A film fixer is one of the chief drivers of many things that happen backstage during the production of a film, from pre-production scheduling to marketing. Interviews, site permissions, transportation, lodging, and location scouting are all handled by a film fixer. A fixer is a facilitator and a field resource. They are experts at every step of production, and their knowledge of the industry is beyond price. They are devoted to production demands on a technical, technological, financial, and environmental level and know the industry like the back of their hands. They are also dedicated and inquisitive researchers.
Knowledge of film locations, production, numerical, technical, and logistical components makes this profession indispensable: it speeds up, improves, adapts to reality, goes above and beyond the standards, and strives for perfection. To find a film fixer who is a unique line producer, capable of working in harsh environments while maintaining the network, equipment, and safety of the team is tough and you need to do a thorough research on the same. The network is more than just technological and geographical. He understands where the resources are in all fields of business and can find solutions to requirements.
What makes for a good fixer?
To make the production a success, a good fixer must possess specific talents or traits. While invaluable, knowledge of a second language may not be enough. A fixer needs to have insider information about the shoot location and his directory of connections should be full to the brim.
Common sense here is the knowledge that comes in handy when the message that the director wishes to send to the local team is translated and interpreted well. In order to accomplish quality work that is understood by all, a competent fixer not only transmits the translated material but also considers the culture and context of the country on the agenda so that the information is as clear as possible.
This is one of the most important aspects of becoming a good fixer and rests high up on the requisite list. A good fixer must minister over his contacts by fostering a productive relationship based on outcomes and trust. His relationships with other nations as well as localised connections should be frequently polished.
A fixer’s job demands high commitment towards the production firm. Many times, the presence of a fixer makes a successful production feasible. As a result, the dedication that a competent fixer provides builds up a stress-free environment and accommodates the best conditions for shooting.
As previously established, a skilled fixer seems to have a wide range of tasks within a production. It is important that they are properly structured, with strict adherence to deadlines and the provision of answers to issues that inevitably arise.
The work of a fixer is intrinsically linked to chalking out the blueprint of the travel, the management of the equipment on the way if necessary, and the management of the recording equipment.
This is fundamental. A local producer must have firsthand knowledge of the location where the production will take place. If an issue arises where the shoot was scheduled, the fixer will have to find a new site or find a solution that does not cause the production to be postponed.
Some instances many compel for tenacity. Everything may go wrong in a split second in the complex world of film. But, if the fixer is tenacious, the team is confident of him doing everything he can to restart production.
Experience in production
A competent fixer must be well-versed in the ins and outs of the industry. He must be familiar with the workforce, as well as the shooting schedule and any production requirements that the director or director of photography may have.
Understand the client’s requirements
Empathy for the client’s demands may prompt the fixer to request some adjustments from the crew that will benefit the shooting plan. Horizontal communication between the customer, fixer, and the shooting crew is required and appreciated.
Skills in negotiation and financial management
This job necessitates a lot of math. Organising locations, drumming up the materials, the film crew, food, lodging, and a long list of other tasks are all part of the job. Time is the most important asset in any production, and proper management of all of these factors will give it.
Knowledge of filming permits and laws
Rudimentary to a fixer’s work, production needs someone who is well aware of the rules of the nation in which the shooting is taking place in order to prevent permission issues that will cause delay. Before the team even lands in the nation, everything must be in order.
One must have come across the phrase “local fixer” hurled around so often in the television industry. Getting down to brass tracks, a local fixer is someone who organises everything for an out-of-town team to shoot, which included everything from interviews, site permissions to logistics of transportation, motels, and food. This person is the industry’s own magic wand that makes everything possible!