Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I am going to devote a few posts to collaboration. I think too many young filmmakers feel the need to do everything themselves- write, shoot, produce, direct, edit. But that's not how good films are made. Films are made by people with a diverse range of talents coming together to contribute their own piece of the puzzle. The group is stronger than any individual member. (This is probably why we have never had a great Ringo Starr or Charlie Watts solo album.)

I tell students they do not have to know how to do everything, they just have to develop
the language to get what they want. This is often a hard lesson to learn and with the advances in technology sometimes I feel it is an uphill battle because it is so much easier for a beginning filmmaker to be a one-man band.

In one of my first posts I described how Jim and I began working together. He was shooting a TV commercial for a production company I worked for and he saw the longer form version of Denny Dent. He liked it and suggested I edit it to 30 seconds. He invited me to his home a few days later to cut it and we have been working together ever since.

That was 15 years ago.

Our collaboration could have easily lasted only a few hours but we hit it off right away and together we were better than apart. We had enough in common as filmmakers (how we approach an edit or shooting a job- we always look to tell a story) that we didn't have to reinvent the filmmaking wheel. Jim takes on pieces of the puzzle like shooting, lead editor and even billing, that I couldn't do as well as he does and I write, conceptualize and schmooze with the clients. Together we somehow make it work.

Over the next few posts I am going to share some stories about key crew members who have made very subtle, yet very important contributions to projects we have worked on. My hope is that you will see how collaboration makes the work better.


1 comment:

praveen said...

Im praveen. i ve been searching for a long time for filmmaking tips and lessons in net. But i didnt get a good site and now i think my search ends here. But you ve published too many posts and im far away lagging to read all of them but im sure they all worthful. I wud like to thank you for sharing of your experience.
Im a software engineer, but my mind is towards filmmaking. I dont kno where to start and hw to start. Fom now i ll be clear with the help of ur blog.
thank you....bye