Join Ashley Kennedy for an in-depth discussion in this video Trust is essential in all parts of filmmaking, part of Filmmaking Forum: Conversations.
- Hi everyone. In this episode of the film making forum conversations course, we're going to talk about trust. You know, it's funny. I didn't actually start with this as a topic that I was going to cover, but so many of my interview subjects brought this up on their own, so it just sort of developed into a topic begging to be discussed and we're going to go a bunch of different ways here. Talking about things like being trustworthy, having trust on set, in the editing room, finding those circles of trust for feedback and much more.
I hope you enjoy. - What I really think is important is to learn how to expand the group of people who know they can trust you. Just so long as they realize that you're a good person to work with who gets it and you're trustworthy. You deliver on your promises and then just be as helpful, as open and as collaborative as possible. - As an editor, when I'm hired to do a documentary, first of all it's a great honor, because any producer who has produced a documentary has put their heart, soul possibly their home mortgage into this film and so when they say to you, I want you to help me tell this story, it is a great honor and there's this automatic level of trust and intimacy that is very, very, very unique.
- Really surround yourself with people whose opinions you respect and really listen to what they have to say. I mean you won't always use their recommendations but I think it's very important not to just be off in your own little world and assume that it's perfect and assume that you're going down the right path. I mean you have to follow your gut at the end of the day but it's very good to develop kind of a group of people, a brain trust if you will, or whatever that you bounce off of a lot and who can really give you, you know, good feedback, etc.
- I appreciate really good feedback and I only have a handful of people. In fact, I have about three or four fellow film makers and we're just each other's feedback groups. Every time we finish editing something we send it to each other. There really has to be some circle of trust. You have to trust that these people know what they're doing. You have to trust that they have your, and the projects best interest in mind. You do have to be able to trust their opinion and sometimes you get, you really do at times, you get lost as a film maker. When I say lost, where there's times where I just don't know.
I don't know what to put in here. I don't know how to do this and I have to be honest with myself when those things happen and have people around me that let me know when I ask like what do you guys think of this and like it's not working and know that it's not working because they said it's not working, because they've been right all the other times in the past when they said it's not working and move on and use that to make my film making better. - Well the thing is to be very careful in who those people are because there are people out there who don't get what you're doing or will give you completely useless feedback because it's not additive toward what you are trying to accomplish.
You have to surround yourself with people who get that. Who can get, okay, I see there's something interesting here. It's not there yet, but how do we do that. As opposed to going, this isn't that good, git rid of it. You know, and they don't see the potential of where it can grow if you really keep working on it. So you need those kind of people around and it can take a while to figure out who is who. - You have to always understand as director that it's their work and their help that's making your vision come to life. So, you have to be able to appreciate that and once you lose sort of the trust from a crew you've lost basically control.
- Within the cutting room team, trust is of paramount importance to having a happy, productive, successful working environment. Certainly on a feature film. And there are so many demands on an editor and on every department on a film that you need to delegate jobs to your team and know that they are going to be done to a world class standard without having to check. If you have taught somebody how to do something and you delegate a job to them and you trust them to do it, they are rewarded by the fact that you have trusted them and that they get job satisfaction out of doing what you've asked them to do perfectly because it's important that they feel ownership of a job and they're not having to show me everything.
- Because when people know that you trust them then they're going to speak up and they're going to tell you things and they're going to help you make your work better but if they think that you're not going to listen to them or you're just going to discount whatever they say, they're going to stop telling. I've been on sets, I've done it myself, I'll sit back like I'm not going to say anything. I think this is going horribly and I know exactly how to fix it and I know exactly what could instantly make this a lot better but because I was shut down the two or three previous times or shut down maybe in a, not even projected, but actually shut down, just I don't want to hear anything you have to say, then I have nothing more to say.
It doesn't mean I don't have things to contribute so allow people to contribute. You don't have to always accept it, but allow them to be heard and process if for them. Take a minute to process it so that trust is important and it has to go both ways.
- Advice for novice filmmakers entering the industry
- Finding, enhancing, and tweaking your story
- Experimenting in filmmaking
- Solving problems and troubleshooting your film
- Changing your approach or finding new angles
- Communicating and collaborating on set and in the edit room—and with clients
- Working on different genres of film
- Teaching and mentoring new filmmakers