Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Filter Factor

I had several good comments and questions on my "more collaboration" post about filtering out those bad suggestions cast or crew members might have. I am going to try to answer that issue here.

As I indicated earlier, I like to create an environment where cast and crew can feel comfortable sharing their ideas. I am open to anything but, I only take the ones I feel are good. To me it all starts with the culture we create on the set. Jim and I are very easy (I like to think) to work with. We aren't egomaniacs or pretentious (this improved greatly after I stopped wearing jodhpurs, a beret and carrying a riding crop) and we truly value everyone's efforts.

I think when new crew is hired they can take a quick read of the situation and know how to act appropriately. I also believe I have a pretty good filter for siphoning out bad ideas. It is not unlike teaching when students make comments- I take the Socratic approach and ask them a series of questions to get to an understanding of what they are thinking. So, if a p.a. suggests something crazy I will ask them why, and try to teach them a little about the bigger picture of what we are trying to accomplish. To me this helps create that collaborative atmosphere I so appreciate.

Finally, many suggestions from crew members come not to me directly, but via the assistant director. And the assistant director is what I am going to post about next.


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