1. During the weekend of filming and subsequent pick-up shoot days, stay home because you're 80 miles away.
2. Harness all of the guilt from not helping during production into doing as much as possible in post-production.
3. Scour the internet for copyright-free audio samples for the much-needed auxiliary sounds that will be extremely helpful to director/editor.
4. Never underestimate the power of foley work or auxiliary sounds. The right "fork clinking against a plate" sound effect can subconsciously sell a scene.
5. Always watch the final cut one more time before the deadline. There are always going to be elements to improve. For example, in 'Tracker,' there's a big reveal scene under which we had no real production audio. I watched this scene countless times and thought about it over and over. Ultimately, I found the silence too deafening and wanted to pump up the scene. Dave threw a heartbeat sound effect in, which helped immensely. I had the idea of adding a ringing sound like one would hear after being too close to a loud explosion. This led me down a rabbit hole exploring hertz levels and trying to find which one was just right. It had to be high enough to almost hurt the ears, but not too high so that it was out of human range.
6. Stay up late on nights that Dave the editor is working. There are so many needs in post-production, even for a ten minute film. Being present to answer an email request for more audio assets or asking the filmmaker incessantly, 'What else do you need?' can be quite helpful.
7. Involve your family. While you're away in a headphone-wearing, eyes-buried-in-your-laptop cave, life still exists. Take the time to plop your four-year-old on your lap and show him what you're doing. Ask your wife to watch the bloated 22 minute cut and try to help her to see through the multiple takes and garbage that will end up on the cutting room floor. Ask her opinion. She will provide an invaluable outsider view which will shape the way the public perceives a creation. My wife recommended we cut out a line that referenced the husband looking at adult websites while his wife was out of town. Neither Dave or I saw that the line could be perceived as a creepy parallel between looking at illicit material online and keeping an eye on his daughter. Thanks Roz!
7a. You're working from home - take advantage. If you don't want to wear a shirt, don't wear a shirt!
8. Be supportive while constructively critiquing. One thing about filmmaking that I find equally perplexing, maddening but ultimately enjoyable is that it's totally subjective. It's art. It's creativity. Everyone will view your art a little differently. There's never just one right or wrong answer. The improv mentally I've learned from my wife and brother-in-law of 'Yes and...' is very helpful.