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4 Signs It's Time You Built Your Own Filmmaking Team

Photo + Video + Film
by Katie Ann Plick Jun 11, 2016

You’ve shot a few flicks, acting as your own Producer, Gaffer, Audio Technician, and Editor and have been around the block, but you know there’s something you could be doing to really bring your videos to the next level. Even though you may be a Jack-of-all-trades and love seeing your videos through from Pre-Production to Marketing, there may be some signs that you’re ready to assemble a cohesive Production Team. The biggest indicator you’re ready to gather a team is stress. I find this true with most things in life that stress is a gateway to growth.

My team at Plick’s Flicks is tight-knit, articulate, and efficient. Each of us has the ability to take criticism, which stems from respect and trust in each other’s specific talents and passions. We all understand our roles on set and at the same time help each other out when needed, which creates a nice flow. As Director, often times I’ll be behind the camera, fixing the set, holding a boom or moving lights. You don’t have to give up all the aspects you love about the filmmaking process to remember that teamwork that makes the dream work. If you find yourself scrambling on set and not getting the best end product when you’re reviewing your footage, it’s teamwork time.

1. Your audio is consistently lacking.

Audio is extremely important in the creation of Cinematic Narratives and, when overlooked, can ruin your video. If you’re making flicks with no audio, it’s time to hire someone who knows their stuff and is as passionate about audio as you are about video. Capturing clean audio requires care and knowledge (and sometimes an extra set of hands). You may know how to LAV someone up and throw a Shotgun on your hot shoe, but your ideal audio technician will love what they do: making creative, dynamic decisions to not only capture the sounds of the space, but to imply a certain emotion of the scene.

2. Your ideas aren’t challenged.

Don’t overlook the power of brainstorming. When I was flying solo, I never would have imagined the creative concepts I’d been able to develop with my Art Director (@EarthGoddessArt). We’d sit down together and put our wildest ideas on paper without the limiting thoughts of execution and she’d say, “Yeah, we can make it work.” These concepts I never would have challenged myself to create are brought to life with two brains instead of one; an artists’ hand and a passion for the fantastic doesn’t hurt either.

3. You want to try your hand at directing.

Just as two brains are better than one, two sets of eyes see shot compositions differently. Being able to step back and direct a Camera Operator allows a second take on each shot. Try describing a shot to two different shooters in as much detail as you can and observe the beautiful differences and greater meanings that unfold.

4. You regret your lighting decisions.

If while reviewing your footage you find yourself thinking, “I wish that shadow wasn’t so harsh”, or “ If only I had thrown a gel on that Key Light…” it might be time to find a good Gaffer. Lighting has an immense ability to set the mood on set and involves creativity beyond a basic working knowledge of how certain lighting will interact with your shot. It’s amazing watching a talented Gaffer pull out all the stops with LED paneling, ambient lighting and details you may have never considered. Plus, it’s incredibly hard to light a subject when there’s no one else around.

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