Saving the Art

I saw the result yesterday of a job I had deeply desired fifteen years ago. It was a masterly success for the producer/director. I don’t know who got the job as a videographer, but I remember my two months working with that person and reflected on their snide comments and not-so-subtle criticisms of their crew. It was the sort of cavalier egomania you expect in multi-million dollar productions, not essentially backyard productions. But it all worked despite the contumely displays of the one in charge. Why did it work?

Video and cinema, of course, have reputations for overdriven ego. But you know, at the awards ceremonies where they thank “all the little people who made it possible!” it’s not just an empty figure of speech. It’s true.
It’s the guy setting up the lighting who quietly makes an adjustment that saves a shot, the gal at the audio mixer who knows her job, and the videographer who quietly alters the shot position to something more flattering. Then there is the editor who knows what the director wants and needs is not what the fool is nattering on about. A touch of the Stoic helps in this business, and you need a holiday in the everyday world when the shoot folds.

Here is something to think about next time you watch a beautifully done movie on Netflix, Prime, or Hulu – the art is not all in the direction. Much of the art comes from the “little people” saving the art from the artist.


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