FROM BIG IDEAS TO BIG SCREEN
MOVIE MAKING MAKES A NATURAL TEAM BUILDING EXCERCISE
By Alex Strang
There are quite a few team building activities out there with a Hollywood or filmmaking theme, where teams undergo various aspects of movie production and often present their efforts during a (hopefully) crowd-pleasing screening. This is not surprising as the massive endeavor that is film production lends itself well as a challenge area for team skills and team dynamics. Having been involved in almost every phase of real world movies myself, from screenwriting to costume design to editing, I can relate 100% to the unique team atmosphere amid the overwhelming scope of very big productions. That industry is ripe for business simulations and team building games of many types.
First, the scope. Even smaller film projects require a tightly connected group of specialists, each doing their tasks with plenty of overlap, and each communicating, compromising and cooperating in a constant fluid process. The larger the project, the larger the group. With a vast network of individuals and departments, key skills such as leadership and time management, consensus-building, brainstorming and intense problem-solving are frequently tested. Very large projects would be indescribably overwhelming, but with departments working effectively together, such monumental efforts can be undertaken.
Secondly. The process. Filmmaking on a medium to large scale is a fascinating journey from concept to execution with many phases that are fertile ground for team building games and activities. I have designed corporate team building games that focus solely on specific phases, such as movie-pitch sessions and (many of my various brainstorming games fit this category) to directing actors on a very tight schedule (Lightning Fast Video Challenge) to generating marketing plans for hard-to-sell stinkers, hoping to transform them into blockbusters! (Big Box Office program) There are so many individual aspects of filmmaking that are fabulous opportunities for team building and even training exercises.
Finally, the glamour. It is undeniable that an innate attraction exists about the Hollywood movie system, and filmmaking in general, and this excitement can make any corporate team building activity more accessible. Teams can quickly identify with stereotypical movie business roles, even if they have never had real exposure to them. To this end, movie making team building can be a quick starting concept, and extremely fertile ground that most people are predisposed to exploring. After all, how many of us thought about making movies better than what we saw in the theatre?
I feel that filmmaking team building games are some of the most enjoyable and rewarding team skill-building activities out there. ‘Real world’ filmmaking is just that anyway, a huge exercise in teams working together, so why not simulate that in a corporate event, for both glamorous fun an serious experiential team building results.