Monday, April 06, 2009

Filming a Movie Is a Lesson in Teamwork

Typically, as in Durham, the destination marketing organization (DMO) is the film office, sports authority, etc. So, as with the current filming of Main Street, we get a close up view, while we’re facilitating logistics, of just how a film comes together.

Everyone I’ve met thinks they strive to foster teamwork, and no organization is more dependent on it than a DMO like DCVB. But I have to say, more than sports teams, which often epitomize teamwork, more than a restaurant kitchen which is probably at the same level…in fact more than almost any other endeavor I can think of, producing a feature film epitomizes teamwork.

Part of the marvel is because there are so many “cooks” in the kitchen at the same time…many levels of producers and assistant producers - from financiers to bean counters to the actual line production folks to agents, actors, directors, screen play writers, and of course studios and distribution channels not to mention scores of positions I’m not mentioning.

A film coming together seems very slow and gradual at first but when everything is signed, and when teams are assembled and they hit the ground running, it is one of the most intense displays of choreographed teamwork you’ll ever see.

What makes it more unique is that while the individuals often know one another, they haven’t necessarily worked together…if the particular teams have worked together, often they’ve not worked with the other teams or worked with them in this configuration. And they don’t get practice time.

The lines of authority are also very different, like they are for instance in a university. It can appear a bit chaotic.

They have an incredibly tight timeframe. And a very tight budget. Everyone has to know, understand and accept their role…

It is a great lesson to watch it all happen during production of a film and an inspiration that those of us working within our own organizations or in concert with other organizations should be able to do much better at teaming, avoiding replication, leveraging everywhere possible…

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