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Get to Know Your Crew

I’m of the belief that when you have to spend a long period of time with someone, it had better be someone you like. And so, when we started hiring crew for the making of Pickings, my cinematographer and I invited them all to have a drink at a local bar. That night, we all bonded and grew to really like each other. I did the same and more with my cast, and that’s something that I plan on doing on every feature I work on. Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, and if you get to know and grow to like the people you work with, that alone can eliminate lots of drama, headaches, and bad blood – when everybody loves everybody, making movies becomes a pleasure. Crew people are a breed that very much follows the “bro” mentality, and many of them respond very well to confident leadership. Many of them want to eventually do what you’re doing now, so keep that in mind when you’re on set. Show confidence (fake it if you have to), have fun, and treat everyone with respect, and your crew will love you.

Respect is the name of the game, and getting to know your crew makes that game easier to win. the production wherever it goes; some directors play cards, throw a football, play basketball, and find other ways of keeping the atmosphere light during downtime. When I made my first feature film Pickings, I didn’t really know that it was something that I was supposed to do, but I ended up doing some of it by default. We celebrated the end of the day by having a drink; we went to the beach, played pool, and overall had a good time during downtime. Later on, I learned that I was really saved by my lead actors– who were all a big source of positivity and, unbeknownst to me, helped keep people from giving in to despair when things got really rough.

Katie Vincent has been a leading lady in most of my films since my first film Prego, she has also become one of my closest friends and was instrumental during Pickings.

My cinematographer used to go to Dunkin Donuts every morning to pick up treats for his crew before the craft services table was set up in the morning, and my cast and I used to play the Mafia party game during the course of shooting. We had some really high highs and some really low lows – but at the end of the day, we pulled through it, and I couldn’t have done it without my team. I realize that not every shoot is going to be that hard, or that easy, and that there’s always a potential for morale to drop and for people to get discouraged, but I am smarter, I am better, and I am more experienced, and now – whenever I’m on set – I always take a proactive role to keep my cast and crew in a good mood!

During a table reading for Pickings with the main cast.


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