My favorite way of looking at a show’s progress is by looking at the Post Schedule’s dashboard view. The dashboard is my personalized way of looking at: when episodes are scheduled for network review, when the network’s notes are due back, and all of the metadata between those dates. By metadata I mean the additional information, such as: when a team was expected to deliver a cut vs when they actually did (i.e., the number of days late), or the cumulative number of days late across the entire season.
The Dashboard is created by the Post Supervisor for the Post Supervisor. It is first and foremost, your tool for keeping track of every episode’s status. Over the years I’ve tweaked the dashboard for every show, but recently settled into a sheet that minimally contains the following information:
- Edit Start: when each episode is expected to start, and who is working on each episode.
- Episode Due Dates at each stage of post (Rough Cut, Fine Cut, etc…).
- Note Due Dates: this is when stakeholders giving notes are supposed to deliver them to the production company before overages occur.
- Total Days Late: if your production company wants to recover “breakage” from the network, this is often a good place to start. Wasted editorial days waiting for notes can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
- Color & Mix: usually given as “week of” this allows you to hold time with you finishing facilities.
- Delivery Date: always begin with the end in mind!
- Air Date: This is you ultimate back-against-the-wall deadline.
From my experience, the biggest problem with the Dashboard is also its greatest strength: the data density. What’s useful to the Post Supervisor (to demonstrate domain mastery by being able to quickly answer any obscure question about the Post Schedule), is going to be information overload to a creative executive or financial stakeholder. “What am I looking at here?” is often heard from an executive producer upon being handed a dashboard schedule for the first or fiftieth time. But then again, keeping stakeholders appraised is the probably every Post Supervisor’s biggest challenge!