In general, I like to have people involved in the production of projects as little or as much as they like — basically filling in wherever their skills, talents, and creativity are a good match — but to do this requires:
- A single top-down leadership role to quickly veto things that aren’t working or fast track things that are
- Coordination and discipline (think: herding cats)
- Participants that are capable of taking direction, being flexible, and working with feedback
How collaboration are formed
Project groups/crew/talent are formed around project ideas by interested and/or qualifying individuals.
Where projects come from
Project ideas can come from anyone. And it could be as simple as shooting a single scene.
Actor: I’d love to do a scene that highlights my comedic timing.
From there we (or you):
- discuss ideas and pick one
- outline a project
- submit a project idea for others to see & express interest in
- *I’ll need to figure out a good way to do this — but this is where building a formal community will help.
- see who else is interested in participating
- we get the interested & qualifying participants involved
From there we basically bang out all aspects of a production — concept, story, location, dialogue/scenes, wardrobe, etc. and then proceed to shoot.
Larger projects may require a lot of time, but my goal is to be able to bang out smaller productions in a single day. Simple is our friend. Too many projects get bogged down by overly ambitious ideas and unnecessary details — and this is why they never come to fruition.
This is my idea of simple:
Actor comes to me: So, I’ve been wanting to shoot a scene that features my dramatic abilities.
Me: Ok. Your phone rings. It’s your brother. He’s an EMT. Your wife, child, and dog were just killed in a collision on the freeway. We film your response.
This is my idea of a simple idea and a very filmable scene. It took me as much time to write as it did for you to read it.
Actor: That’s a bit heavy. I’m not sure I’m ready to go there emotionally. Can we do comedy instead?
Me: Sure. All the things that people are losing in the world keep landing in your path. Subtly at first. And then more extreme. Socks, pens, balloons, rubber bands, paper clips, and the occasional pet. It turns out the God of Lost Things died and you’re his next-of-kin. You are visited by his assistant who explains everything.
Oh, you want to be the assistant instead? Done.
I don’t know. That seems like an amusing and very filmable idea — although it obviously requires a number of “lost things” and a creative way to reveal them. So it may take longer to shoot.