The Little Things Matter

The Little Things Matter

How you respond verbally to crew exposes your attitude. The pace at which you (reasonably) move reflects on your efforts. The amount of attention you supply reveals your passion. Your ability to competently complete tasks -- and fix it when you don't -- defines your skills.

Details make a difference on a film set. Specifically, your precision has influence.

What and how you say, do, act, react, and adjust to events or people on set impacts others’ perception of your work and of you as a professional.

How you respond verbally to other crew exposes your attitude. The physical pace at which you (reasonably) move reflects on your efforts. The amount of attention you supply reveals your passion. Your ability to competently complete tasks — and fix it when you don’t — defines your skills.

Often we are concerned with the bigger picture: “Did I slow down the crew?”, “Did I meet their expectations?” or “Was I good enough to hire again?”

But those questions are structures built from the bricks of all the tiny moments behind the camera:

– Saying “Copy that” over a walkie is different than saying “Okay.” One implies complete understanding and acceptance, the other is affirmative, but still too ambiguous.

– There’s a difference between sitting on an apple box to rest between long setups and doing so while everyone else is still standing.

– The speed at which you walk to the camera cart to retrieve a filter, repeated several times a day, can save (or lose) enough time to shoot (or miss out on) a few more takes before you wrap.

– The gum you bring the camera operator after lunch can prevent their stinky breath from irritating you as you work next to the camera resulting in less stress, and thus better focus pulling.

– Looking at your phone to get the most accurate depth-of-field readings is distinct from looking at it to check the latest sports scores, especially if both take place right before picture’s up.

I could go on and on with endless examples of the minutiae that builds a filmmaker’s reputation, but it’s more important you comprehend that, overall, each brief moment helps or hurts you. Each instant is a chance to establish yourself as better, faster, more skillful, and more passionate than your peers.

Because if you don’t, there’s someone else waiting for their opportunity to do just that.

In short, the little things matter — more than you probably realize.

  • Louis Weissman

    Great post Evan! Totally true stuff. The iPhone DoF calc reminded me of this,, which i saw the other day. I think it could be good for holding an iPhone of iPad on an Epic or other camera with USB port.

    • Evan

      Thanks Louis! Does look like a pretty cool mount… still wouldn’t stop you from checking DoF or sports scores though ;)

    • Benjamin_Tubb

      My AC usually just velcros his iphone to the side of the camera. I copied this trick when I AC, although I usually stick it on the frontbox. Instant pCam right in my face.

      Although once it was awkward when I forgot to put it in airplane mode, and the Panaflex started ringing.

  • Kyle Leach

    awesome post!

    • Evan

      Thanks Kyle! Apologies on my delayed response

  • Jason Yun

    Very, very well written post and the written article applies to all post in production and even to work life at large. Kudos Evans!!

    • Evan

      Sorry I never got back to you sooner, Jason, but thank you for the kind words on this post!

  • Alonzo Furino

    your blog is the shit. confidence inspiring

    • Evan

      Thanks Alonzo! I appreciate that