Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen
I had to ditch my Production Sound Mixer because he went MIA. I’m trying not to take it personally but I find it unprofessional and annoying. One of the things I require in life—both personal and professional—is communication. When communication stops—then there is trouble.
The thing I love about Filmmaking is that if you don’t communicate, you’re done. You’re toast. People will move on. There is just too much at stake in making a film in terms of time (being tied to money) that no one can risk letting time past to get an answer.
I found a music composer whose work I really admired and I would have loved to work with him. I met him, hired him, but he was lacking in one way: he did not provide me his phone number. This was a red flag. It meant that he didn’t want to be bothered. Although he was good in every other way, something as basic as not giving out his number is a deal-breaker—and it ought to be.
One of the sound mixers I interviewed made a phone appointment with me and didn’t accept the call when the time came. He was done. I don’t need to tell people why they’re done.
So when people go MIA or flake out and think everything will evolve around their terms, they will have a hard time in life. They will not know why they’re not as successful as someone else. It was Wood Allen that said that the first part of success is just showing up.
Truth is, I don’t know what people’s personal stories are and I have gotten to the point where I don’t care. I don’t care if you’re in a shitty relationship, in debt, are hooked on drugs, are an alcoholic, bipolar or suffering from manic-depressive disorder. I don’t need to know your story. We all have problems but we still have to meet our obligations.
I try to respect people’s time because it’s the most professional thing I can do. I also try not to change people’s plans. There are times where I slept only 2 or 3 hours and I would love to make up an excuse for not showing up to meeting—but I do so anyway.
When I was teenager, I used to run my own fanzine. It was an art zine that I created where I went to a lot of gigs and interviewed bands. The bands had a great deal of respect for me because I was “press” and today, I still find this very shocking and cute. But they took this little girl very seriously.
The band I was meeting told me they were going to rehearse that night and I should come over and interview them there. I get to take pictures of them for the article and it’ll be cool. It’s winter and the road is packed with ice up and down treacherous hills in Denver.
In the suburbs there is a big orange castle towering over the small town in a field. So I got to this big dark castle and they showed up on time. This is the funny part. They had just gotten in a serious car wreck, were beaten up, bleeding and bruised but they still showed up. They rehearsed and did the interview.
To this day, I am shocked that they didn’t ditch the interview. They could have. They could have driven to the hospital or turned around and went back home, stood me up or whatever. But they didn’t. They showed up on time although they were a huge mess. And they just “shook” the injuries off as guys do.
For the longest time, I was impressed by this incident. What I realize now is that this punk rock group of guys was setting a standard for me. They imprinted in me the importance of respecting people’s time. What they did was so outstanding that I never forgot it—because they treated me with such great respect.