Working with kids is one of the great challenges for beginning film and TV directors. After all, W.C. Fields said, “Never work with children or animals.” They’re both unpredictable and take real focus and skill. So I asked my friend Rafael Barreiro, a director and producer who’s worked internationally, and now teaches at the university level to give us some basic advice for novice directors. Here’s his thoughts:
I’ve been writing a “How Hollywood Works” series of posts because I’ve discovered one of the biggest reasons creative people fail is because they simply don’t know how the entertainment and media industries work. If you haven’t read my previous posts, here’s Part 1 and Part 2. Today, I continue the series with three great pieces of advice:
A few weeks ago I started a series on how Hollywood works where I collected quotes from friends in the entertainment industry sharing their insights on breaking in and becoming successful. I’ve discovered that an enormous number of projects fail – not because they’re not good ideas from talented people – but because the filmmakers, writers, or other creative people simply don’t know how the industry works. So from time to time I’ll continue dishing up some great advice from talented professionals about producing, directing, acting, writing, and all the other avenues to making your dream happen:
Most of the calls, inquiries, and pitches I hear from faith-based filmmakers are flawed because they just don’t know how Hollywood works. You’d never launch a career as a lawyer without knowing how the legal system works, or become a brain surgeon without the right medical training; but when it comes to media and entertainment, everyone with an idea thinks they can get a film or TV studio to
Original ideas – no matter how great – often take a backseat to ideas that have worked in the past. But I was reading the Samson story the other day from Judges 15:14-17: “As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. Then Samson said,
Most Christians think Hollywood is a lost cause. In spite of the growing presence of ministry outreaches to the industry, as well as more Christians than ever working in media and entertainment, it’s easy to see after viewing some movies and television programming, that we’re not making much progress. But before we react from emotions, let’s actually take a look at the role Christianity played in some major movies this past year:
One of the reasons the Christian community continues to be marginalized in the culture is that we’re not engaging well in the area of arts and entertainment. We prefer to hold debates, apologetics conferences, create media for Christians, and other in-house projects that may be good, but only reach a small minority of people. Meanwhile,
My friend DeVon Franklin was the Senior Vice President of Columbia Tristar Pictures in Hollywood, and then launched his own movie production company. If you haven’t read his book “Produced by Faith” then I highly recommend it. I recently asked him his opinion of the single most important skill it takes to reach the top in the entertainment and media industry. His answer?