Panelists: Kevin Peeples, Rebekah Cook, Christopher Zydowicz, Rebekah Stought
Moderator: Nathan Jacobson –
The third and final UNDERGROUND session at CWVFF 2018 was just as amazing as the two preceding sessions. This extremely interactive discussion covered many topics relating to the subject of collaboration in the field of filmmaking.
Kevin Peeples, director of Like Arrows, spoke briefly of the mentorship he has received working with the Kendrick brothers for the last several years, and the value they place on collaboration.
Rebekah Cook stated: “Jesus is the ultimate hero; we are the supporting roles.” She shared her experience of cross-training in acting, script supervision, and casting, and her heart for encouraging others.
Professor Chris Zydowicz of Bob Jones University, called film “an incredibly collaborative art form” and added that “collaboration is something you learn.”
Rebekah Stought, also a “cross-trainer”, has worked in the A.D. department, script supervision, and acting, and compared filmmaking to the body of Christ, with “each one using their vastly different skills to work together.”
“Everybody needs everybody,” our moderator Nathan Jacobson summed up the introductions. Even Jesus chose to need us as His ambassadors on this earth.
We talked about key factors in choosing who to collaborate with, appreciating jobs you don’t understand, ways to bring out the best in others, differences between secular and Christian set environments, effective networking, and even what to do in difficult working relationships.
Who do you choose to work with? Rebekah Cook advised, “Be led by the Holy Spirit. Look for those who are open to input, friendly, cheerful… most of it comes down to character.”
Rebekah Stought added, “Far and away the primary thing I look for is humility.” She also recommended getting referrals from those you trust.
And when you can’t control who you’re working with, the panel advised using that as a ministry opportunity. Chris Zydowicz commented, “Learning to work with difficult people and respond in a Christlike way is good for your career.” He also mentioned the importance of prayer, and God’s intervention and favor in relationships, saying “Prayer brings unity.”
Highlighting ways to bring out the best in others, Kevin Peeples said, “Give them freedom to use their skills. Whatever position you are, try to make it easier for everyone else.”
“Treat people like a magician,” Rebekah Cook quipped. “When you don’t understand what they do, just assume it’s cool.” The panel also mentioned the need for respect, and being proactive in looking for ways to be supportive. “Cover for each other. Have each other’s back.”
Chris Zydowicz urged, “Appreciative people are fun to work with. Be appreciative of those above below and around you. Learn from others. Edify one another.”
They also answered the question of how to combat insecurity on your team.
“Develop that relationship before you get to the set,” Chris Zydowicz told us. “Praise publicly, correct privately.”
“Treat them like you want their autograph,” Kevin Peeples put in.
Rebekah Cook spoke of the importance of clear communication, which includes really listening to the other person, and supporting their process.
And their top tips on effective networking? Rebekah Stought said, “Networking is just having a genuine conversation where you care about the other person.”
Kevin Peeples encouraged, “When you approach someone you want to work with, listen more than you speak.”
“Don’t keep them longer than they want to be there,” Chris Zydowicz counselled. “Be appreciative. Look for the common connection.