Leadership, communication, learning, problem solving, time management, conflict resolution, decision making, people skills, etc. Are all learnable skills. They are often referred to as “soft-skills”.
This is a research project on the challenges of a life and career in film industry. On how we use these skills, what we don’t know about them, what we are great at already and what we could still learn.
It aims to make this knowledge easily available for all the filmmakers out there from film students to A-list professionals.
I went to film school. I learned cinematography. I am getting into film industry. I am working around the camera, freelance for Arri Rental, and on international sets. First as a trainee, but lately more as an AC. On small budgets also as a DP and operator.
So it feels like my career has started, but at this point, a lot of questions struck me. I saw how important it would be for my career to learn to:
- Communicate really well
- Manage a team
- Maintain focus
- Conquer various fears about freelancing
- Motivate a team
- Advance my career
- Balance work and life
- Earn the respect of a team
- Become the best in my field
- Resolve conflicts
- Get more work
- Help the work of other departments
But there were just NO resources for these in film industry.
I was looking really hard, asking people from the top of the industry…
Chapters from a couple of books. Fewer than 5 articles. Some short and hidden parts of a few interviews. Articles in other fields than mine, etc.
There was nothing comprehensive and organized.
I got to know, that most of what I wanted to learn fall in the category of the so-called “soft skills”.
On the “hard skills” side we are well off with resources.
The hard skills for film industry are the knowhows of the artistic and technical side. There are tons of books, articles, interviews, courses, podcasts, workshops, blogs about it. This is also the only thing you usually learn in film school and this is what they teach you on set.
What is nowhere mentioned is that how much we depend on our soft-skills even if we don’t realize. They are related to all of our typical problems.
- When you want to become the best at what you do.
(Learning skills, communication, focus, grit)
- When you learned how to do what you do really well but you are frustrated by still not getting ahead in your career.
(interpersonal communication, managing fears, creating new meaningful relationships, etc.)
- When you are good at what you do but everyone seems to disrespect you.
(leadership, communication, empathy)
- When you have a team (or even one trainee) who could help with your workload but can’t seem to get them doing anything useful for you.
(communication, leadership, managing)
- When you have the dream job but have too much stress while working. Thinking things like “I’m not good enough” “They are stupid” “I hate this”.
(motivation, relaxation, managing stress, communication, self-awareness, conquering fears)
- When your career is running well, enjoying what you are doing but don’t have time for your family and friends.
(maintaining focus, work-life balance, self-awareness, knowing what’s important for you, managing time, making decisions)
This is light-years far from being a complete list.
It is merely a taster of how much our success, career, and happiness depend on our soft skills.
Outside of my career in film industry, I had some other passions.
I joined a Toastmasters club where people can practice their public speaking, and leadership skills. I also studied coaching from the US and through that I learned how we humans work. I always loved interviews too and also wrote articles from time to time.
Working in film industry and doing all these hobbies slowly started to merge for me. Film industry was lacking these resources but I wanted them. I wasn’t alone with that.
This is why I have started this project.
This project, called “Film-Life Lab” is a work in progress.
Every constructive feedback is welcome. Please let me know what is working, what could be better, what do you feel is missing, who and what would you love to hear about.
(For example, I myself feel like I need to work on my writing style.)
I will be even wrong eventually from time to time, although I will do my best to avoid it.
But not talking about these topics and not figuring out how we can deal with them, is so much more dangerous for the whole industry, than the consequences of me stating a couple of stupid things occasionally. 🙂
(Worst case scenario: small damages on my reputation)
I aim to deliver meaningful content at least every month, but for me, it is quality over quantity. Some topics might take longer or shorter time to discover.
I have already discovered some of these topics up to some lengths, but as with everything in life, the more you know about something the more you see how little you know.
… There is an enormous amount yet to discover.
… There are many things to fail at and learn from them.
… This is a journey.
… I am discovering these topics with you. Let’s discover together.
The future plan is to:
- Bring interviews, from both inside and outside the industry.
- To help different departments to understand each other better and communicate better
- Put all these knowledge into a system/library that is easy to look through if you are looking for something.
- Run a podcast that you can listen to on your way to work.
- Collect every other resource that is out there waiting to be discovered
If you have a story/experience/knowledge/resource you would like to share, let me know.
You are also encouraged to join the discussions. This site is here to enable us to open discussions about these topics, challenges, tools, and skills.
All the Best,