Okay, so I've worked on tons of films, from no budget to millions. However, I've been off the production wagon for a while, both because of my old job as an executive producer and my disability.
However, this past week I was able to work as a production assistant for an IMAX documentary "We the People". Now, I've been director, DP, producer, and Writer on different projects, but I needed the money to help me move, and I liked the premise. Not to mention, I've never even seen 70mm film, let alone a 70mm film camera, so it was exciting to be able to work with the format.
I made sure to take extensive notes on how their production was set up, ask everyone what their history with the project was, and take stock of how the ADs ran a set. And I have to say, it was refreshing to be with people who know what they are doing. There was no yelling, or belittling, or confusion. Everything ran properly, like a well-oiled machine.
And, it comes down to this...plan properly. The thing that separated them from the new production companies with less money...yes, the food was better, and yes the equipment was better, and yes the people were more experienced... was the preparation, and the fact they knew exactly what they wanted and how to get it. In addition, they had plenty of crew to work in the positions they needed. They brought their own generators to set and had their own trailers. But, the major thing is, they were prepared and they treated their people with respect.
So, take a lesson from it, if you're in production, treat everyone with respect and figure out what the heck you are doing, don't yell, it's not becoming, and keep your nose clean.