Directors, DP’s, PD’s The Creative production peeps

As a director, do you ask your crew for opinions or is that considered as a sign of a weak or indecisive director?

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If you ask people with qualified, educated opinions, it’s great. If you’re asking a P.A seriously about their opinion, it can come off an indecisive or unsure. You should be capable of making all the decisions solely, as a director.

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You hired your crew for a reason presumably, and they want to contribute creatively, so asking for their opinion is part of my job as a director. You can’t have every skill and be 100% knowledgeable about everything related to production, so you lean on your department heads to make up for those deficits based on their skill sets. But I wouldn’t ask a grip about wardrobe options for example. The key to be a decisive director is to take opinions on board and the decide. The key to being a good director is to decide correctly, but that’s a whole other skill

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Thanks. Do you live in Chicago by any chance?

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I’m a video editor primarily but I’ve also been asked to direct semi-sizeable things with a crew at my job. The way I’ve always broken it down is that the director is where most of the greater creative vision develops from, whereas the crew exists to help that come to fruition from a logistical perspective. There is no shame whatsoever in putting your heads together to figure out how to make it happen. Ideally, you’ve surrounded yourself with a talented crew you respect who have great ideas and maybe even operate a couple steps ahead of you. Secondly - as a former crew member, a director who doesn’t trust his or her crew and makes decisions without consulting them is one that is liable to lose the crew.

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Personally, i like a collaborative vibe, esp when there are talented people around, and haven’t been disappointed by asking for opinions. Good thing is by starting out that way when it’s a “nice to have,” you’ve got open lines of communication when it’s crunch time and you have to pivot fast to solve a problem (as in your LA exterior shot just became the 2nd coming of Noah’s Ark-like rain and you need to do a very quick 180 on the scene because there is NO weather day).

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Seriously. Don’t be weak own it. If anybody has a good idea and is collaborative then collaborate don’t let your fragile ego slow you down.

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