Remember how I said talent sometimes try to make things more simple, but usually end up causing things to become more difficult? Good intentions can be irritating to the producer or production manager who have spent so much of their time prepping in order to have a smooth set. And when multiple talent are involved – adding multiple confusion and questioning direction out of place – it compounds the level of frustration. More frustration on set, means a tougher day for you as the talent!
Knowing your place in the bigger picture of a production or the industry as a whole is imperative. I once had a child actor whose mother interfered with intense debate on set between the director, ad agent, and producer. Her intention was not meant for ill, but the child was forever black balled from all companies associated with the production - an unfortunate, albeit well intentioned, mistake!
So what is your place as a talent? It’s to do your homework, know your stuff (script, purpose, angles, client needs, etc), and to follow direction. You are a creative mind, so you will likely have some creative ideas when production encounters a hurdle to jump through. Keep your ideas to yourself. The only time it’s appropriate to share your suggestion or opinion is when you are asked directly to do so.
Every so often, I am lucky enough to get an email or call from production going out of their way to praise a talent. I have to admit these are the moments that fuel me through the rough patches, as an agent. (There is a parental pride that swells up inside me.) Business-wise, however, it’s a simple matter of psychology. After having paid a talent for their work, if someone takes the time to initiate positive feedback, that talent is ensured a lifetime of “preferred status” within that production company.
Have you ever received positive feedback from a set?