Soap Box: Relationships as professionals and effects on the job

Moving into 2018, I wanted to look back and touch upon some tidbits of knowledge that picked up along the way. It has been a great journey so far and I’m very appreciative of everyone that has come into my life. I have made some strong bonds that I am very proud of. As creatives, it’s all about understanding and reaching that common goal that makes it all worthwhile.

We are as strong as our weakest link. I’m sure that’s been quoted many times before by many different people. Personally, I heard it a lot when I play sports in high school. Of course, I was never really good at sports, so maybe that quote was directed at me in that respect.

Anyway, the quote reverberates to many aspects of our lives. I think of this quote as I’m writing this because I think back to the many creative productions I’ve been on and how they’ve panned out based on every individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

I feel my biggest fear is letting down my teammates, no matter what the job may be or how closely I’m involved. Specifically, my roles in film projects come to mind.
There have been times that I have worked myself to exhaustion with moonlighting then came to a film set and felt useless as I struggled from the lack of sleep or energy. So, why did I continue to do this? Because I felt every project was worth it. I felt my crewmates were counting on me to get the job done. Most importantly, I understood that I was a piece of a puzzle.
A puzzle? What good is a puzzle with a missing piece? They each play a part to create something that is much bigger than themselves. And when finished, the results are beautiful and create a larger understanding of the roles of each interlocking piece.
At the point of this photo, I had gone at least
36 hours without sleep.

We, as a crew, interlock to create cohesive matter. At the time, we might not be able to see that. It’s not until we witness the finished product that we understand.

In a film production, it can sometimes be hard to see when it matters to work together as a well-oiled machine. I know there are times that my flaws can get in the way of seeing the bigger picture. Nobody is perfect, and it is our duty as human beings to work around our imperfections to achieve a greater goal.
Each position and department on a film set has their own specific set of duties. However, they should never work against each other. It is our job as a crew to create an understanding of the overall goal and how to achieve it. We operate to obtain the same thing.
As I mentioned before, that can be overshadowed by our personal demons. I know there are times that I can be selfish, which can go against the common goal.
As a Director of Photography, I may have a different vision that the Director. Understanding the importance of understanding each other is something I always try to keep in mind. Everyone works differently. It is our job to use our own strengths to build upon our crewmate’s strengths.
It feels good when it all comes together. As you all have heard, Body Farm is complete and had a
very successful premiere. I’m very proud of everyone involved and I feel that we all shared a very special bond over the past few years.
I know I can be difficult at certain times because my stubbornness and pride get in the way. For those of you out there who were patient with me, I am forever grateful.
I also know that I’m not the most technically educated in the terms proper set etiquette or techniques. I did not have the opportunity go to a proper film school. In fact, I did not know where I wanted to go with my life until my junior year of undergrad. And I have Juniata College to thank for helping me along the way, even though I only scratched the surface by the time I graduated.
However, I feel that it is important to continue to learn even after our educations have finished. Even without a proper education in professional filmmaking, you will still find me assisting in any capacity on set, making mental notes of how others do their jobs and being observant of how everyone works together. I will then do my best to fill in where needed.
Large egos can sometimes get things done in a production. Conversely, large egos can also create a very toxic environment on set, if one individual places themselves above all else. It is important that we all remain humble and understanding of each others needs in a film production.
Why am I speaking of the importance of teamwork? Because I don’t want anyone reading this to make the same mistakes that I have made. I’ve made a lot of connections over the past few years. But I’ve also burned some bridges, not realizing until it’s too late.
It’s inevitable in this industry that we can’t always please everyone, but it is important to understand their perspective to help complete a common goal.
I’m very thankful to everyone that I have ever worked with. No matter the size of the project, I appreciate the efforts that are always put forth. You guys are what keep me going.
Wrapping up the last few projects, I wanted to share this clarity and insight with you. As artists, we are a community of like-minded individuals.
We are a family. And I’m so proud of my family. I’m looking forward to growing with you in 2018 and beyond.
Much love, my friends.
Cheers,
Steven

Author: Steven E. Croner

Hey, everyone. How are you? I’m doing pretty well. My name is Steven. I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for a few years now. What sort of projects have I been working on, you ask? Well, I’ve assisted with several indie film productions in that time, mostly directly behind the camera or working with camera operations. It has been pretty fun. I’ve also been working on several other projects individually. This website is a collection of those projects that I do on in my spare time. Please click on the links above to learn about some of the work that I do in digital media and writing. I hope you enjoy my collection, which is a combination of old, archived work and new content I am compelled to share with you. Please feel free to interact, engage, and help me make some friends and colleagues in the creative media communities!

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