As I write this, I’m decompressing from the third and final interview shoot for a documentary project I’ve been project managing. This experience has been quite a journey. During that journey, I’ve experienced confidence, nervousness, anxiety, exuberance, fear, and elation a multitude of times in what seems to be a perpetual cycle.
Here were are, April 8th. I had all my gear prepped and packed the night before. As I rushed through my day moment to moment with little time to reflect or think deeply about what was coming up on my schedule, I forgot to grab two of my microphone stands at my house as I was leaving for the location. While I’m driving across town to our location that was allowing us to film our interview I realized the missing stands and immediately called my partner Troy - whom had already confirmed he would be coming to help with production. I asked him if he was still at home and if he could bring a couple of his stands with him due to my oversight. This wasn’t the first micro-failure, and certainly wouldn’t be the last.
I’ve been humbled time and time again by the amazing people I work with. Being able to work with people who just have an understanding for this mode of thought (maybe without even being fully aware of it) goes a long way towards fostering a productive, enjoyable work environment. Collaboration becomes so easy when all the individuals are able to be open with their ideas and opinions.
In film, there is essentially three versions of an idea. The concept itself in script or storyboard form. The production – as it’s unfolding and all the elements are coming together in real-time. Then, there is the edit.
Accepting the little mistakes that get made along the way and being open to ideas that allow you to push onward toward completion of a project is a great asset to any producer, artist, or director. It really is true that attitude is everything. The only thing that separates those who can do and those who can’t is the attitude about the problem. The problem itself is never the problem. If you can carry the mindset that there is no problem too great to solve, and are always working toward solutions, this attitude alone will take you much further in your career than any tool, workflow, process, or method can.
There are several moments where each of our crewmembers realized micro-failures of our own even on last Friday's filming session on a different interview at a different location. It's those moments when they spoke up and worked to correct those situations and take initiative, not even bothering to dramatize the mistake. We all just accepted it and worked together to fix those little issues that would occur and moved on.
You can have the greatest idea in the world, but realizing it is a completely different experience, and part of being a creative is accepting the fact that things don’t always come out how you envision them, but they can come out better than you ever intended if you can just accept the little mistakes that get made along the way and work toward solutions to correct or improvise.