This week was audition week. Several teams were busy finding the right roles, tweaking scripts to accommodate feedback, and lining up their core team. We all should also be planning our schedules and looking to start shooting in April or May as a best case scenario.
Some teams are experiencing delegation and control challenges. This is normal. There is the creative versus business side battle. There is the funding versus volunteer decision. There is the democracy versus monarchy confusion. And much more.
In the spirit of helping where I can, may I suggest the following:
1) Respect each other as fellow artists no matter what.
We all have talents and limited time, and we may just be in the wrong role without the time to execute it properly. If you are directing someone like this, kindly ask the alternate to step up (every role should have alternates if possible). If you are this person, be honest with your team and available time to commit, and step down.
2) Pick a creative leader.
Whether or not this person is also the director or screenwriter, choose someone that will approve any changes to the script, casting, locations, etc. so there are no battles over whose creative idea is better.
3) Try as hard as possible to keep everything volunteer. We are trying to have fun through the process and build a community around creating something cool together. People that create together for the love, bond in a special way that doesn't question motives around money. If we have the means to fund a film, the expectations of everyone involved change. This means our ability to finish the film just got harder.
4) Don't choose a democratic structure
. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but in order to execute a complex task or mission in a timely fashion, such as shooting a film, we need to take orders and do our tasks well. The military would fail epically if every decision was put up for a vote. People would get shot, planes would crash, and soldiers would randomly show up for duty.
When we put our name and integrity on the line and commit to something with our team, we take on a huge responsibility. We take every spare moment our fellow filmmakers set aside to creative something special on this project, and we rob them of it. It is better if we don't commit and show up, than commit and flake out.