Tips and TricksFor Pros

The Value of Checklists (even if you’re not drinking)

I’m traveling the country this summer with the cast and crew of our new show “Brew Dogs” (coming to the new Esquire Network on September 24– the network debuts on September 23 where G4 is now on your cable or satellite.)

In each city we brew a stunt beer and hold a tasting at the brewery. The first couple of times we did it things went well, but as it was a live shoot with 200 guests, there was some confusion.  What props did the brewery need to have on hand?  What time were we starting?  Which cameras were on the stars, and which ones on the audience?  Who was shooting insert shots? When should we serve the beer? Who was introducing whom?

After doing this twice, we developed a checklist.  Followed in order, the checklist let the props people know what to have on hand, and  when.  The camera department knew what to shoot.  Suddenly things were way more organized.

Doctors, pilots and others who do not normally drink beer while working have also found improved performance using checklists.  The next time you’re shooting anything complicated, try writing all the steps in order.  Shooting chaos doesn’t have to be chaotic.

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