So You Want to Make a Movie: Team Work
By Mehka King | 24-Jun-2011
After deciding to do "In the mixx: Dj's doing the work" one of the first things I had to remove from my mind was the thought that I could do everything on my own. I always felt like I had a very diverse skill set. My background is in journalism and have written everything from stories to scripts. I've run my own business for 4 years and I feel comfortable handling things on my own. Having multiple skills is great, but at some point you have to realize that one person can't hold down every job. Especially when you're talking about producing and filming a movie.
Now on my first film project, "Crown Royalty: A History of Charlotte Hip-hop" I did handle everything for the most part on my own. I wrote the script, handled camera work, co-edited the project, handled my own publicity and found a venue to debut the film. While that sounds admirable, it was actually more time consuming than anything. I learned that trying to take every job on your own is dangerous. Not only did it take away from some of the quality of the film, but it took some of the fun out of the process as well. So when I decided to do "In the mixx: Dj's doing work" I made it a goal to put together a team of people from camera men to publicists who I could trust to help me on this project.
Finding people who are dedicated and trust worthy to a job that's very thankless is hard to do. Since I've started filming in September of 2010 I've actually found several great people who have come on and assisted with the filming process. My camera man Stephen is beyond amazing with his camera work. He also has a feel for angles and is not afraid to let me know when something might no work. I like that because most people are into a job for one reason, a check. Once money is in hand, they stop caring about the end result because they got paid. It's rare to find people who after receiving money can still work as if they have something on the line as well. He's become my go to guy for not just camera work and any questions I had about editing the film.
Another great person who I've found to come onto the team has been my editor and camera man Aaron. He's just starting out and has his own production company called A Black TV. He's been great as far as editing the project. His eye for changes is what I need on the team, because like any great leader can admit, I can't see everything. It's good to know you have another set of eyes, looking for flaws as hard as you are.
But putting together a good team doesn't stop at the camera men and editors. If you're serious about your film you would do yourself good to find someone to handle press. The bigger the production is, the more likely media outlets will want to talk to you about the movie and how it came to be. I honestly feel like with my background in journalism that I can do my own pr. But I'm not a fool. It takes a professional to make you look like a professional. While I haven't found one person in particular to assist in that department on a daily basis, I have had a few people to come on and help when it was needed. Right now, I'm working with 2 highly regarded publicists to help bring media attention to the viewing party we're having in in Los Angeles to show the trailer for "In the mixx: Dj's doing work" I've been blessed to work with people who are professional in what they do, and expect the same out of you.
One more piece you're going to want to look for as you film is a producer. The producer's jobs will be to assist in finding locations to film, dealing with interview subjects and making sure paperwork like permits, clearance forms, etc are filled out properly and catalogued. I've found people who have helped out in that area, but I'm still looking for someone to help out with that for the remainder of the filming process. I'm sure that as time goes I'll find the right pieces to the puzzle that will make filming easier. It might not be for this project, it might come 3 films down the road, but a good team will be needed to face the constant challenges that come with trying to make a movie.
Producing and filming a movie is a lot to handle on your own. And while it's not impossible to do, a little help here and there will take you a long way.