17 May 2010

What Businesses Can Learn From Filmmakers

by Tyler Weaver.  Follow me on Twitter.

(note: This article originally appeared on MH's bouncing baby offspring blog, "The Dog Ate My Homework(er)" on April 23, 2010)

This may seem an odd post, one that might make one say “shouldn’t it be the other way ‘round?,” but bear with me. As someone who straddles both worlds (I’m a filmmaker, yes, but I ran a non-profit Foundation and both its publishing and documentary film wings), there are a few lessons I’ve learned (and applied) doing film that business owners and corporations might want to consider.

1.) If you’re small enough, you can change quickly.  
You’re a rowboat. Big companies are the Titanic. And we know what happened there. 

2.) Maximizing resources. Do more with less.
Any filmmaker worth anything knows the value of a dollar and knows how to push it to the maximum ROI. It’s called creativity - not theory.

3.) Creativity is the ultimate problem solver
Don't throw money at a problem because you can't figure it out.  Work with the best, and use creativity to solve the problem. Why waste money on the lack of an idea?

4.) Know how to do the job of your crew.
Empathy wins in all things. Because I’m a composer, I can talk to composers and move things along more quickly. Efficiency comes from empathy. And trust comes from both.

5.) Create an environment where people feel able to work to the best of their abilities.
Don’t breathe down peoples’ necks. Let them do their job.

6.) Always listen to ideas from any member of the crew.

If it’s in the best interest of the final product, go with it. Leave your ego at the door.

7.) Two most important questions:
“What If?” and “Why Not?”

8.) Degrees are meaningless.
Work ethic, passion, and resourcefulness are everything.

9.) The director is the general, the script the flag carried into battle.
It’s his job to get his troops cheering behind him and willing to give it their all to make the best final product possible. And the way to do that… one through eight.

10.) Failure happens.  

Tyler Weaver is a filmmaker, writer, contributor to the pulptone.com website, and is the founder and EIC of Multi-Hyphenate... which you're reading right now.  He's currently making new things and yaks about that and more on Twitter under the creative guise of @tylerweaver.


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