16 Jul 2017

Running a Film Collective

The most important and valuable lessons I have learnt from running a film collective for 18 years:

1. Always maintain and keep full creative control of decisions and the direction of the collective in your hands, and under no circumstances let this be jeopardised in any way. Every single move and plan comes from personal experience and intuition, and this must be retained throughout the life of the collective. In the case of EFS, it has always been a personal project, and only by treating it personally and radically was I able to help the personal projects of the other respected member of the organisation.

2. Always work with people and collaborators who do not actually need you whatsoever, and can survive artistically on their own. Therefore, when it comes to collaboration and being part of a film collective, they choose you based on intellectual, calculated, and well-informed decisions. This is beneficial for both parties, as they can use each other’s ideas, resources, and strategies in order to flourish and progress. Anything outside this mechanism will lead to dire results.

3. Running a collective, like any other human gathering, is full of conflicts and painful experiences. DO NOT DWELL on negativity in any way, and eliminate such experiences entirely by not spending any time trying to digest them; it is literally impossible. Only through pragmatism will things move ahead, and happen in the end. There are always positive and doable projects at your disposal; concentrate on these rather than thinking about adversity.

-Rouzbeh Rashidi