Any person working in production knows that working with celebrity talent can bring a host of challenges to a shoot. More often than not you’re dealing with restricted schedules, unique demands and sponsorship deals that need to be considered incredibly carefully. It takes a heck of a lot of pre-planning to make sure shoots run smoothly.
PSN tap into their worldwide network to explore what you need to be prepared for and what skills and tips are unique to shoot locations around the world. This week they speak to Toni Schulz, Service EP at PSN Spain, who says working with celebrities should be no different to working on any other shoot – except for one key consideration...
Q> When shooting with high profile talent, what are the biggest challenges?
PSN Spain> Anyone who works with celebrities knows that pinning-down their tight schedules can require a lot of hard work and planning, as their time is in such high demand. Despite this, there’s always a way to make it happen and to pull off a successful shoot. It’s all about working around their schedules to ensure that the shoot goes smoothly for them and for us. Working with high-profile talent is something we do regularly and well, so it’s second nature to us and just comes with the territory of our job. Our aim is to produce the best work we can most effectively, so we take those challenges in our stride and find bespoke solutions.
Q> What in particular do you have to be prepared for when working with celebrity talent?
Our objectives on any shoot – celebrity or not – is to make sure we provide an environment on set where everybody has a good time, feels comfortable and is able to do their job. So, in this sense, working with celebrity talent is similar to any other shoot!
That said, the one most important consideration that differentiates working with celebrities is the need to be discreet. We have to ensure absolute confidentiality that everything that happens and is shared on set stays on set. That means making sure crew keep their phones in their pockets. It’s simply a level of professionalism and respect you’d expect from working
Q> Naming no names, what is the most grandiose request you have had from a celebrity?
I wouldn’t say we’ve had any wildly outrageous requests from the talent we’ve worked with. There might be special requests like particular dietary or travel requirements, the need for a green room, or the talent might have a preference to work with a specific hair and makeup person.
We know what it’s like working in this industry, so we appreciate that talent have a job to perform. It’s imperative that the producer and the team can understand the reason for those requests. At the end of the day, celebrities are people just like us, and if they request things which would make them feel more comfortable or ‘at home’ during a shoot, then we see it as no problem at all– just as we’d do for any production.
Q> What shoot was a highlight for you when working with a celebrity talent?
When working with celebrity talent, when they’re a pro on-set and work well and to schedule, then every shoot is really a highlight!
Q> Which type of celebrities are hardest to pin down time-wise?
Football players and sports stars are always the most difficult to pin down due to their very tight schedules. Talent from those fields are known for having incredibly demanding itineraries. There’s a whole host of commitments, including their coaches, sponsors and game performances that determine what they’ll be doing and when. In our experience, planning well beforehand is the key to success with sports talent.
Q> Do you or your country have any special features which make it easy to work with celebrity talent?
Spain as a location itself has many of the same qualities as other popular shooting destinations – it’s well located for talent to get to, has a beautiful array of shoot landscapes to choose from and, of course, the weather is very appealing.
One of our most standout features as a company is our familiarity of working with celebrities and high-profile talent so regularly. Therefore, shooting is an overall easy experience both for the talent and for us. So everyone involved can be confident that everything flows smoothly and efficiently!