1) How about new directors at a new company? I think if you’re joining a shop in a director’s role it is crucial to take the first few weeks or months to feel out the culture of a place. Understand how people work before truly implementing any process changes or putting your mark on things. You don’t want to turn people off by acting like you have all the answers (you don’t anyway). So take the time to learn who you’re working with so you can set them up for success.
2) Don’t be afraid of baptism by fire. I really believe the best way to learn is to just throw yourself out there and get the experience. You will learn a lot on challenging projects — mainly how you would run it the next time. That is where you become a good producer, when you can start to plan for the obstacles — that don’t exist yet — but you know they are around the corner and you have a plan of attack.
3) Not sure if this is a lesson, but build in time for failure. Call it R&D to your client. While at Firstborn I worked on one of the first VR projects for a brand. Oculus was only a Kickstarter at the time, there was no blueprint for capturing content, very little VR documentation, but somehow we sold in a VR project!
Our next step was building a camera rig — so we 3D printed several rigs that would house multiple GoPros. While that was going on, we had a creative technologist working on stitching software. Once we started to feel good, it was time to test out our rig. And by test I mean putting our cameraman on a skateboard and bombing down 6th Ave in NYC to get our footage. After some trial and error, we nailed it.
4) Our latest TV spot for Cobra Golf is a special one to me. As is often in our business, we had an ambitious timeline and no room for error. We laid out a complex workflow at the beginning of the project that we felt good about and it got executed almost to perfection. As Producer, that’s the best feeling you can have on a project. https://vimeo.com/250482740