Leading filmmaker Vincent Laforet known for his groundbreaking and innovative approach to film directing and photography, recently shared digital media career advice on his blog about the importance of personality over skill for aspiring filmmakers.
Although hiring producers, directors, and directors of photographer, etc., are interested in hard skills, Laforet points out several lesser-known variables that influence hiring managers in the filmmaking industry that might surprise you.
“I want to highlight how certain personality traits can very often trump talent when a crew is assembled,” he says.
Take a look at some of Laforet’s tips below and read Laforet’s full article here.
Digital Media Career Advice: Vincent Laforet
Low maintenance personality often trumps talent
“Basically: always try to find a way to RELIEVE STRESS for those hiring you. Even if you’re slammed with work – answer your phone calls immediately. If you’re successful and super busy: make sure you hire someone to do so for you.”
Those who relieve stress, as opposed to adding to it, in times of crisis are worth their weight in gold.
“When things break down, when the weather turns foul unexpectedly, when a piece of gear fails – there isn’t always a clear, easy solution unless your part of a medium to large production with backup solutions on the ready. Find people that are both talented/skilled and that have a predisposition to helping relieve stress, not creating it. ”
Those who complain or have a negative attitude will not likely be rehired.
“There’s a time and place to make suggestion – but almost as importantly: a time not to. Obviously any safety issue should freeze a production in its tracks the moment is becomes apparent. Other than that: we all have to try to find a way to make things work together.”
Keep your ego in check.
Laforet points to more than one example of how egotistical attitudes deter hiring managers in the film industry.
“Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Roger Deakins for a bit, and even though he is clearly one of the best cinematographers working today, his ego is well in check. He doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, and he strikes me as someone who is eager to uphold the highest standards and to collaborate with others in making the most striking films with a strong visual style – note the use of the work “collaborate.”
Know and accept the realities of a job and the budget that comes with it – on both side of the hiring equation.
Bigger budgets have certain perks and also come with a likely set of challenges, too. Smaller budgets will by definition have to cut corners here and there, but can also be much more nimble and creative.
Get recommendations ( both interviewees and hiring managers)
“When you hire someone, take the time to do a little research and to call someone who may have worked with them in the past. If you don’t get a glowing recommendation, or don’t hear something positive from the other end of the line: that’s a sign,” says Laforet. “When you are about to be hired by someone, do a little research as well and find out how the previous work experience was for some of your colleagues if you can. History tends to repeat itself.”
Read the rest of Laforet’s article “Can Personality Trump Talent when Hiring Crew” here.
Students earning their degree in Digital Media at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising emerge with a thorough understanding of all aspects of the film production workflow, from pre-production through post-production. The program focuses on editing, sound design, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling and animation, production, digital storytelling, and web design. Gene Lebrock, the Director of Digial Media at FIDM, emphasizes that it takes more than technical know-how to succeed as a digital media professional, but also a great attitude and a strong work ethic.
About Vincent Laforet
Bio courtesy of blog.vincentlaforet.com
Laforet, a three-time winner at the prestigious 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, is a director and Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer who is known for his forward-thinking approach to image-making and storytelling. In addition to having been commissioned by just about every important international publication—including Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, and Life—Vincent is considered a pioneer both for his innovative tilt-shift and aerial photography and in the field of HD-capable DSLR cameras. In fact, his short film “Reverie,” the first 1080p video shot with a still camera, was seen by more than 2 million times on the first week of its release in 2009. Vincent is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and a DP with Local 600.