Sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes the mistake is so huge you feel certain this will be the one that will get you fired. Maybe even blacklisted from ever working in this business again.
Mistakes run the gamut from:
- Oh Shit – I told the Show Runner s/he could start next week but I actually don’t have money for him to start for another two weeks and he’s already in the office working.
- Damn – Somehow I left the Field Producer off the budget and I need to find $28,000 dollars.
- Smack Me Upside My Head – I didn’t get the location agreement signed and we won’t be able to air anything we shot.
- Shut Up – The network is expecting the first episode on March 2nd and I told the post-production department delivery was March 10th.
After you have made the mistake you have a few choices:
- Leave and start a commune in Idaho.
- Come up with a story that implies you had no idea there even was a problem until JUST THIS MINUTE and then blame someone else.
- Secretly try and fix the problem before too many people find out.
- Tell your Executive-in-Charge of Production– “Hey, we’ve got a problem.”
Anything but #4 is gonna get you going the long way around nowhere into a slimy pit of bad shit.
TELL THE TRUTH. Most people don’t. They lie. Don’t do it.
Here’s what the truth will get you:
- People will be pissed at you; but hey do you remember who was pissed at you 2 years ago? Exactly my point. Everyone will get over it.
- You will have more people working to help you solve the situation. You’ll need more people because when you’re in the thick of a nasty ass problem, you’re problem-solving skills are not the sharpest. You need reinforcements and quite frankly you’ll need ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. You may even need ‘out-of-this-realm’ thinking.
Whatever you’re particular “If I tell them I will die” situation is, remember this is television. It’s your job, it’s important, it’s someone’s company, it’s a lot of things, but it’s also just television. Tell the truth. Work hard to fix it, and because you’ve worked your way to Line Producer you usually can fix it. If you’re honest and you swear on a stack of time cards you’ll never make that mistake again, you’ll likely be forgiven and hired again.