Round Two: Development

Should You Hire a Crew You’re Already Comfortable With? Or Find New Collaborators for Each Project?

YT: I’ve worked with the same people on previous projects, and when you do that, there’s definitely a shorthand. you’ve already developed. At this point in my career, though, I’m asking myself, “Is there something else out there I’m not exploring if I don’t work with new people?”

SS: I do like trying new things, of course, but I try not to fix what isn’t broken. I’ve edited a lot of my movies with Sofía Subercaseaux, and I’ve repeatedly worked with two DPs who I love. You don’t need to start all over again every time. At the same time, I don’t want to close myself o to collaboration with new people, because, much like when I turn on the camera during a rehearsal, I’m open to surprises. If I waste a little time, or it turns into an inconvenience, or the collaboration doesn’t work out, or even if the new person and I become enemies on-set, I’m willing to take those risks for the sake of adventure.

Illustration by Gel Jamlang

YT: I don’t want to take those risks. Working with someone new is working with the unknown. The reality is that most of the time you work on each film you have so little time and resources that any conflict or drama is a money and time suck. I’m so averse to that type of stuff; I don’t want to deal with it. I’m about minimizing tension and drama when working with my cast and crew. When I work with people I know, even if there are disagreements, they’re going to be disagreements within my expectations. There isn’t going to be some nasty surprise. That’s what I’m comfortable with: A lot of the processes are already established, so we don’t have to cover them anymore. At certain points during the production that get especially stressful, I find that I can sometimes have a hard time articulating myself. Having a shorthand is beneficial in situations where I have a harder time telling people what I want—especially with actors. I’ve had moments where our actors can’t quite visualize or understand what I’m trying to express. That’s when people I’ve worked with can chime in and elaborate on what I’m getting at, and then the actor will say, “Oh, OK, that’s what you mean.”

SS: Of course, everyone would like to find their “golden” DP, editor, or other collaborators. The ones I’ve been lucky enough to find, I wouldn’t change. But for me, it’s not just about whether working with one is better than working with another. There are some DPs who don’t like to travel so much, so it’s also about: are they around? Do they live in the same area? And ultimately, are they as passionate, and as adventurous, as you?

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