The concept is set and the team is in place, now how do you put it all together and make it happen on the day? In this post I'll share my outlook on directing so you can be sure the shoot day runs the best it can.
A director's job revolves around communication. With crew, with actors, with everyone. Having a vision is vital and tends to come easily to natural born directors (we're visionaries after all). Learning to communicate that vision in a way everyone can understand and act on, takes diligence, and the learning never ends.
A good director is expected to have an answer to every question and a solution to every creative problem. Having a clear vision makes it easy to know what you want from what you don't, but communication is necessary to make it happen.
The technical stuff, like mastering lighting and knowing how to capture expert audio, is not essential for a director to know how to do, but learning enough about the different production departments allows you the ability to communicate in a language each one understands. It's a stepping stone to filmmaking and shouldn't be overlooked.
I recommend getting on set and assisting in different departments. It'll make you a better communicator and a better filmmaker!
SET THE TONE
The director sets the tone on set, and the crew reflects the energy put out. Jesus says, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31) Want to be respected and trusted? Start by respecting and trusting the people in your crew.
The best leaders lead by example. Bring a joyful attitude to set and you'll boost the morale of everyone involved. It doesn't matter how early the call time is, everyone else is tired too. Drink a cup of coffee and smile. Regardless of the situation, it's amazing to be alive and creating art. Never lose sight of that.
One of the best ways to lead a team is with encouragement.
Every crew member must fulfill their role to make production run like a well-oiled machine. Choose to celebrate the little things and it'll run that much smoother, and people will appreciate and remember you for it.
Praise your set designer for paying attention to the details no one else notices, commend your camera assistant for offering a suggestion on framing, and thank the producer or assistant director for putting the call sheet together. No matter the position or achievement, make it a goal to encourage often.
I'm the type of person that can come up with an idea and run with it. I find it easy to turn down suggestions in favor of my own, but I'm maturing to the place where I recognize that this isn't the best way to work together.
I'm finding that by allowing others to take ownership in a project, they not only work better, but enjoy the work they're doing more. It feeds the little dopamine goblin inside our brains when our input is recognized. Be it a suggestion, or the freedom to try something new, it makes us feel a part of the process, and draws us to want to contribute.
My closing thoughts for directing a music video is to build trust with your talent, gain camaraderie with your crew, seek to inspire, encourage all, and have fun.