There’s a lot that plays into creating a great final video. Having the right team members is the most important piece of the puzzle. One of the best qualities you can find in an artist is an open mind. This is especially true when dealing with video production. Why?
Typically artists are sensitive to their work and like to make every project their own. It is ok to have pride in your work but it is not ok to be close minded. Collaboration is part of the art. Most of our shoots have 3-5 crew members and a few clients. That is a lot of people with a lot of ideas. Keeping an open mind doesn’t mean doing everything that everyone is telling you. Keep in mind the Hierarchy of Roles on set to keep things moving and keep everyone happy. Unless you are running behind and have to get the shoot back on schedule, you should listen to people’s ideas when given to you. As an artist you want to make each project the best you can while keeping clients happy, on budget and on schedule.
Here’s a few tips to keep an open mind on your next shoot:
If you don’t continue to improve your craft, people will get better than you. Even when you are great you can’t stop. Being great today doesn’t mean you will be great tomorrow. One way you can continue to grow is by being open minded. By listening to others and hearing their ideas and ways of thinking, you will see new ways of doing things. I love working with gaffers and talking with the key grips. Listening to ways that they can rig lights can give you new ideas on how you can better (and more efficiently) light a scene. When someone suggests moving the camera a certain way or positioning talent in a different spot that you originally thought of, the first reaction may be to ignore and continue what you were doing. But if you have the time, why not take a minute to listen and look at what they are suggesting, you may find another option. There are times when after listening to another thought I find myself choosing a combination of my idea and one that was suggested. In the end, my job is to create a final product that the client is happy with and I challenge myself to make sure each frame of the video helps tell a story in a creative way.
It isn’t always easy to take in every voice onset. The more responsibility you have in your role, the more voices you will hear. Remember that you need to keep the client happy most importantly. On top of that, you want the crew members to respect you. Whether you are the directer or PA, make sure you do the above.
I found this mini doc from Eli and felt it was appropriate to add in this post. Now it is 15 minutes but very good. It talks about creativity and keeping the client happy at the same time. They interviewed the right people for this and they touch on what I’ve mentioned above. If you have the time, enjoy!
I hope you continue to keep an open mind onset and continue to grow in your respected field. This is a big part of the philosophy at 522 Productions and the reason I continue to improve as a cinematographer.