First of all, it just surprises me that so many people and roles are required for a production. By learning how many roles there are, now I realise how complex the work of film making is. And because it is a work which needs collaboration among professions across so many fields, it is important to have a sustainable team, where all the professions can perform their best within their responsibility.
Rabiger (2003) said that a crew is rather developed than chosen. He pointed out how important a crew member’s personality can be to sustain the entire production. This is something I have never thought about but I feel like it is indeed how things work in real life.
I have involved in a few theatre productions and bands. Something which I reflect back now and discover is that the best performances might or might not have been produced by crews who had the best skills, but the best experiences were definitely made with the people who shared common interests with me and were easy to work with. I remember the director and the gaffer of a play I was involved in were divergent in the colour of a lighting. As an actress, I lost patience during their argument; the schedule was delayed; and the issue was not resolved because no one would compromise. Sometimes the good traits of professionals (persistence in achieving one vision of art) can lead to disasters when working in a team. This may explain the break-up of the Beatles. Expertise can be developed but temperament is hard to change. Therefore, personality may outweigh skills to a certain extent (ultimately some level of profession is required) in consideration of recruitment of crew members.
The idea of videotaping rehearsals is completely new to me. This helps uniform the method of communication and working standards among crews, where everyone comes from a different background.
I understand and agree with the “not crossing lines of responsibility” rule. But learning to trust people who I work with for the first time would be hard to practice in real life. It is almost saying that “do not help others unless they ask you to”. But what if everyone thinks they know what they are doing, but in fact, they are doing it the wrong way? Crew members should be encouraged to raise any issue when they are uncertain.
Rabiger, M. (2003). Directing: film techniques and aesthetics, 3rd ed. Boston: Focal Press, 385-400.