How you are on set is massively important. As is how you are around clients and when doing business if you own a videography business. The social side of filmmaking and business is such an important aspect, but it’s one that doesn’t get talked about very often.
Take, for example, the classic ‘moody artist’ character that you might have seen on sets from time to time. He doesn’t talk to anybody by choice, and, when he does, it’s begrudgingly. When he does finally talk to someone, he emits the kind of whaler-than-thou attitude that makes you think he’s channelling a character in the indie movie you guys are working on!
No, the day of the moody artist on film sets is a thing of the past – if it ever was a thing at all. It’s not enough to be the broody artist who is against socializing. Talent gets you a long way, but you also need to be the kind of person that other people like working with.
If you’re not the kind of person that people will want to hang out with, then you can pretty much guarantee you won’t be getting work thrown your way again.
I want to cover some tips on having the kind of personality that makes people want to work with you again and again. Here are some pointers on having a sense of humour and being the kind of person that people want to be around.
IT’S A FUNNY OLD WORLD…MAKE ‘EM LAUGH!
Among the most important elements in your social toolbox is humour. Humour is one of the facets that turns social people into great social people.
We all know it, and we all know funny people in our lives. The kind of people who take over a room when they walk into it. Maybe you’re one of them.
Humor is also one of the quickest ways to gain rapport with people. Yes, humour, used appropriately, is one of the center-pieces of your social toolbox.
Like I say, we’ve all known funny people, who just seem to be able to captivate a room with their seemingly endless supply of comical stories and witty interludes. Everyone wants a piece of their time, because they’re so darn entertaining.
People with great senses of humor can turn bad situations and into hilarious examples of a comedy of errors. They can also easily flip the script of negativity and convert it into positivity. Everyone wants to be around funny people, the kind of folks that you never know when the next joke or amusing observation is coming next.
WHAT HUMOR CAN DO FOR YOU
Most importantly, people want to work with (and do business with) people who have a good sense of humor.
I do a small de-brief with all my clients after I’ve worked with them. Of the all the clients I’ve spoken to after we’ve worked together, the vast majority rate “sense of humor” as one of the top reasons they chose to work with me; and a large proportion rated it as the number one quality in our work together.
Isn’t that crazy? In some cases, it wasn’t even the work that they held up as being the most important quality in our working together – it was my sense of humor. I mean, I’m sure they appreciated the work too, as that was the central reason we worked together. But what these people are touching on is the overall experience of working together.
If humor can have that much of an affect on people, then surely it’s something worth improving on if you’re not already the funniest person in the room?
WHY IS A SENSE OF HUMOR SO IMPORTANT IN BUSINESS?
I should also mention that most of the people who rated sense of humor as an important attribute in our work together wanted to work with me again based on that.
Views on why sense of humor is so important ranged depending on the type of client, but the general consensus was that, whilst aspects like time-keeping and efficiency were very important, personality and sense of humor was also a huge factor in these people wanting to work with me again.
One of the main reasons why this is such a strong factor is sense of humor can be such a great equalising and steadying mechanism when the excrement hits the fan. And, as you know, on most projects it does at some point or another! Someone with a good sense of humor is more readily able to find balance in the situation and handle things with tact and grace whilst keeping a smile of their face.
Put another way – no one likes to be around someone who responds badly when the chips are down.
People with a good sense of humor are also very attractive. Not just in an opposite sex sense (although that’s true, too), but in a wanting to be around the person as a friend, not just a work colleague, sort of way.
Research and interviews with incredibly attractive people prove this point.
Those with a dry, often self-deprecating sort of humor, seemed to be especially attractive. It’s true; women, especially, are attracted to guys who don’t take themselves too seriously and don’t mind making light of their fallbacks.
In romance, the power of not taking yourself too seriously is that if a person who clearly already believes in themselves does this, then they appear even more attractive. It relates to outcome indepedence and not being too attached to the ego – once we are able to stand back and make light of situations in a humorous way, we gain untold power over our circumstances. No one likes a person who takes themselves too seriously.
BEYOND CRACKING JOKES
Don’t worry, you don’t need to go out and memorize a whole catalogue of jokes. You don’t need one liners popping out of your mouth like you’re Louis C.K. at a stand-up show. Having the ability to think up jokes on the fly is great, but it’s an overall sense of wit that really takes you places.
As well as being able to crack jokes and make people laugh based on stories and events outside of yourself, also learn to be witty about yourself and your personal circumstances. As a naturally funny guy myself, I completely understand that learning to be funny might not be that easy for some people.
I recommend starting with an analysis of stand-up comedians and picking up on what makes their comedy work.
Take a detailed look at some of your favorite comedians and work at what it is that makes them funny. If you don’t have some comedians that immediately jump into your mind when you think of funny, do a Google search for comedians.
Look at the delivery and timing and pay special attention to the way they hit their spots and build jokes on top of each other into a hilarious crescendo. I don’t expect you to start doing stand-up (although that would certainly help), but studying comedians, not to mention other funny people in your life, is a great way to begin with this.
The book Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer also offers solid advice and hits on topics not merely limited to written humor as the title might suggest.
I hope you got something out of this. Let me know below if this helped and write a comment about how you’re going to start working on your humor.