The film may say “A George Lucas Production” or “A Steven Spielberg Production” but the movie you have just been enthralled by is not the work of just one man. The 90 minutes or so that you have just seen is the effort of many people, a movie today is all about teamwork.
Choosing the right team is the challenge. How many movies or TV shows do you know of where the actors have stormed off under a cloud because they cannot get their way, or the director is too pushy or even he or she just cannot get on with this team? Luckily it is not that common but it does happen and it is going to happen from time to time in any team.
Just read the credits at the end of the movie, every name that comes up from the leading role down to the person that supplied the catering on set is credited. Why? Because they are part of the team and giving any member of your team credit is a vital part of teamwork, the credits at the end of the movie are like the team sheet for your favourite football or baseball team who drive home the touchdowns and home runs that bring about the success, listen to the interviews after the next game you watch and you will see the man of the moment gives credit to those he plays with.
Choosing a team is an art. Teamwork is not just about having someone that can play their part, there are plenty of great directors, producers and make-up artists and there are countless actors that could very easily play any role. Behind the scenes there are literally thousands of people and companies, who incidentally have their own teams, to choose from. So what is it that makes a team work? How do you choose the right team members?
It boils down to more than just someone’s ability to do something. That person must have an understanding of where he or she fits in and how the roles of others impact them or how they impact the others. Like cogs in a well-oiled machine the team players need to work together. Working together means communication in the movie business, it is all well and good having the best actors, the greatest directors and the most amazing producers but if they fail to or cannot communicate they are destined for disaster.
Being able to communicate, being willing to learn and being willing to teach others are just some of the characteristics of the team player a movie team needs. Communication among team members ensures problems don’t get out of hand and can even eliminate some problems altogether. With communication a team’s left hand knows what team’s right hand is doing. Through communication skills can be taught and learnt and this begins to strengthen the team, some of the best people in the movie industry have come up and even across by being part of a team, listening and learning. Actors becoming directors is perhaps the best example and when they cross the divide they know a how to put part of the team together because they have been on both sides of the movie making fence.
You can’t just have guys on the team because they are nice guys, nepotism or favoritism can lead to problems down the line. Families provide either success or failure, if your team consists of family members, husband and wife, father and son, brother and sister there is a risk of home life being brought to set, the most successful family partnerships are those who know how to leave personal and home life where it should be and bring their professional selves to the set.
But family is what a team becomes, whether it is a real life family or not, the best teams become a family. Members fit in, they are able to discuss things openly, make suggestions for the greater good. When you find someone that you want in your team their ability to be part of the team and add value to the team not because they are awesome a CGI guy, cameraman or even stuntman but because they fit in will be almost instantaneous like a lost puppy finding a home. The right team is a family but unlike a family you can choose who is in it. Because of this once a team has worked together and found success they will, just like a family, do other things together, make more movies, produce the TV series and do it as a team knowing they can do it well.