The Experience to Be a Leader
Everybody wants to be the boss. Or rule the world, if you ask Tears for Fears. But how do you get there? And, more importantly, what experience prepares you for these top positions?
Traditional Career Path: Assistant > Junior Exec > VP
Great managers understand the people they manage and the challenges they face. Execs often work with producers to develop and execute projects and they need to understand how they work, how they think, and how to set them up for success.
Any Creative Production Job
It’s no secret that nearly every creative who has ever worked in the TV and Film industry has despised executives and everything they represent. This is, frequently, because execs try to impose their creatively tone deaf will on productions. A creative background allows execs to better communicate with production staff, form better relationships, and even create better solutions that harmonize the business and the creative.
Traditional Career Path: Production Assistant >Production Manager> Associate Producer
A great producer is half business and half creative. To understand the business and project management end of the role a stint at production manager is helpful. The role can help someone decide if producer is even the right role for them, as the business end often scares off those who assume a producer is a wholly creative position.
Editing helps producers think more strategically. Knowing how everything fits together provides the ability to think many steps ahead. A producer with a strong editing background can save time, money, and frustration at every stage of production, pre-production, and post.
Traditional Career Path: Directors often get started by directing a low budget critical darling OR Production Assistant> Assistant Director
Directors don’t have to be great actors, and if Quentin Tarantino is any indication they aren’t, but it helps to spend some time acting, even if at a community theater level. One of the most important tasks of a director is to get a good performance out of talent and acting is an extremely difficult and often emotional endeavor. Much how a tattoo artist should have at least 1 tattoo, experiencing what an actor goes through when taking on a role is essential for directors to coach a performance out of someone.
“Casting is 60% of directing.” The quote is attributed to any number of people and the percentage changes all the time, but it still rings quite true. With the right actor in a role, a director’s job can be much easier. The job of finding that actor is not as easy or straightforward as it might appear, so plenty of experience with casting can aid in that search.
Before you start driving you need to know the destination. For a director to have a clear vision, they need to know what they want a finished product to look like. For them to know how footage will work as a whole, they need to know how it pieces together. For a director to understand how best to direct, they need to know how to edit.