams) and 2nd AD Redelia Shaw (Scandal, House of Lies), with the addition this year of Post-Production Consultant Russ Paris (Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, The Edge of Seventeen).

The attendees were selected by lottery as the class size was limited. They were required to already possess some working experience with scheduling and/or budgeting and to have read the instructor-provided script prior to the session. The instructors then led them through the ins and outs of the process via demonstrations, hands-on computer work and group exercises. Utilizing the sample script, the participants worked in teams to create a production plan that included critical assumptions, a shooting schedule and a budget that considered related topics such as: tax incentives, union agreements and risk management. The goal of the course was to help the participants acquire a strong foundation in the production planning skills they need to further advance their professional careers.

This year, the sessions also offered the knowledge of guest speakers who specialize in various aspects of film production including: UPM Susan Zwerman (Vamps, The Guardian) on visual effects, 1st AD Bob Lewis (The '70s, Sabrina The Teenage Witch) on safety matters, Scott Kelpinger from the production planning software company Final Draft on working with the program, Nancy Rae Stone from the California Film Commission and Green Slate VP Kathleen Thompson on tax incentives, Accountant Vicki Sawyer on managing production accounting, and clearance administrator John W. Smart on researching clearances and rights.

About the Instructors:

Marie CantinUPM Marie Cantin
As a UPM, Producer and Educator, Cantin is experienced in both independent and studio film and television. Some of her feature film credits include Roger Donaldson’s Dante’s Peak, Michael Mann’s Collateral, Shawn Levy’s Big Fat Liar, John Fortenberry's A Night at the Roxbury, Thomas Carter’s Save the Last Dance, Michael Miner’s The Book of Stars and Neal Jimenez & Michael Steinberg’s The Waterdance. A DGA member since 1988, Cantin is the former Chair of the Western AD/UPM Council, and was the recipient of the 2017 Frank Capra Achievement Award.


Brian E. FrankishUPM Brian Frankish
Frankish is a Producer/UPM with over 30-years of experience in film and television. Some of his credits include features such as Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams, Irwin Winkler’s The Net, John Guillermin’s King Kong, Rob Minkoff’s Stuart Little, Jon Avnet’s Righteous Kill, and the television series Max Headroom. A DGA member since 1975, Frankish serves as an alternate on the Western AD/UPM Council, and is the Co-Chair of the Council’s VFX/Digital Technology Committee.


Redelia Shaw2nd AD Redelia Shaw
Shaw heads the Digital Media Production program at Santa Monica College. Some of her credits include producing short films such as Anya Adams’ Lemonade Mafia and Monique Carmona's Forgive Me, and co-producing Violeta Ayala’s documentary Cocaine Prison. Her 2nd AD credits include series such as Scandal, Body of Proof and House of Lies. A DGA member since 2012, Shaw serves as a member of the Western AD/UPM Council Education Committee and the DGA African American Steering Committee.



Russ ParisPost-Production Consultant Russell Paris
Paris is currently an independent motion picture Post-Production Consultant, most recently on Pamela B. Green’s feature documentary Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché. His post-production supervisor credits include features such as Kelly Fremon Craig’s The Edge of Seventeen, Bruce Beresford's Driving Miss Daisy and Daniel Goldberg's Feds.

About the Committee:

The Western AD/UPM Council’s Education Committee works to assist and inspire DGA members in achieving their professional goals through continuing education in a dynamic industry. The Committee is co-chaired by Phillip Goldfarb and Jennie O’Keefe Armas with Cleve Landsberg serving as Vice Chair. The members are: David Bernstein, Michael Beugg, Lee Blaine, Marie Cantin, Kevin Collins, Alan B. Curtiss, Peter Dress, Elaine Dysinger Grant Engle, Buddy Enright, Brian Frankish, Mark Hansson Victor Hsu, Mark Indig, Janet Knutsen, Bob Lewis, Rusty Mahmood, David McWhirter, Linda Montanti, Marc Newland, Luc OuYang, Jaysene Overton, Michele Panelli-Venetis, Shawn Pipkin West, Richard Prince, Liz Ryan, Scottel Traceigh, Redelia Shaw, Dwight Williams, and Sally A. Young.

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