The Skill You Need to Succeed
Being able to work with people is the #1 attribute you need to succeed in the video production industry.
I first started filming weddings with my brother, Derek, when I was 15 years old. The first wedding we captured together took place one brutally cold and snowy day in February. I remember feeling incredibly young. Everything was so new and exciting to me. It was thrilling being able to work alongside my big brother as we captured the groom’s reaction when he saw the bride walk down the aisle, and the celebration on the dance floor with the couple’s friends and family. These memories from my first time working with Derek will forever be marked in my mind.
My older brother, Derek, and I.
Looking back, however, my biggest takeaway from that day wasn’t that I found the best way to capture the cake being smashed into the groom’s face. It was the collaboration and teamwork that took place between all of the wedding vendors. Derek taught me how to effectively communicate with the photographer, the DJ, the ceremony coordinator, and all the other vendors who helped pull the day together. Communication was the key to making the whole day run smoothly for not only the vendors, but for the bride and groom.
Throwback to Derek and I posing with a happy couple!
Throwback to Derek and I having some photo booth fun with a bride and groom!
For example, because of the impending snowy weather, Derek and the photographer knew there were going to be some challenges that would arise throughout the day. To avoid catastrophe, we all met before the wedding to carpool and go over a game plan for the day to ensure everything would go well. This was my first real world experience working with other professionals, and it set the tone for the way I worked every job since.
Derek and I on a MAKE films’ shoot in 2017.
These same communication principles apply in the commercial video production industry. It all boils down to one thing: no one wants to work with a jerk. You may have the most beautiful work, but if its your way or the highway, you’re going to be hard pressed to find return customers. Twenty years ago, you may have been able to pull off that attitude. In fact, you may have thrived acting that way. But we live in a very different world now. A more collaborative and empathetic world. A world where most people are looking to work with people who listen to their concerns, communicate clearly, and problem solve.
In 2016 at Masters in Motion, Jessie Nickson-Lopez, Executive Story Editor for the Netflix Original, Stranger Things, said, “In television, you cannot have any egos. It’s a very collaborative experience.” This is the way we work at MAKE films. We want to create the best film possible, and we believe in order to do that it’s going to take all of our combined input and effort. Nine times out of ten, a product that 5, 10, or even 50+ people collaborated on and crafted together will be far greater than a product produced by 1 person.