- June 1, 2017
- Merideth Melville
It takes a certain kind of person to throw caution to the wind and set out on his/her own. Someone who won’t turn to a steady paycheck, take up the offer for insurance coverage, paid vacations, holidays maybe even perks, like a 401K plan.
The entrepreneur loves the thrill of the hunt and the joy of the catch. The entrepreneur is a collaborator, but a loner too. The entrepreneur must have nerves of steel during droughts and the confidence to know they won’t last forever.
In my business, we call these entrepreneurs “crew”. The gaffers and grips; make-up artists and best boys; the PAs and wranglers; the scouts and stylists; the dolly pushers and crane operators, producers and pyrotechs, riggers, audio guys and art directors.
In my 20+ years in production, I’ve worked with them all on projects small to large and everything in between. I’ve spent time with some great clients (The Continental Airlines sales team was always a sure fun project) to some uptight clients (Unnamed firm who made me build a wall, so they wouldn’t have to look at the crew during the shoot). I’ve worked alongside the unknowns (disabled workers at Goodwill Industries) and the well-knowns (Artist Peter Max).
The clients may come and go, the jobs might expand and contract, but my crew has remained steady. I’ve got my “A” team always at the ready. But I can just as easily pick up the phone and hire someone I haven’t worked with in years. And we start again, just where we had left off as if no time has passed at all. I think it’s because the world can be a cold and lonely place for those of us who choose not to follow the predictable path. We’re part of a pack. And even if we leave the reservation to return years later, we find we still have a place around the production campfire to exchange stories and share a meal – even if it’s at the craft services table between takes.
It doesn’t mean the entrepreneur doesn’t have a plan or an intense desire to “get ahead”. It just means we’re okay with getting off the road to meander…just to see where we’ll end up. It’s that sense of adventure that gets us motivated in the morning, keeps us on track all day. And it’s this sort of adventurous spirit that has us convinced that in between gigs, we just may write that great novel or make that memorable film. The entrepreneur…part of what makes America so great.
Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.-Edmund Lee
Merideth Melville got her start writing and producing entertainment documentaries for the original Travel Channel. That work took her to Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, Bermuda and Borneo. From there, she jettisoned to NASA, where she ran the Motion Pictures Division (responsible for all the pre and post onboard films) during the Shuttle years. She then worked with Houston-based Zen Film for many years before starting Boss Media.