The Importance of Teamwork in Cinematography

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Opportunities that new self-made movie websites, YouTube, and reality TV are presenting to filmmakers are massive. My ultimate goals after four years in college in the UK is to become a famous cinematographer. However, similar to other careers, knowledge about the wide variety of resources that are available is necessary. After working as a video editor in real video production, I realized that paying attention to the quality of my final product is critical because it is through such product that my portfolio will be enhanced. According to Albert (2008, p.6), similar to other careers, success in cinematography requires hard work and determination. In the field, the cinematographer works with teams and might be involved in negotiating new plans with different stakeholders (Williams, 2001, p.71). Such filming aspect implies that the process for video production can go beyond actual filming action and require additional skills for a project to be successful. In light of this, a reflection of my experience in cinematography in the University has enhanced my skills and will play a crucial role in my success in video production industry.

The value of Teams in the Workplace

In the current video marketing industry, people want the low cost but high-quality products (Fill and Hughes, 2007, p.93). In essence, video marketers are tasked with producing high quality videos with limited resources. However, pricing lowly while ensuring high quality takes account of the way in which on the way experienced team per project is managed.  The people behind the scenes account for 80% of the quality of the film. The persons that are responsible for product quality include the director, producer editors and the camera crew. It is necessary to understand what clients require and deliver it accordingly by having a right eye for the required talent for each project Kapoor, Paul, and Halder, 2011, p.180). With that strategy, from the beginning, each worker knows how to lend a helping hand to another to ensure the fished product meets the desired quality.

In light of this, my knowledge about teamwork and team dynamics has been enhanced by my project. Precisely, I was assigned a task of producing a viral one-minute video that would be influential in art promotion in the University, which we are expected to present in a 15-minute pitch to show and sell our idea. In the process, I learned how the pitch specifies the creative decisions that have been employed in making the video, demonstrates the producer’s understanding of the target audience and informs the customers about the likelihood of success of the project as suggested by Morris & Goldsworthy (2012, p.245). What is more, we were required to submit a detailed media plan for the video advert with emphasis on awareness, addressing the needs of the target audience, exhibiting creativity in our work and communicating the key message (Shimp, 2007, p.273).

With time, I have come to establish the essence of having team members that are highly talented and familiar with one another. Given that all the members of my crew are close friends that have one another’s trust, we have a shared belief that our cohesion with eventually yield a high-quality product as suggested by Manriquez & Mccluskey, (2014, p.262). What is more, synergy and teamwork are essential from the time of conception through location scouting, script, production and editing and delivery of the final product. Different minds with different experiences enhance alternatives solutions to challenges. For sufficient synergy, the cinematographer must work in tandem with the director, producer and other crew members. The cooperation contributes to an extensive knowledge base that facilitates condensed production. Moreover, it is through appropriate allocation of roles that a video production team can achieve results with a reasonable timeframe.

Coordination as a Team member and Video Director

My group comprises of four people. Two of my crew members, Michelle and Kat deal with preproduction, which incorporates contacting the clients and handling storyboard. On the other hand, Brenda is in charge of the camera work. My role as a cinematographer is to deal with production and postproduction, which entails editing the video and giving directions regarding the shooting of the video. From our arrangement, I learned that the director is responsible for teaching and instructing team members about their roles and takes charge of the entire process of production. The producer should not only act as a guide but also a provider of necessary support to each member of the team. It is also the producer's role to ensure that every production step is followed to the letter and report the progress to other persons that are in charge of the project including the executive director.

            By leading my crew, I have learned important skills that are influential in my career such as leading meetings, collecting and submitting permission slips for participants to ensure that all copyright laws are supported and secured and, the storyboard is constructed, and appropriate referencing of credited work and materials.  I have also learned to coordinate the schedule of the project and tasks and communicate the subsequent steps to all crew members to ensure that the project stays on schedule and meets its objectives. Finally, I have learned to review the daily workload for team members, analyse and recommend changes that might be necessary and report issues to the director.


 All communication approaches must aim at keeping the cast crew happy, open and transparent. With transparency, communication breakdowns are minimized, unity and a positive attitude enhanced in the crew (Pinnow, 2011, p.31). Ordinarily, team members are likely to forget or slack in their responsibilities and make mistakes, but their efforts in making a good video should not be underestimated. Managers must not only understand but also respect every team member’s communication styles. That way, each crew member becomes comfortable with reporting problems encountered in the course of their work while transparency enables the crew to communicate detrimental decisions of the producer and director without fear of victimization in the future (Goodman & Hirsch, 2010 p.32). Therefore, communication is an ingredient for a healthy and collaborative partnership in film production.

Having worked in another group previously, I realized the importance of choosing the right teammates for the new project after one of the members failed in his role, making us submit the group assignment late. Selecting persons with whom I could create a trusting relationship was, therefore, inevitable in the new assignment (Wragge, Wragg & Theaker, 2005, p.79). By creating a WhatsApp group, all of my group members maintained close contact with one another. We could also schedule face to face meetings to discuss the progress of our project. Through such communication strategies, we were capable of creating a Gantt chart to enable us to complete the project on time.

Team leaders should study body language of their juniors to determine the feelings of their team members and exhibit transparency. With the two, they can cultivate trust among crew members Transparency is enhanced by instituting an open door policy and ensuring that everyone understand what the policy means to hem. According to Foster (2008, p.247) minimizing ambiguity in communication with team members and outsiders by speaking about things directly about various processes should be emphasized.Moreover, feedback should be treasured in the production process to ensure that everything is on schedule and everyone is on the same page (Cornelissen and Cornelissen, 2017, p.238). That said, the utilization of means of communication that do not guarantee instant feedback such as text messages and emails should be minimized because they can lead to delays and eventually slow down the distribution of crucial information (Lientz, 2012, p.124). Alternatively, face to face communication and use of cell phones should be encouraged for smooth information dissemination among video production crew members.

Understanding the Team dynamics

Cast and crew bring the team’s vision to life, hence their capacity to work in unity is an element of success (Los Angeles Magazine, 2006, p.72). Nonetheless, team building is one of the most critical assets in video production. That said, investing in a team must be the first step to successful video production. In essence, the video director must strive towards creating a working environment where expectations are clear, creativity is welcome, and collaboration is encouraged (Kyei-Blankson, 2015, p.342). In addition, for effective message delivery, the producer must put up the appropriate team including sound recordists, and camera operators. Talents that consider themselves as part of the whole and seeing that they have a contribution to make, a vision of realizing it are the most appropriate. People that depict hard work and willingness to let go of their ego, as well as those that are passionate about their work, should be given a higher priority during recruitment. When such people are engaged, they become a source of creativity in the production process.

Creative leadership entails openness to others rather than subjectivity in decision making. Therefore, it is important to emphasize on consensus whereby everyone learns to live with the agreed decision rather than ensuring everyone is happy with the decision should be emphasized (Barnes, 2015, 147). Success is achieved more easily when leaders pull rather than push team members. Pulling entails encouraging crew and cast member to be creative but having the innovative ideas and solutions beforehand (Kumar & Meenakshi, 2009, p.433). Given that all of my crew members have different experiences, their chances of perfection and creativity in our work are high because each of us has different ideas in her area of specialty. The fruits of such diversity have been revealed in the progress that we have made so far. More specifically, we were able to complete the project before Easter holiday to allow my group mates to break during the holiday without fearing for unnecessary delays in the project completion. I expect to bring up such strategy of competing tasks promptly in my future career.

Cohesion and Effort in the Face of Diversity

Creating a cohesive team can turn out to be a challenge, primarily when the team leader is not used to group work. Ideally, video production crews look forward to their leaders to make the most critical decisions, control crises and exhibit appropriate business conduct in the course of production. As a result, it is upon the project leaders to make the most accurate choices and share with the crew in an attempt to bring the best out of every talent in the teams (Kouzes & Posner, 2017), p.237). In essence, flexibility is one of the most critical skills that a producer must exhibit because sometimes the project might require a change of plans at the last minute.

Diversity in the production process is exhibited by teams whose members have different skills and experiences. For the process to be smooth, the team mission, must always be the guide for a diverse workforce. Team leaders ensure that the worker specialties are pulled out to accomplish the mission, which involves determining the strengths that each member is endowed with and assigning tasks based on such abilities. With the strategy, it is possible to hold each member accountable. Moreover, diversity management incorporates constructing messages that fit each member of the team. For effective cohesion, the director should receive and give feedback to team members and promote the culture of accommodating diverse opinions. The strategy can shed light on flaws of the entire production process (Namatame and Chen, 2016, p.211) Furthermore, when the members feel that their opinions matter, they are increasingly likely to be accountable and inspired in the future. Lastly, when the project turns out to be successful, the members should be recognized and appreciated.

As said earlier, my crew members were from different backgrounds. In spite of our friendly ties, each of us is unique many ways. For instance, all of us come from different states of Thailand that are characterized by different cultures and religions. However, we realize that in the UK, which is an environment that is significantly far from home, we must support one another to adapt to learning methodologies, comping with the weather and an unfamiliar language and dealing with homesickness a argued by (Smith, 2003, p.93). Our long-term goal is to earn our bachelor’s degrees successfully and progress in video production careers.


With the increase in competition in film production, breaking into the industry not only needs a strong organization, communication, leadership, administration skills but also flexibility. Working as a cinematographer for my group has enhanced my skills significantly. That said, video production team leaders should have proper coordination and communication skills. They must also be sufficiently flexible to enable them approve the ideas of their members to ensure the projects remain on course. Nonetheless, when team issues arise, the director should know to mediate them and assign grades to each video produced. The producers must also have knowledge about managing diversity in their teams to achieve their goals. Such team management skills ensure professional camera moves and angles alongside timing, logistics, and lighting for overall success in video production projects.



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August 01, 2023




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Film Analysis

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