With limited budgets, tight schedules, equipment failures, small crews and talent to wrangle, filming commercials on location can leave you feeling a bit like you’ve been through a cyclone. And then sometimes you are actually faced with a cyclone. That’s just another eventful day in the life of television commercial producer, Jill Munt.
When the team from Red Engine Creative, the commercial production arm of Channel Seven, were recently caught out by Cyclone Trevor in north Queensland their filming timeline fell apart. Their planned five day shoot for client Better Homes and Gardens, was to end with a full day of filming on Lady Musgrave Island, off the coast of Bundaberg. However the boat trip to the island was deemed too dangerous and an alternative location had to found – fast.
So who do you turn to in a crisis? For Jill the first call she made was to Stage and Screen travel manager, Phil Paull. “Phil received intermittent (and possibly panicked!!) phone calls from me on location and remained calm, efficient and professional throughout,” said Jill. “Re-routing us as needed, he asked sensible questions and it was comforting to know that such a sensible brain was on my side when the weather Gods certainly were not.”
Over a crisis breakfast meeting, the team decided to move the shoot to outback Longreach the following day. Phil set out to secure airfares, while Jill confirmed that the crew and talent (Better Homes and Gardens Editor in Chief – Julia Zaetta) could all commit to the new schedule and an extra day of filming. At 5pm the new location was confirmed and Phil pushed the green light on flights and car hire for the next day.
“When you’re travelling with a crew and talent the important thing is to minimise downtime, as everyone is being paid for their time and also overtime,” said Jill. “Phil understands that we need everything to run as seamlessly as possible and he’s always proactive with time saving, problem solving solutions.
“He thinks with a production mindset, he double checks everything and leaves nothing to chance. In 24 years of production there is no travel service or individual I have trusted as much as Phil! He even logged in on a Saturday to check we’d picked up the cars in Longreach and that the shoot was back on track.”