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1 Big Mistake I Made When I Was First Getting Started In Filmmaking

Like most indie filmmakers, I made a lot of mistakes when I first started.

But, this is one of the biggest mistakes I made in film:

Not Creating A Home — A Welcoming Environment — For Your Team

Here’s what happened:

The first time I noticed I missed this was when I worked on a film production out of state.

It was also the first time I had this responsibility for someone else’s movie.

While I thought I did a lot of things right…

For some reason, I missed this one, key human element.

I’d welcome people in, answer questions, host team meetings, and be available for concerns (and take action on them).

But, I was focusing on the professionalism of the production.

The efficiency of it.

Ensuring the result of an end product: the film.

And while, I made efforts to take care of cast & crew…

what I didn’t make a priority at the time was self-care (for myself and others).

After all, it was a new place for me too.

I was one of few who had never been there before.

I didn’t know what was missing at the time, but I could feel a void.

We, as a team, didn’t feel connected like one collective pursuing a common goal.

That project ended. Some time went by…

After a few more productions, I could finally identify what was missing.

It’s also worth acknowledging that making this mistake taught me a ton.

On my next project, I set out right away to create a welcoming environment for everyone.

This time the film production was set in the woods.

So, my partner and I made an entire themed production:

a “Welcome to Camp” experience…

We filled it with guides, resources, local hotspots, good food recommendations, housing tips, and more. All you would expect from good hospitality.

And, for extra nostalgia, it was printed with that old-school summer camp vibe.

But here’s where the real, key human element came in:

We hosted social events like bonfires, game nights, and outdoor activities.

We did this to help change things up for everyone. Allow each to connect after hours, and have conversations.

A film production requires the greatest form of collaboration.

Allowing people to feel welcome and comfortable helps to build trust.

This, in turn, provides opportunity for sharing feedback, having fun, and building lasting friendships.

That’s what it’s all about for me.

This is why I encourage everyone to see their mistakes (and “failures”) as necessary steps along the path.

There is always a lesson to be learned.

See you tomorrow. Matt Cici

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