On set battle with the crew

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    • #85051
      Alfred S.C


      Hi guys,


      First of all, nice to have a great website like Videomaker.com to help a beginner like myself on filmmaking.


      For the last 4 years, I worked at my local church. My church is heavily invested on digital production, so we produce short movie, promotional video, behind the scene, weekly news videos, etc.


      My question is :


      How to handle a crew member that is constantly giving new ideas about how to shoot, how the story should end, how the actors should act, how the camera should move, etc.


      From my perspective, what this person do, is not enterily bad, but I believe it's making the filmmaking process is longer, taking so much useless time because of the endless argument

      and just make everyone frustated in the end.


      How can I handle this kind of situation and how can I handle this type of person?



    • #211788

      Managing creative teams is a integral part of the production process for the producer / director to do. You need to have a chat with this person face to face and explain that while their input is valid, it's counter productive to be stubborn about their ideas and that really dealing with the talent is the directors job.


      Professional productions have clearly defined roles and each person needs to remain in their place within the pecking order. Filmmaking is a collaborative process but there always needs to be a boss who can make a decision that is final. As the chain goes up through the department heads (from lowest to highest: cinematographer, director, producer) the crew need to understand that while their input is valid there is clearly a chain of command.


      Talk with this person about these rules. If he/she cannot cooperate, let them go.


      Hope that helps, Ben

      Producer, Global Pictures


      Learn the secrets of success in the film industry. Get my course:

    • #211789

      What is the actual formation? Is there a Director, and then maybe somebody in charge of each discipline – lights/sound/vision. If you are in charge, you have two options, but instead of automatically making your own decision and sticking to it, and possibly causing waves. In some circumstances I encourage input, consider it, and run with the best – I'm willing to change. If the person is abrasive, but usually right, give them a promotion and let them do it, you accepting or not the process they come up with. If their ideas make a better end product, then it's silly to not run with it. If, however, their ideas are weak, the abrasion destructive, then you need to take decisive action. Talk to them in private, put it to them straight. Do not embelish, or blame the bad news on somebody else – simply tell them the facts. Their actions are becoming destructive to the end product, and it needs to stop. Tell them that the rreponsibility for the product is entiely on your shoulders, and if they cannot support you, then they have no place in the team. Tell them you appreciate their input, but once your mind is set, then further discussion is not appreciated. If you tell it straight, without being vindictive, and most importantly without bringing others into the issue, it usually works. If they do carry on, sack them, even if they are useful.

    • #211838

      As the others have said, take this person aside and tell them that you appreciate their enthusiasim about the videos, and their eagerness to help. A great team makes great video. However, too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.


      As others have suggested, if this person has good creative ideas, compliment them and try using some of their ideas in your shoot. They'll respect you.


      You need to have defined roles.  If you're the director, it's YOUR responsibility to work with the actors and the rest of your crew to get the best shots for the project. If the person you're mentioning is a grip, audio person, etc, then that's the role they need to work with. Not directing…not camera work.


      When I do a shoot, I often let my crew make some suggestions. You never know, they may have a great idea, and it helps the entire creative process. You never want to stifle creativity.


       You may want to have a pre-shoot meeting to discuss everything, so that when you're on set, you're not wasting time explaining everthing.  Also, under no circumstances should anyone on your crew coach the acting talent. That confuses the talent, and will effect their performance.


      Above all, be kind and keep in the spirit of your church's approach.


      Best wishes


      Greg Ball, President

      Ball Media Innovations, Inc.

      Miami Video Production Company | Miami to Orlando Florida


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