Failure To Communicate

Communication Is a Dirty Word | Tim Ohai

“What we’ve got here…is failure to communicate.” -Captain in the film Cool Hand Luke

“Communication breakdown, it’s always the same. Havin’ a nervous breakdown, a-drive me insane.” -Led Zeppelin from their song Communication Breakdown

A central theme in any drama or comedy is the characters inability to communicate with one another. That leads to conflict which makes for interesting viewing.

Just like in real life, there are many reasons for the characters communication breakdown. Ego, not knowing what they want, not being in touch with their emotions, being afraid to speak up, assuming your message was delivered, etc…

As a producer, you must be an excellent communicator. You must OVER COMMUNICATE. Early, often and throughout. Be super clear with what you want and your expectations of others. Set reasonable deadlines. Don’t assume your email did the job. Pick up the phone and also call the person. Meet with them when you can. Have empathy. Try to put yourself in the other artist’s shoes. How would you receive your message if you were them?

Like most things, communication is a skill that you can dramatically improve with desire and practice. And there’s no better way to practice than diving in and manifesting your passion project. You’ll grow tremendously as a communicator (you’ll be forced to) and be ready and sharper for your next one.

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