Group projects are all about balance. We all learned that in our first group assignment in elementary school when we had to collectively make something (probably a science foldout or group drawing/collage) and present it to the class. Most of the time, each student is given a certain role in the project, whether it be, director, editor or actor. Each person has to do their part for the whole to succeed.
Let’s say someone posts up that they need help with a project. It wasn’t on a site with certified or regulated posts, and it wasn’t your friend. This is a complete total stranger asking for help from complete total strangers. Sounds crazy right? Well, it happens.
First, thought is “NO WAY! I don’t know you.” Sirens of the unknown start going off immediately. Take a moment to think about things before writing it off. With a combination of group etiquette and networking tips, it’s easy to know a few things that can be done before saying yes or no to a cold casting call.
- Before even responding, look up the director’s name and profiles. See what previous work they have done. If they don’t have any completed projects, request some background info from the director.
- Get info on the project. See if it’s even something you would want to spend time on.
- If there are people already signed up for the project, look them up too. Do they have previous experience?
The proper information with those 3 things alone (not necessarily in that order) should give you a more clear idea whether or not you want to take a risk in working with this person. There are many variables that can sway you one way or another. For instance, when I tried a hand at my own project, I had the ideas, the materials, and the passion. What I didn’t have was the time, the discipline, and the experience. So having people interested in what I was doing did not cancel out the disadvantages. Remember….balance.
Producers take risks in supporting unknown directors. Directors take risks in using unknown actors. Actors take risks in choosing to participate in productions. It’s all about risk management and being able to decipher the nature of the project. If there is no risk to you, meaning you don’t have put anything into it but a little of your time (or whatever else you’d consider a no to low risk investment), but it’s something that you might be interested in. Go on and say yes. Of course be wary and voice any concerns that pop up and written ans signed agreements have never not helped anyone.