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  • Writer's pictureViknesh Silvalingam

Filmmaking is a collective art form

Filmmaking is a collective art form. When a film is being produced, it is not done by a one-person army, it requires a group of people, familiar or unfamiliar, bonding to create art. It is this coming together of minds for one common purpose that makes filmmaking such a worthwhile endeavor. In my previous blog, I spoke about the struggles that I had encountered with the lack of collaborators for both of my 2 feature films and how in hindsight a collaborative software would have assisted me greatly.

There are many elements that go into producing a film. The script, the casting, the locations, the budget, the scheduling, just to name a few. These elements are compartmentalized into various departments. The departments will work internally amongst themselves and across the departments as well. As expected a great deal of information will be exchanged daily and they need to be done in a seamless and productive manner. Efficient and fast communication should be in the form of dialog, not in the form of emails that can be tedious to read at times.

A collaborative software helps to improve communication amongst the team, which is key to encouraging the flow of ideas within the entire producing unit. Yes, having the entire team in a meeting room with Post It notes scattered all over the walls and scribbles on a whiteboard would make a great visual, however, it is not always possible for every member of the team to be present and the same time and place. And with COVID-19 still lurking around, the concept of what constitutes an office workspace has changed forever.

An independent film production crew could comprise of remote employees. For my second feature film, ColdPressed, the Cinematographer can be based in Los Angeles, the Unit Production Manager was in Portland and I was in San Francisco. Bringing everyone together in a centralized location for development and pre-production would be a costly affair, not to mention its impracticality. Nevertheless, this is a common scenario that an independent producer needs to overcome. One of the primary tasks of a collaboration software is to unite the crew from different locations in the most convenient way and while still being able to meet all of the requirements. They should be able to share visual images, screenplays, documents, and comment on them with much ease.

When communication is increased and developed, it not only facilitates the production's workflow but also increases the crew's engagement and satisfaction with the project. As I had also mentioned in my previous blog, about not being able to build a team from the very beginning, in my next blog I will talk about the importance of having a core team at the very start of the project.

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