In this article we are going to portray the life of a fixer in Spain, from the time he takes off the crustings from his eyelids in the morning until he arrives home after his working day.
It seems that if we are not directly related to the world of celluloid, the figure of the fixer is not usually known. So let’s shed some light on this profession.
Let’s remember that a fixer provides everything necessary for a successful production
Now we are going to describe the daily life of a fixer in Spain. But if you want to know what a fixer is in more detail, we recommend you to read this article.
Beginning of the production for a fixer
First of all, let’s start with the presentations. Let’s say that our Fixer is called Marta and she has been working in all kinds of productions for several years.
Those of us who work in this field know that every production is different, so the first thing Marta has to identify is the type of project she has in her hands.
As Marta knows, the needs of each shoot change depending on the objective of the final product. Is it a video targeted to social networks? A TV commercial? A documentary?
What information do we have?
We know it is a production for a fashion brand that wants to shoot in several locations in Spain with a road trip concept.
Now that the type of production is defined, Marta notifies the team and the work begins.
Let’s see all the things that Marta has to do in a production.
Normally and I say this because, as we all know, every production is a different world. Productions usually last about 6 days of prproduction for 2 days of shooting. In the same way that a chef needs a good mise en place to cook, in this world the preparation is fundamental.
And who is in charge of “doing the shopping” for our production?
That’s right friends, the Fixer.
We are going to take a trip through these 6 days of production to see how Marta prepares even the smallest detail of the production that is about to begin.
DAY Nº 1
On the first day of proproduction, a lot of coffee is consumed. It is a day in which decisions are made, the staff is chosen and certain factors that will be fundamental for the quality and the final result of the production are evaluated.
Let’s say that it is not an easy day for Marta.
The client wants to record in several locations throug- hout Spain and, on this first day, has to agree on which will be these specific locations, decide who will be our Director and who our DoP.
The casting, which will correspond to the requirements of the script, of actors and extras who are going to participate in the project will be carried out.
But step by step.
Definitions of the locations
Marta, as a good Fixer, has a quite extensive portfolio that she has been shaping during all her years of experience in the profession.
Let’s remember that the concept of this project is a road trip, so the locations you choose for it must be different from each other. In this way you will get that feeling of traveling through Spain.
They must also be locations that provide great visual value, and at the same time they can be found by anyone on a trip.
Marta proposes a list of locations to the team, from which a first selection is made taking into account the time of year in which it is going to be shot, the weather, ease of access, aesthetics, etc. After several cuts, the definitive ones are selected.
They decide that the road trip will be along the coast of Valencia, starting from the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, through locations such as the Red Wall, Altea and Denia and ending in Las Salinas de Torrevieja.
Marta creates a document with images of these places to show the client and get their final approval.
Are you interested in knowing more about our locations?
Find the most important locations in Spain to make productions.
Hiring a director
We know that Marta has a file with her locations, but she also has another file with all the directors who have worked with her in the past.
But Marta does not only work with directors who have already worked with her. Marta constantly updates her files and you could even say that she is a finder of new talent.
Also, since she has more contacts than the doorman at Studio 54, she likes to stop by a couple of partner agencies from time to time that provide her with staff of all kinds for productions.
For no other reason than to say hello and have a quick look around.
Marta proposes several directors that she believes can fit in with the type of project they have in hand. But the final decision is not hers: the whole management team takes part in this difficult decision.
Once decided, we can move on to the next point.
Hiring a DoP
Once the Director is well defined, you have to find your better half. We are talking about the Director of Photog- raphy, or as we know him in field the DoP.
Hiring a good DoP is crucial to obtain an optimal result in the shooting. The Director and the DoP must be in perfect harmony. It is not an easy task.
Once again, Marta has to pull a rabbit out of the hat and offer the team several candidates for such an important company.
Thanks to her skills and contacts, she has created a very good relationship with an agency that has some of the best DoPs and Directors in the world today.
Taking into account all the above mentioned, Marta proposes some candidates for the management team to decide which DoP is the best suited for this production.
DAY Nº 2
Es momento para el “trabajo de campo”. Hoy Marta tiene que desplazarse a las localizaciones y hacer fotografías actualizadas de las localizaciones propuestas. Lo que en el mundo de las producciones se cononce como Fresh-Scout.
Why is this done? Well, it’s very easy. Let’s imagine that we have selected a location in Altea.
You know: the typical coastal town of white houses, beautiful and with an unbeatable climate.
But right on the wall that we wanted to use as a background to shoot one of the scenes, there is now a graffiti that reads “I LOVE YOU BABY”.
After cursing the inventor of the airbrush, Marta has to look for another location as an alternative to the perfect one she had pre-selected as a location.
Do you think this is an exception? Nothing could be further from the truth. Graffiti, construction sites, roadblocks, change of business… The locations change much more than the Fixers would like.
DAY Nº 3
This is another day of formalities. Another crazy day for Marta and for any Fixer in Spain.
Today she has to leave the contracts of a drone opera- tor, a good photographer to do shootings, an Art Direc- tor, a makeup specialist and a stylist for the looks.
Having a drone for productions is becoming a “must”. Nowadays it is quite rare not to find an aerial plane in this type of production. And we want it all.
So Marta puts on her running shoes and goes to visit a couple of drone operators.
As she has to face the relevant agencies in each location, Marta makes sure to hire the services of a drone operator with all the permits in order to carry out the production without any problems.
We know that the worst enemy of a good production is time. We need to be in constant struggle with it in order to make the most of it.
Photographer, stylist and makeup artist
In any production that is worthwhile, in addition to the normal shooting, a shooting of the film is done.
Marta needs for this production a global style, careful, but casual. So she contacts a stylist friend who is in Marta’s archive and who always has everything going for her.
Talking with her stylist friend, Marta lets her know that she is also looking for a makeup person. Her friend recommends several makeup artists she has worked with before. We almost have it.
Now we need to find a person with magic in their hands to portray the work of the two people mentioned above. Once again, Marta pulls out her file to find a photographer for the production.
This is a very good photographer who had already worked with Marta before, but feeling sorry for herself she has to reject the work, as it just overlaps with another one she already had arranged.
Marta is a bit down because she cannot count on her, but she lets herself be recommended and at the end she leaves the contract of a photographer who is her colleague closed.
The Art Director is the person who designs, produces and aesthetically directs a film or television production. He or she is a professional who knows how to interpret a script and give form to it by creating visual universes with appropriate stylistic elements and artistic resources.
In other words, he makes you “eat with your eyes”. And Marta needs one.
After some calls she gets three possible Art Directors for this production.
She transports the information to the management team and they are in charge of selecting the Art Director that best suits the project in question.
DAY Nº 4
This is a key day in pre-production. You could say that it is the day of the tests. Today we will decide if we have a good production pace or if we will have to use more days.
It is the day of the organization of the logistics in charge of transporting material and personnel to the shoot. That is, you have to organize the number of vans that will be needed to take everything to the planned locations.
It is the day when you have to make the reservations in the hotel for the production staff.
It is also the day when Marta rents all the necessary ma- terial for the production. And since it is a testing day, the following meetings and checks are made:
It’s time for a PPM (pre-production meeting). The team composed of Director, Director of Photography, Producer, Gaffer and Art Director; hold a meeting at the locations to discuss the shooting plan.
There, possible problems in the production are discussed and solutions are provided.
The costume and make-up test will be carried out; the stylist will make the appropriate arrangements that the Director considers for the shoot. Everything must remain perfect until the moment of recording.
We will check that the equipment, both the one that has travelled with the client and the one rented, are in perfect condition for the shooting.
A shooting insurance is made to cover the possible damage of the use of the material, as well as losses, thefts and robberies.
The important moment arrives. In the next two days of shooting, Marta arrives first and then leaves last. It is clear that everyone at this time is clear about their role in the production.
But we have seen that many of the factors depend directly on the figure of the Fixer. What’s more, we dare say that without the figure of the Fixer many productions wouldn’t go ahead.
Fixer in Spain during production
You’ve probably seen Pulp Fiction, haven’t you? It’s great to make this analogy to talk about the role of the Fixer in the production.
A Fixer in Spain is a “Mr. Wolf”. He is the person in charge of solving the problems that arise organically in all productions.
Just as we used to talk about when a location that we had thought was perfect for production suddenly became a problem because of graffiti, so Marta had to run and solve it. It happens with many other things during the shooting.
A light breaks and we have to get another one in a hurry and run, Marta takes care of it.
We are in the middle of filming and suddenly the police arrive. Marta is in charge of talking to them, showing them the corresponding recording permits and seeing that everything is ok.
That, against all odds, it starts raining and we have to look for an alternative location… once again Marta has the solution.
your perfect production #
your perfect production #
your perfect production #
your perfect production #
your perfect production #
You may not have known the figure and profession of the Fixer in Spain, but you have just read the amount of things a Fixer usually does in his day-to-day life. And it’s not just a matter of a few things.
That’s why, my friends, when we meet a “Marta”, that is to say a good Fixer, at the level of client-Fixer we can be sure that the whole project will come out just as it was planned.
Now that you know what a good Fixer does on a daily basis, do not doubt that in Fonktown we have the best Fixers in Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica.
They will give the best of themselves to take your project to the top.
Long live to the Fixer!