How do you make people like you, so they want to work with you again?
In our industry, it’s especially tricky. Film professionals are used to people in their lives trying to get something out of them, and this sometimes makes them wary of people they don’t know very well.
Let’s establish something right away: If people like you, you are going to work a whole lot more.
But in the film industry, it seems like everyone is so focused on what they have going on… it’s hard to find or create that moment to connect with them in a real way. So, in this post, I want to give you some ideas that you can try on, and see if your interactions change.
Consider this… Everyone is trying to protect their career.
Yes, it’s true. At all times, top professionals are keeping their career in mind. They need to do good work, and they need the shoot to go well so that future work comes easier. They can control those things to different degrees, but they’re probably going to be a little on edge during a big shoot. If you walk up to them when they’re in the middle of something and try to start a major conversation with them, it could piss them off. All that built up stress might get unloaded on you.
Say you want to get in with a big producer. That producer has been working with a big director for some time and for the time being, the producer’s survival is tied to that person. What’s more, they don’t really get along.
So, getting to know you, is not really on their radar. The producer is spending a lot of energy making sure the director has what they need and that their relationship doesn’t get in the way of the production. You’d never know it, but they’re focused on the work and stressed out by it.
If you keep in mind that you won’t necessarily know what all the issues are for people on set, it’ll be easy to shift your thinking from “How can I make them like me?” to “How can I help them out? How can I make their job as easy as possible?”
Do as much as you can and the best work you can manage, and this will work best if you anticipate what they need whether that be food, water, tools, a chair, an apple box, etc. If you find yourself with some downtime, don’t take it. Don’t do nothing. Find department heads, a director, producer, the people running everything, and ask them what you can do for them right in that moment.
They will adore the people who are constantly trying to find things to do.
Don’t try to make people like you. Just be of service to them. Be present with people. And appreciate who they are and the loving feeling will come out of you.
There will be times to have casual conversations with people, and as you get on more sets you’ll start to recognize when those times are. However, keep in mind that it can be hard to repair a relationship with someone if they came to feel like you were pushy or trying to take advantage of their professional status, so start by making everyone’s lives easy.