Thanks so much, Bri! As you mentioned, my series The Late, Late News is a remotely produced show. That’s because the actor who plays our lead anchorman is based in Los Angeles (originally Toronto) and the rest of the cast is based in Baton Rouge.
It can get very challenging at times to do a show where cast and crew is spread out across the country, because you have to work out scheduling with each actor on an individual basis, and not every actor’s schedule allows them to work on the one particular day you want to shoot an episode/episodes.
I’ve frequently had to reschedule shoots because of this. That said, communication is crucial to ensuring the success of a long distance production. I do contact my actors and crew on Facebook and email, and we all agree to meet at a specific day/time to shoot an episode of the show.
Once that’s completed, the footage and audio is uploaded to Dropbox for editing. I also use Dropbox to send over the scripts for each episode, and have recently used a scheduling app called Doodle to better arrange for production scheduling. Since I’ll be working with a showrunner for season 3 in 2019, I’ve also set up a contact spreadsheet w/email and phone info for each cast and crew member.
In the past, I wanted to have regular Google Hangouts for us to chat about our plans for the series, scheduling and episode concerns. We had one meeting to do that, but that was it since everyone’s schedules didn’t line up. I do hope that we can do that again soon, especially now that I’m establishing a writers’ room for the show in season 3.
The production part of this whole process, though, is the most difficult. I’m a writer, and that’s my main level of expertise. I admit I haven’t been the most decisive when it comes to sticking with story ideas and release dates, and that’s hurt the show. My lack of experience on the production end has also negatively affected the series’ progress, IMO, which is why I’m working with a showrunner to smooth those parts out for season 3.
I do believe that things will get more streamlined as a result of working with a showrunner, and that things will be more efficient production-wise. Overall, it is completely doable to pull off a long distance production. From my experience, though, you just need to have the experience and the tools (scheduling apps, spreadsheets, constant contact with your cast/crew, Dropbox or other cloud-based storage platforms) to successfully accomplish such a production.