Oh god no! Not another sad article on teamwork ...
Well buckle up and get ready! :)
There is no "I"
Ever wonder back on why You delivered on a deadline that was impossible?
Well I can tell you it's not because you kept a tidy Excel sheet or double checked timesheets well!
It's because the entire team cared enough to understand what needed to be done and were professional enough to work together and deliver what they agreed they would deliver.
That dedication comes from a profound and deep desire to create beautiful imagery, this is what drives 99% of the artists out there. The rush of seeing their work on a big screen. To push both their artistic skills as well as their knowledge of the craft. As production crew, the only pride we can have is to have been enabling these artists and make them work as a team to produce something they most likely could not create on their own.
But for god's sake! be proud of that. You are part of a crew that makes movies! You have the ability to create something that will hopefully give an emotional ride to thousands or millions of spectators and if done right, You will have made your crew proud and they will have grown themselves as well.
"Great leaders don't set out to be leaders... They set out to make a difference. It's never about the role - Always about the goal"
"Yeah, but isn't it their job to do what needs to be done! Why am I supposed to babysit them? I have enough on my plate..." Well here is the deal you nitwit! ;)
Lets set aside having a good relationship with your team which I will cover another time. Your role as production crew is to steer a group of artists towards a common end goal. That end goal is deliver a quality product in time and in budget. Nothing more simple than that; however ... You are dealing with an artistic crew.
Unlike other jobs like for instance car construction or being part of the kitchen at Mc Donalds, there is a hell of a lot of room for interpretations in VFX. This means there is room for your artist to fill in the gaps and suggest ideas. In a way, as long as the Supervisor or client's comments are not 100% crystal clear, your crew will guess what the client wants. And this is where you and the VFX Supervisor need to make sure they guess in the right direction.
This might be the second hardest task on the job because having a feeling that you and your team are going in the wrong direction and steering everyone back towards the director's vision needs some skill in mediation. And this only works when they trust You and the VFX Supervisor. If for some reason that trust is broken, You might find yourself in a very difficult position where your team says they understand what needs to be done but will do it their way anyway.
And this brings me to the most difficult part of our job in VFX Production ... Not losing your crew's trust!
I think this is the most common reason why artists remember a production being hell, or never want to work with your company again, or even say bad things about You. And why shouldn't they ?
Like in life, trust is something You earn but can break in a millisecond. And aside from that, once it is broken it is almost impossible to regain. It's hard for some production crews to understand this concept as we often come from a different field and are taught to take aside emotions and focus on the tasks at hand. But artists and even more younger artists look up to production crew as if they are the the parents or lets say the mediator between the client and them. And once they feel You stop supporting and protecting them, it feels like a knife in their back from their own parents.
"Allot of problems in the world would disappear if we talked
to each other instead of talk about each other"
So this is where your human side come in to play. Understand your crew, find out their dreams, passions, how they want to grow and use that to make them want to work for You! You will be amazed how their productivity and enthusiasm will go up. It 's all rather simple in the end, make sure they want to do the job and understand that they are not machines who will get everything right. Keep supporting them and they will want to come back :)