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Prep for TV show

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I would like to have 3 days prep for the mixer.
Pickup and Load In, Production Meeting and a Prep day on Friday with all my crew
I would like two days Prep for the Boom
and one day for the Utility.


Sorry David,  I don’t have all that prep in  my budget and never have had  on any show I have ever done. Especially 1st year TV.
Here’s what I have:

You - 2 days (1 Production Meeting and 1 load in)
Andrejs + Rob - 1 day each (load in)
All prep days are 10 hours.

Does this sound right?

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These days I'm happy if I get just one day! And that's only me. Boom-ops don't get one at all. Utility? Yes, I have heard rumors of some productions who have them.

Usually I'll get a full day to load and unload after wrap (so half a day for each). That's it. Don't even get to see the locations beforehand. Only if I ask several times, and If I am willing to not get paid

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In the US, on TV, I tried to go on tech scouts, but was often refused. They would routinely try to have my load in day be the same day as the production meeting, or the studio mandated sexual harassment meeting, so that I only had one day of prep. The boom would likely not get a prep day. Utility would have a load in day with the mixer. Wrap day too, maybe, but usually wrap day just for the mixer. Prep for sound on TV and features has been dramatically reduced.

In the UK, on TV, the mixer always seems to go on tech scouts. We get a week of pay, typically. They shoot in "blocks" of 2 or 3 episodes, with a break in the middle, where you scout and prep. The mixer is usually paid for the down week, and goes on the scouts and to meetings. Producers seem to not want to pay boom or utility any prep, although I did get a load in day for my utility, which I think is crucial. On my last series, we only had 2 days between blocks, the scouts for the next block were always while we were shooting, and production was very surprised that I elected to mix those days rather than go on tech scouts. Seemed an obvious choice to me. But they did hire another mixer to go on the scouts for me. In the US, on any show I was ever on, sound was not represented at the scouts between episodes, as there was no break in the schedule, and the locations would never changed anyway. I would try to argue that our presence at least gives us the opportunity to be prepared. Even if locations can not be changed, they can be improved.

In the UK, on features, it seems prep is a whole thing. I have heard of weeks being given to mixers. And a week or more being given to boom to talk to costumes and "prep" for radio mikes, etc. The utility will prep the kit while mixer goes on scouts. That kind of thing. I ave yet to experience this myself, but I do hear of this practice starting to wane.


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I know!! And I won't tell American producers that since crew here is not paid to wrap, camera is on the truck and gate up within 15 minutes of camera wrap. You won't believe how fast people work when they're not on the clock, let alone on double time.


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