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Finding Friendship Within Film
A few days ago, I was brought news of a production assistant (PA) I worked with who passed away. He was an older PA, at age 39, but he had the enthusiasm and spirit of a young man. On that particular film, things managed to get tough with long hours and high pressure, but this PA would show up to set everyday ready to greet me with a “Hello” and a smile.
Oftentimes, this was enough to make my day a little bit better than it was before.
We stayed in touch for a few weeks through Facebook when the shoot was over, but after that we drifted apart. Like summer camp, intentions of keeping in touch fizzle quickly when everyone packs up and goes home on the last day of a shoot. And while you can’t be expected to stay up-to-date with everyone you meet, even just one more friendship makes a gig worthwhile.
We, as filmmakers, have unique opportunities to befriend many people over the course of a career.
If you are just starting out in this industry, you will be surprised at the strong friendships you form. Not only is this good for networking, but you will eventually find yourself turning to these people for advice, for conversation and for companionship.
If you are grizzled and battle worn from years within the industry, it might be a good time to dust off some of those old business cards and give a former buddy a phone call or a friendly message on Facebook. Doing this is a rewarding experience.
Reconnect with old friends
I brought this up because it made me realize how much I enjoy the friendships that come as a result of my job. What can start as a work relationship can transform into a solid friendship over time. After awhile, you no longer “talk shop,” you talk about each others’ lives.
When I heard the news about the PA and how he is now gone, I immediately regretted not taking more opportunities to shoot him a quick message. He’ll never know how much I truly valued the brief companionship we had on set.
We should all strive harder to bring friends we make on set into our lives outside of work because of the companionship it rewards us with. So, the next time you are telling a good story from that one job or feeling nostalgic about the times from a shoot way back, don’t hesitate to drop by and deliver a “hello” to those who were with you.
It might make their day a little bit better than it was before.
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