• Sean LaFollette

BE A LEADER IN FILM

Updated: Jul 1


Leadership

Nobody is coming to help. Nobody is going to make it happen for you. If you decide to take the leap and make a film, it’s going to be up to YOU to make it happen. That’s not to say that you won't have people around you to help out, but you have to go find them. You have to assemble the team around you and lead them through the process.


It’s 4:00AM and I’m tired as hell, but there's work to be done. Now that casting for “What About Molly?” is complete, I have 16 people relying on me to get the job done. There will be no day’s off, there will be no rest, there will be no excuses. Problem after problem will arise and I need to be about solving and moving forward, everyday.


So much can change in just a few days. At the end of last week, I thought I had turned the corner and was on easy street. A few stars of our film stopped by, we ran some scenes and got to have a little fun. We discussed film and our careers, getting acclimated, learning more about who each person is. It was a nice feeling, one that came with a price.


DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN

It’s okay to have some fun and enjoy the moment, enjoy the journey. You should find the joy in it. It's a fun process and it’s the journey you will remember, the final film is simply a byproduct of the journey. However, during this journey one thing should remain consistent, never let your guard down.


The landscape of things is always changing in this process. Looking at my film, we have 16 people I’m currently working with. That’s 16 personalities, 16 people with different questions, 16 people with scheduling issues and conflicts, 16 people that I thought would be the difficult part to navigate around and I’m being shown otherwise.


Everyone involved in the film has been incredible. The excitement is mostly there and I am getting a real sense of TEAM from the group. I think this is why I let my guard down. I thought working with so many people was going to be the part I would struggle with on this project. Because everyone has been so great, I dropped my guard and now things are falling a bit behind.


MY CURRENT STRUGGLES IN FILM

Location, location, location. You can have the best team and equipment in the world, be fully prepared and ready to shoot, but if you don’t have a location then you’re kind of fucked. This is my current landscape. I thought I had a location that I was SURE we would be able to use and on Saturday morning, that dream didn’t come to fruition.


With scenes scheduled to be shot on July 16th and 17th, I’m now scrambling to find a location to shoot in. Can’t you just ask your cast if they have a location we can use? Can’t you use friends and family homes? The answer to both of these questions is yes, but I’m trying not to do that at this time.


My biggest weakness is that I don’t know how to ask for help. I struggle to let people see my vulnerable side. For whatever reason, my brain identifies asking for help as weakness and I don’t want to appear weak to those around me. So, asking around for a location is really my last resort. My current solution is to look around on Peerspace and Airbnb to see if I can rent something for a few days. This is proving to be a bit of a slow process given the current state of the world.


Aside from not having all of the locations I need, I’m also running into wardrobe issues and finding the time to finalize my shot lists for each day.


For the wardrobe, I’ve ordered a few dresses for my actresses only to find that they don’t fit. A simple problem with a simple solution, but a setback nonetheless. New dresses are on their way but in the midst of this, I forgot to talk to the other cast members scheduled about their wardrobe. Add that to the list of things to complete over the next few days.


The shot lists were coming together nicely last week and then I pushed the pause button. I focused my efforts elsewhere and now the lists are still looming on the TO DO list. Again, this is an easy one to cross off the list, I just need to find the time. Ah, time...I remember when I had that.


CONCLUSION

The issues I’m encountering are nothing new in the film process. I’ve always had to work hard, stress and navigate my way through the process, but the key here is to do it with a smile on your face. It’s all just simple problem solving. Take a breath, take a moment, clear your mind and just move towards your goal. Be a leader and show the group that YOU have what it takes.


You’re going to have moments of weakness, that’s okay, you’re human. Leaders can be vulnerable too. What a leader can’t do is quit. You can’t give up. You can’t half ass your way through this process, accepting that what you have will be good enough. You have to fight, put your best foot forward and show up everyday. Be present in the moments and give it your all until the job is done. Be the leader, you’d want to follow.


- The Failed Filmmaker

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