5 Steps to Making a Difference – Production Style
Making a difference is in vogue these days. Tom’s will donate a pair of shoes to a kid in Africa, Microsoft will give a Surface to a kid in Africa, Warby Parker contributes a pair of glasses to the non profits in third world companies. It’s so popular that Buzzfeed compiled a list of 22 Charitable Companies that Give Back.
We feel good about buying from these companies because we they ‘give back’ on our behalf. We have, in essence, outsourced our charitable deeds. Charity ends at the cash register or online shopping cart. We are freed from actually investing other people’s lives. And our egos are gratified by the fact that we ‘did something good’.
So how can you really make a difference?
Figure out what you’re good at and where your passion lies. Everyone has some natural talent. An audio professional usually has some kind of musical talent, a graphics artist has some visual arts talent.
Everyone has something that drives them. What touches your heart? When you see a specific injustice and think, “Oh my gosh, someone needs to do something about that!” That ‘someone’ may be you.
Put your passion and talents together. If you have a talent in music and little old ladies make you go “Aw, aren’t they sweet,” then go play your guitar at the retirement home. If you’re good at PowerPoint and love to camp, offer to help the Scouts with their next area meeting. Videographers who love to surf? Shoot a local competition, edit it together and offer it to the competition organizers.
Start where you are. Maybe you haven’t discovered your talents and passions. That’s ok. Pick up the napkin in the hotel hallway. Help the meeting planners place handouts on the chairs. Hop on the camera if needed. Step in for the talent for the lighting guy.
Pay attention, find ways to be helpful wherever you are.
Train your mind to see the good. Production professional complain. We complain about the crew catering, the client, the temperature of the room, the long hours. We complain about the quality of the hotel coffee while we share war stories to legitimize our profession. What if we quit complaining? What if replaced our war stories with cool stories? What if we practiced gratitude for the banquet staff who came to work earlier than you to make sure you had that cup of hotel coffee. Gratitude for a client who is willing to trust you to run their show.
Spread joy and positivity instead of complaints and drudgery? I believe that would truly change the face of our industry both on the agency and the client side. You want to change the face of corporate America? It starts with one person refusing the participate in the war stories.
Share the production love, ya’ll.
Have a good show everybody!