Collaboration. Or Not…

To collaborate or not to collaborate, this is often the great question for a creative small business. Collaborative work can be incredibly valuable. And it can also be a giant pain in the neck. So how do you decide when to pull in a partner as opposed to going it alone?

one blind person clear summit productionIt All Depends on Your Goal

  1. Are you producing something broad-based or specific? The more facets involved in your project, the more valuable collaboration will be. As the old adage says, “Many hands make light work.” While that’s true in a literal sense—it’s easier to set up, run, and take down equipment with more than one set of hands—you can always hire an assistant. In a more figurative sense “light work” is true as well; different technology, equipment, and professional skills make for a more versatile and efficient team. At the very least this makes for an easier product, and it can often mean a significantly better product in the end.
  2. Is your project based on your vision or a client’s? If your project is based on a client’s vision, collaboration may be very helpful as you seek to put forward the best expression of that vision possible. But if your project is based on your vision and you want to own it and love it and call it yours at the end of the day, then collaborating may be tricky. Hiring an assistant might work better if your project includes creativity that you feel possessive of.

three people walking one blind clear summit productionEach One Can Reach One

Recently, Clear Summit Productions did a promotional video for Christian Record Services for the Blind. It tells the personal story of a woman who lost her sight and makes sure to share the value of what she receives from CRSB services with the people around her. This video was done collaboratively with Stenbakken Media and is a great example of collaborative work at its best.

Collaboration between Stenbakken Media and Clear Summit Productions on this project meant that neither company had to wrangle all the gear. And while one concentrated on audio intake, B-Cam, and moving shots, the other didn’t even have to think about those things. Instead they were free to concentrate on A-Cam and static shots. It was the best of both worlds from inception to final cut. The result? A very happy client!

blind person teaching clear summit productions Could this video have been put together by just Clear Summit Productions? Yes. Absolutely. But it would have been harder to do overall, and harder to do well.

Don’t be afraid to own your own work—sometimes a one-man show is the way to go for a creative project. But don’t be afraid to reach out for help either. In a win-win, collaboration can turn out a better project with less heavy lifting by each person involved.