I Was Wrong All These Years
Early on in my career I was built on the idea that everything was done by yourself. I didn’t have anyone helping me on skate videos, music videos or personal projects. Maybe a helping hand or two, but never another person donating physical and mental chops to the creative process. This wasn’t until just a few months I realized what a “team” really meant. It wasn’t just asking someone to help out on the shoot date or for some PA to carry my gear. It was to bring someone into the workflow of the creative process.
Meeting The Right People
The cliche all over the creative world is “You gotta know the right people” or “It’s all about who you know”. I always took this as you knowing the head of a production company or the A&R at a record label. Yes, these are great people to know and work with but I don’t think they are the best types
Last year I met 3 people who changed my idea of collaborators.
There have been others but these three really taught me what a strong creative team and always positive attitude can get you in this create on demand space.
It took me almost 3 years of living in LA to make these connects. The problem was I was looking in the wrong places. I was just looking at peoples work and not their character. It didn’t even occur to me that it mattered how they were as a person. I just wanted someone who was creative. Who knew you had to also had to find someone who was gonna root for you all the way till the end.
I’ll admit, being 20 and new to LA. I just assumed everyone was in it with a full heart and mind. It took seeing laziness, people acting immature in front of clients and constant focus on producing the same level of work to see something wasn’t clicking. The click wasn’t me or the work. It was that I was working with the wrong people.
It can be tough finding your tribe, your type of people. Who not only challenge you but care about you. This is a trend I wish all creatives could have in their corner. It feels incredible to know someone is betting on you 100% of time, as you are for them.
How To Find These People
So you want to find the right people? This may take time but it’s so worth the the patient process. This past weekend I was at Film And Music, A event held by musicbed and filmsupply. They bring in filmmakers from all over to give keynotes and workshops.
One of the workshops was on building a business, more specifically a production company. This was led by Joel and Jesse of Evolve IMG. A high end production house based in Nashville. Through my years of working with others, I would just DM someone and ask for them to help. I usually have never worked with them nor did I have any recs. it was just me needing someone there. Little did I know that me bringing them on my set was a reflection of me. How they acted and responded, good or bad. This didn’t click a few awkward on set experiences and immature behavior. I always wondered how higher end companies has 0% of this.
Joel spoke about this. He said he treats even PA’s as someone interviewing for a job and it might even take a year before they trust this stranger on set, repping the Evolve name on their chest. This was really interesting to me and it clearly works. In the last 4-6 months I’ve been trying to meet 10 new people a month for coffee. They could play role in production or be in a totally different field. Point is, I wanted to expand my network. I’d find these people on social media or through friends. Meeting with someone who seemed like a great guy or gal + had a great work ethic. After 50+ meetings you start to notice a trend, very few fall in the middle of the scale. The scale being passionate or stale. You can tell who loves what they do and pushes themselves. These are the folks I clicked with. They had this fire and desire to chase the goal of not creating mundane work. They set a goal to challenge themselves. This made me want to get to know them more. These people are the ones I brought onto set or worked with extensively on new creative projects. I started to notice the ideas and natural energy these creatives gave off and it was the first time I realized how important it is to have someone creative and innovative in your court.
Why These People Matter In Your Personal Life
I’ve realized in the last few months that these creatives you work with, who propel you and challenge the ideas are also incredible friends outside of work. These people are there to build you up as a human and make sure you are going through life living the fullest. it’s incredible the amount of genuine people I’ve been able to bring into my life this past year. it’s no strand of luck that heart filled and creative driven people also make great lifelong friends. They want you to succeed in all facets of life, not just professionally.
Take your time to find and build these people up in your life. They are not as rare as you’d think. The best thing you can do is be open minded and open your heart to everyone you meet. The ones who feel the same are the people you will connect with the best. it’s not a game of luck, it’s a game of love and drive to be working with the best people in your circle.