Former TAG shop steward (and current entrepreneur) Kevin Geiger sends us longtime producer Randy Fullmer's list of "How to Succeed in Making Movies if you Really Work At It":
Only hire nice people who don’t freak out when things get tough.
Stay calm even when you’re not.
Learn not to say everything that’s on your mind.
Don’t think you have to be the smartest voice in the room.
Learn to ask simple story questions. Who should we care about and why? What does our main character want, and why can’t they get it? ntertaining, or does it just line up logically?...
Don’t get caught up in the minutia and forget the fundamental building blocks.
Ask questions and invite participation. At the same time, protect you and your director’s ability to calmly think. Don’t send out any message to anyone that you’re closed to new ideas. This is a hard one. There are many times when you just want to be left alone.
Making a movie is a marathon. Don’t get too up or too down ....
And so on and so forth.
What struck me as I pored over Mr. Fullmer's bullet points was how much they apply to anyone working at a higher stakes job who has to make decisions and lead others.
Some of the things that people who are heading up a department, division or conglomerate can't do and remain effective are:
Blubbering down the shirt fronts of your employees, whining about how stressed out and overworked you are.
Hiring mediocrities out of fear that somebody good will threaten your position.
Being the Big Foot in meetings, sucking the creative oxygen out of the air by doing most of the talking. And making sure that nobody feels secure or comfortable enough to challenge bad ideas.
I'm sure you can come up with plenty of success killers on your own, but these are a few of the jewels that popped into my head.
Randy, as you might know, departed Disney Animation after Chicken Little's release. Fun fact: CL remains the highest domestic grosser for any Disney c.g.i. feature.