#SocialSaturday - Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

#SocialSaturday - Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

#SocialSaturday - Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

Karen E Ross
Karen E Ross
a year ago

“Stay in your lane.” Stings, doesn’t it? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. There are plenty of people in the industry who will, though. Studies, such as the Asch Conformity Experiments, exemplify the power a group of people can have over an individual’s decision-making, especially if the desire to be accepted by that group is strong. Like storytellers who wish to join the “entertainment industry”, for example?

These four words can quickly kill the spark of enthusiasm and ingenuity that drives all great projects to completion. I, for one, will not contribute to the persistence of this notion. At its core, the proclamation requires us to first define the lane. As if building the rigid walls of the very proverbial box we creatives rebel against makes it more enticing. This is precisely why Stage 32 is democratizing the entertainment industry - to break down the outdated structures that ask us to conform. Why do we rebel, you ask? What makes creative people crave coloring outside the lines?

Connection. Connection in all things. The craft of a painter may be a solo practice, but even the result of their craft aims to connect with their audience. For any facet of filmmaking, the opportunities to connect are early, often, and continuous. Writers must connect with actors, who must connect with filmmakers, who must connect with cinematographers, who must connect with editors, who must work with producers, who desperately need the assistance of financiers and distributors. We’re all connected in this chosen art form, even if you don’t yet see it.

SocialSaturday  Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

Take a moment to visualize it, how each role in their own “lane” looks. Can you see it? Little rows, with clear lines separating each role, and pressure to stay there, never to cross over into another lane, lest you suffer the wrath of those whose approval you seek. How does anyone connect with anyone else in another lane if they are forced to stay in their own?

Rest assured, these four words are checked at the door on your way to connecting with more than 800,000 professionals and creatives in the industry from around the world on Stage 32. Opening up the many ways professionals can connect through its thriving community, its free events (like our recent Film Funding Summit), and one-of-a-kind services (such as our new Reel Review for actors) is at the heart of Stage 32’s mission statement. Today’s blog is chock full of links on your journey to color outside the lines and get creative about who you can connect with!

It starts with curiosity, a discovery, and a conversation

Let’s face it - if you didn’t have a question about what you were doing, then you wouldn’t be here. If you didn’t have any questions ever, then you may not even need a team! But for the majority of filmmakers and content creators, we start our collaborations with an unsolved curiosity. This inquiry prompts research, which uncovers a discovery, much like this recent post about how animation is pulling from plays, much the way musicals are revitalizing classic Disney films. Sharing your question is a great way to start a post in the Stage 32 lounges, but so is sharing the discovery. Who knows the conversations you’ll initiate!

As it turns out, conversations aren’t just staying in a “role” lane or a “subject” lane. Now Stage 32 members who have met through the platform are taking their incredibly valuable connections and insights into the world to share with others, like this Live Conversation with Filmmaker Swati Chugh. What an amazing collaboration to have begun and continued, all from the seed of curiosity. Keep those productive conversations going!

SocialSaturday  Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

It continues with exploring, learning, and refining the process.

It’s true, we each have a presumed “lane” due to certain skill sets we employ. This 3D artist gave incredible insight into using the Unreal Engine to create animation in this post, but without that seed of curiosity, a reader would miss that he has also created comic books and tabletop RPGs. Exploring people is just as important as exploring topics. Be sure to visit adjacent lounges to your inquiry to continue to reach outside your lane!

It’s also presumed that only those in your same lane can give you advice. For example, a screenwriter looking to sell their script may only ever reach out in the Screenwriting Lounge figuring to learn from other optioned writers. But what about producers? Getting a peek behind the curtains of those “decision-makers” can be incredibly beneficial. Perhaps a trip to the Financing Lounge to learn about crowdsourcing through Substack could be a great and advantageous trek on your way to success!

It elevates through practice, evaluation, and implementation.

Dipping a toe into someone else’s pool of expertise is a great way to learn from others. To dunk your head in and really get a feel for the tasks and responsibilities of a collaborator, evaluate the work behind the title. Posts like this which include lessons from event planning give a fantastic glimpse into the complex role of a producer.

Before you try your hand at implementation, however, definitely consider how you can practice those skills. In filmmaking, CYA or “cover your ass” can start with a simple test. For example, this post shares one filmmaker’s shot test to see the same action with different shots. This allowed him, and us, to see what conveyed the emotional context he was attempting to achieve. As a filmmaker, improving your camera language as a cinematographer can only strengthen your capabilities. What skills are you hoping to improve?

SocialSaturday  Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

It prepares through forethought, feedback, and planning.

Have you ever noticed that collaboration is simply the same work you prepared to do on your own but you have allowed others to help you or contribute in some way? Asking for feedback is such a crucial first step in any relationship. This post, for example, simply asks for thoughts on the cover art/layout of her newest book, but look at how much more than feedback she received!

Another post asking about how much money Netflix pays per episode shows the kind of forethought that would allow someone who is not currently in that “lane” to learn enough to move over into it. With such valuable information, members can more confidently move forward with their plans. Even just checking in, like this post about scheduling a television series, can give you enough to take next steps in the right direction.

It selects from a range and perfects through attention to detail.

This attachment to “lanes” can push the notion that with everyone in their place, we can more easily find a solution. All too often, however, there are multiple solutions to the same problem. This post about selecting from a range of edits is an eye-opening example of how there is no one “right way'' to do anything. In fact, having multiple perspectives weigh in can do more than just give you options. It can also refine your budget, determine a better workflow, and give you more confidence in the final product

One of the most beautiful fulfillments of collaboration is when someone takes inspiration from what you do without prompting. This post, for example, explains how the details incorporated into sound foley can pull from the expertise of location managers. That’s right, post-production can learn a few things from pre-production!

SocialSaturday  Connecting the Facets of Filmmaking

It embraces all and allows for healing.

All too often people approach their role as if there are prerequisites. Do you have to go to film school? No. Do you have to have connections? No. Do you have to win the biggest and best awards? Not in the least! But you do have to work with what you’ve got and get to work on gaining more to work with. This post from an expert in marketing could be a great collaborator, even though she’s never worked in the industry - until she produced her own show.

Embracing people by their contributions and not just by their credentials is just the beginning of seeing people for more than what they can do for you. Allowing collaborators to fully experience their creative process can also be an incredibly beautiful story behind the story, like the editors from the show ‘Queen Sugar’, who found healing as they worked.

While the demands of the industry can be daunting, the core of collaboration remains the same at any level. Reaching into unfamiliar territory, finding ways to connect with new material and new collaborators, and giving others a chance to contribute in meaningful ways remains a bold statement to those who would otherwise demand you stay contained. By all means, have a lane. Own your lane. But stay in it? Not a chance.

If you couldn’t tell, there are lots of great conversations happening in the Stage 32 lounges. Be sure to click on the links above and comment on any that resonate with you. There’s no better place to reach outside your comfort zone and spread your creative wings. No matter where you are in your process, you are always welcome to start the conversation in the Stage 32 Lounges! Not sure where to start? You can DM me or email me at K.Ross@stage32.com.

Speaking of reaching outside your lane, let’s get the rest of the socials a glimpse of what is to come! Share this blog, include the hashtags #SocialSaturday #Stage32 and #RebelWithaLane, and tag @k.osswrites, @rbwalksintoabar, and @stage32. Keep your eyes to the skies, and I look forward to seeing each of you in the lounges!

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About the Author

Karen E Ross

Karen E Ross

Filmmaker, Producer, Screenwriter, Script Consultant, Voice Actor, Actor

Kay Ross is an actor, producer, writer, and champion for the "inner teenager.” While being a producer on a television show like Netflix’s “Sex Education” would be a dream realized, for now, she kicks ass on shorts, features, and hosts a weekly IGLive to empower creatives called “The Victory Round.”...

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