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  • Writer's pictureViknesh Silvalingam

Start Building a Producing Unit from the Earliest Onset

Last week I wrote about being a filmmaker requires a great deal of collaboration. And what's the basic requirement for collaboration? Trust. You must build a team that you can trust. It can potentially make or break your film. Producing a film is already a mammoth task and not having everyone on the same wavelength as you, will make it practically unattainable.

When I began hiring a producing unit for my second feature film, Cold Pressed, the script had been written and I was in the midst of pre-production. In my previous blog, due to the lack of collaborators I was the sole producer for the entire development stage. During pre-production I needed help, unfortunately, the first couple of producers who came on board didn't have their heart in the right place and nearly derailing the project. I felt they were on board just for the paycheck and ready to jump ship the moment a better opportunity came along, which they did. This is why seasoned producers are inclined to rehire the same crew. Yes, if you are a production company with financial capital you can hire someone to 'buy-in' to your project but what if you are an independent filmmaker, armed with just an idea? Building a producing unit ground up will help make sure everyone is invested in the vision from day one.

Communication is key for a producing unit. Sometimes it take several moments for an individual to gel with another individual. Forming a team early on will give you a good opportunity to get a sense of their skill set and overall chemistry. Ultimately, you will give the team room for growth, to be receptive and to act on what is expected from them. They will help ensure that other new members of the team adhere to the culture by listening, replying, and respecting the other participants.

As your project grows from a single logline to the eventual gritty work of pre-production, you can't do everything by yourself, right? You may be spearheading the entire project but you can't be everywhere. Having a core group of producers who are emotionally invested in the project will ensure that the project will not lose its vision as the team scales.

For your project to launch and grow successfully, you need people that are willing to commit to work, including risks, setbacks, fear, boredom, and the other negative feelings and situations that can come as a result of hard and smart work. Without committed members, every project team sets itself up for failure. A team member who has been involved with a project from the inception will be constantly be motivated by the project's goals and culture.

As I mentioned earlier with my personal experience on Cold Pressed, you may end up hiring the wrong person for your project and the decision will result in having to part ways. One of the main attractions of The Martini software is the ability to control the amount of access a user will have to the project's documents. Since all information is stored within The Martini's database, if a team member were to leave a project, they won't have any more access to your documents. If you’d like to take a sneak peek into what we’re building, sign up for a free trial today using this link.

Things are definitely picking up in the direction the software is taking. As the days progress, there will be more information which I am very excited to share with you all. For my next blog, I will speak about why information within a film production set is often a "need to know" basis and how that can be detrimental to creativity. Please do subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on social media: Twitter and Instagram to stay updated.

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