Benefits of working Collaboratively in media (Unit 1)

The answer is fairly simple; a difference of opinion.

Being able to look further away from the product and having different people to see different issues is a blessing for any project.

Collaborating with creatives who have a similar mindset but different skills or experience can directly benefit you. A team member with more in-depth knowledge, previous experience with a specific task, another perspective on a situation requiring problem solving, or even just a new shortcut in your favorite software, can teach you new information in practice, while you and others are applying it together in real time. Imagine that you’re editing a video, and you’re facing an audio sync problem that must be solved in order to continue working. Sure you can find the answer online. But, looking up the solution in an article or video would halt your creative workflow for long minutes, possibly hours, taking you out of the “zone” of creative work. Now imagine that besides the sync problem, there are 12 different brand new issues that have cropped up in the project — the chances that you have the answer to each is quite small. A team of two would have twice the chance, and a team of 10 would have a tenfold chance to have the answer within the group — right away, right there, at no cost. Consequently, cross-sharing knowledge within such a team by each of the 10 members would benefit each member tenfold. It’s organic learning by collaboration. It’s free, immediate, and sticks better too.

It can lead to issues with a difference of opinion. One person wants the project to go one way, another wants the opposite.

But, a well-structured team is capable of achieving results that would take unreasonable amounts of time or require unfeasible resources for an individual to obtain. We don’t have to go farther than Hollywood to see the potential of individuals with various specialties (or simply various personal strengths) working together. No one in a production team is capable of producing an entire A-level feature movie alone in a year, of course, but more interestingly, such a movie would never see the light of day if professionals were simply contributing their ideas and skills without real-time communication and interaction. Imagine, if the composer submitted the score via email, the director instructed the sound designers only via written notes, the director of photography shot the scenes based on a reference picture and the animators only got a printed list of character attributes; the production would quickly fall apart. Real-time, two-way communication is essential — essential for a team to get on the same page, to creatively motivate and bounce ideas off of each other, to brainstorm while acting as a control group and focus group in one – and to learn from each other throughout the process.

Employers not only recognize, but increasingly more often expect to see collaborative work on individual portfolios in the creative industry. This is quite simply because very few work individually in production, and nobody works without having to communicate on the job. Whether you are employed by a large corporation or a small shop, you have a boss, a director or supervisor and colleagues. Running your own business? You have vendors, suppliers, and most importantly, clients to communicate with. If you have collaborative work experience, the chances are you will be taking your people management and your advanced communication skills, both written and oral, to the next job. I would go as far as saying that the chances to get hired by any company with more than 10 employees are greatly improved if you have some collaborative work experience under your belt and on your resume. Having to deal with professionals of different personalities, backgrounds, education and experience makes you a more effective professional and a better leader, indeed. Companies recognize this value.


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