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Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?

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Mark Raudonis
Re: Collaboration - how do you make it work?
on Apr 15, 2019 at 12:30:35 am

I follow something that I call "The meritocracy of ideas".

In a cut review meeting with many voices, it matters less WHO comes up with an idea, versus the quality of that idea.

Many organizations bow down to WHO's voice is speaking (Exec Producer, Director, etc), rather than objectively evaluating the quality of the idea. There are plenty of cases where bad notes have been suggested by someone higher up the food chain, only to have them categorically dismissed by the editorial team as being "un-doable". I'm NOT suggesting overt revolt or resistance to direction, but rather a rational, realistic assessment of the likelihood of actually being able to DO a note. However, there's a difference between "note fighting" and rationale discourse.

So to address some of your questions: every suggestion or note should be considered. It doesn't matter who gives it, but any note should be considered. I always suggest that an editor at least TRY doing the note. Sometimes, it actually works even though at first take you may think it's impossible. So, always try to do the note.

If you've made and effort and it still doesn't work, you can honestly respond that "we tried it, and it doesn't work". Only experience and advanced diplomatic skills can tread that fine line between trying it and dismissing it. If in doubt, try it anyway.

Collaboration is all about respect. Respect for abilities, experience and taste. Without those feelings is place, people revert to "because I said so" rather than a respectful consideration of everyone's role in the process.

Over the years I've worked for (and with) some extremely successful people. I can confidently say that the more successful the person, the more respectful they are with how they deliver notes. Example: "you may want to try xxxx in this scene" vs. "do this at 12:43 into the scene". You don't need a PhD to understand which approach makes the creative team feel more engaged!

Sometimes you've just got to say, "That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard!" On the other hand, you better have tried it in private BEFORE you deliver those words. This business if full of "dumb ideas" that have had unbelievable success.


Great topic for discussion. Thanks for bringing it up.

Mark "Try ALL dumb ideas" Raudonis



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