Utterances:: Film and TV
While prepping for filming the Syd-Hobart Yacht Race, I ran into a young girl who was working in the Marina cleaning out one of the yachts. After a quick chat, found out that she was actually another film-maker, who had done extensive work in Holland as a camera operator. She told me one story, which I thought I would share, as great advice.
When coming to Australia, not knowing anyone in the industry, (or country for that matter!), she realized that the only way to find work was to ask! Simple. When she had checked the websites, and rung the stations “doing the rounds” trying to find work with the obvious choices, (SBS, ABC, Ten…) she kept getting the same answer. No.
So next step, she rang ABC, and asked to speak to the head camera operator, but ofcourse, they refused, and wanted to know who she was. She explained that she was a camera op from Holland looking for work here in oz, and when she asked about work, the same answer was given. “I’m afraid there is no jobs listed at the moment…” Thats when she replied with: “Yes. I know. Obviously. I’ve been working in this industry for “x” many years, and I have never once seen an advertisement for the camera department. That would be ridiculous. We only ever advertise through word of mouth. Thats why I wanted to speak to **insert name of someone in the depatment**”
The great part of the story however, was seeing as she had no connections heere, she had to just make up some random name! And she still managed to get through to someone in the department! Needless to say, the next week she was on location doing a shoot.
I think the moral of this story, is that you can never approach something in the film industry without thinking it through first. There are amazing opportunities out there, but you have to tackle them with the right mind-set. It’s not always about who you know, as is ALWAYS preached by film-makers. Sure, it helps if your married to Walter Salles, but dont worry if your not. There is always a way.
When making the decision weather to go to film school or not, I realized the only reason to go, for me personally, would be too meet like minded people and network. But I now know that you can do that through other avenues, like my friends story suggests.
I’d love to get a forum going from people who have travelled overseas to work… how did you find a production team? Was it easy? What were the standards? Any tips for those wanting to do the same? I’ll keep you posted if I set one up. I think it would be great. But anywho, thats all for now!
The crew is really what brings something to life. It doesnt matter how much money you have, or great someone looks like on paper. The crew needs to be picked out, by you, and worked with before you can make a decision. Every person, from the runner to the producer, is important. Everyone is interdependant on one another. Thats what I love about film. Every new production team is an organism in itself! Without the lungs, the heart dies.
If one person is unhappy on a film set, it brings the moral down of the whole crew. If one person isn’t doing their job, then it means that someone else isn’t doing theirs either. Basically, you have a choice. You hire someone, and if they screw up once, forgive them. Maybe they are nervous, it’s probably not their ability that let them down, but an exterior factor like forming new reltionships and getting used to your workflow. But if they make the same mistake again, sure, it’s probably their fault, however, I would still forgive them and let them have another chance to prove themselves. Now, the third time? Here you make a decision. Keep them on board, or loose them.
The point I want to make however, is this. From that moment on, if you choose to keep them onboard, every mistake they make, EVERY single one, is your responsibility. You are the one that hired them and chose to keep them on your team.
If you have a condescending attitude towards the crew lower down in rank, or less respect for a different department that you, it’s going to be a tough road to create the film that everyone has in mind. The dynamics of your crew are lost.
This was just a thought to myself for future reference; don’t ever blame bad crew when shit hits the fan.
Forgive them, and blame yourself for hiring them – they probably have the potential to be amazing in a different circumstance!