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Collaboration, Not Charity

August 26, 2011

Jacob faces a difficult choice.

I sometimes act like I prefer to be a sort of lone-ranger. I’ve been a filmmaker for almost 30 years and have worked professionally in a variety of production roles.

But really, that’s not what I want. What I really enjoy is the heat of real collaboration with really talented and dedicated teammates. I can get a good deal of the way to a great product with the things I know. But to really make something great, I need help. I want help. I want to work with others who are into excellence, have great attitudes, and are generous with themselves.

Michael wakes up after a beating, in Jacob's home.

This past weekend I experienced a two great production days on my film, Street Language. I’m the writer and director, and we’re making it for no budget as a mentoring project and as a film to serve inner-city organizations that work with the homeless and at-risk teens. Because we’re making it with no financial resources other than what I can scrape together from my (less-than-explosive) IndieGoGo campaign (Be A Part Of It!) I have worried about how to gather a crew, locations, cast, and all of the other things that go into making a film the right way. (I must be too old to be making films like I’m a starving college student, but that’s kind of what we’re doing, but professionally!)

I have been blessed with a great team, from Chloe Anderson, my Co-Producer, to my DP, Gaffer, on down to my high-school student PAs. They are all volunteers, but they don’t act like it’s we’re a charity case. I have been on many professional sets where people are making real money and I have to say that they don’t run any better than ours. We are working long days in practical locations and everyone acts like it’s their project! You can’t ask for more than that.

I want to continue, even after all these years, to give people something to get excited about, to honor their gifts in the best way I’m able, and to help them to feel that they are making a significant contribution with their time and talents.

Filming again this weekend. Here’s praying for more of the same.

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