Collaborating on Art

Art can be an extremely personal thing– the manifestation of an idea that originated inside of the deepest part of your psyche.

I’ve had the extreme pleasure of working on on film and video projects for the past 20 years, and I understand the importance of collaboration. As much as I want to write, shoot, direct, and edit (and I have on several projects)– it’s just not practical to think one person can be successful in all of these roles (Although we can all find an example to prove me wrong: Charlie Chaplin, etc). And at the end of the day, it’s just not necessary.

If you surround yourself with competent contributors who you trust to pull their own weight on a project, you have more energy to hone-in and focus on specific portions of the project. More importantly, when you lean on others to help produce a piece of art, the end result is an amalgamation of ideas and input from various perspectives.

Tom Cox, Nic White, Vicky Cox, Michael Welborn at 2018 Indy Cinema Sunday Event

Seeing the Vision

Too many times have I had an idea for a piece of art, but no clear path on how to execute. Bouncing ideas off of other people for feedback is an exercise I utilize in order to flesh-out my vision more clearly. The action of speaking the idea out loud helps to bring it to life, and allows me to start visualizing the piece– and thinking about how I might achieve it. Alternatively, speaking your idea out-loud may help you to realize that it’s not a such a great idea after all…

Nathan Smith, John Sklba, Nic White, Chris Gouin, and Colton Hayward collaborating on “Splatter Up!, the Award winning short film.

Watering-down an Idea

There can be hesitation about involving too many others in the creation of your art– for fear that your original vision will become watered-down. As a director, my job is to communicate my vision as clearly as possible to the cast, crew, and everyone involved. When your contributors are aligned with your vision, their input is invaluable! A co-writer could re-work the ending to better tell your story, an actor may suggest a dialogue change, or the Scenic guy might suggest a piece of background that pull the visuals together for your scene.

Nathan, Me, Colton

Another Word for Teamwork

In the best case, collaboration is the art of merging multiple creative magicians into the same mind-frame to create a powerful partnership resulting in a expanded, well thought out concept. Through this process, you’ll experience yourself absorbing creative energy from your collaborators (and I don’t mean stealing ideas). Collaboration allows artists to experiment, take chances, and learn from and teach others.

Asking others to contribute to your project can be intimidating. However, collaborating on art can be the best way to Manifest your Dream! If your vision is too large to accomplish on your own, collaboration can be your only option!

Develop a team of people your trust, and work together to collaborate on art!

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Nic White

Program Director at CinemaSlice
Just your typical independent filmmaker, animator, vfx specialist, and creative content developer! I enjoy long walks on the beach while staring into my cell-phone screen and watching episodes of Black Mirror. #SupportIndependentFilmmaking

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