Production is a TEAM SPORT 
Production is a TEAM SPORT

This week is going be HUGE for the Center for Creative Media.

We will be shooting 4 stunt and effects-laden pieces.
2 will involve sky divers and 2 will have explosives, stunts & pyro.
Just another week of film making…

We will be shooting almost all of this digitally, although there is some ongoing debate about weaving some film into the process. The need for excellent particles and debris in compositing will make that decision for us.

Total # of people needed between all 4 pieces: 60’ish.

Yet in the end… the Director will probably get the lion’s share of the credit.

As he should.

You see… the Director isn’t just the artiste.
He is also, using baseball terms: The Manager.

The Director (with the help of the producer) must assemble the right team and put people in the right places.

The production process is simply NOT a one man show. (Memory check: All the Oscar speeches. “I’d like to thank… .”

Production can be centered around one person’s vision and passion. But inevitably, there must be a team around that person/vision that will ultimately add their skill/talent/thoughts, etc… resulting in a team produced story.

As a producer/director I want the best around me anytime I go into production.
I go to bat to get them.
I shield them while in production allowing them to bring their art to the table.
I share their great efforts with the world.
I desire to go through it again… on some other production… with THEM.

I’ve run into only a few people who practice their art by “themselves.”
One of those is Tom Scholz… the brain behind BOSTON.
I got to spend a few days with Scholz a couple of years ago when producing what was supposed to be a Behind the Music episode on the 70’s super band.

Scholz is an engineer who graduated from M.I.T. and worked for Polaroid. He is so brilliant, that the company who brought us pictures that developed themselves before our eyes put him on a team developing “instant movies.” If it were not for the emergence of video tape… maybe that innovation would have taken hold.

During his days at Polaroid… Scholz was a slave to his real passion: Rock & Roll.
He gathered together every dime he could get his hands on and put in a studio in his basement and began crafting what would become the legendary debut album “BOSTON.” If memory serves me right… it took Scholz about 7 years to make that album. And… just about every sound on the record is HIM. Playing nearly all the instruments himself & Brad Delp singing. He crafted, massaged, and created a rock & roll masterpiece.

But… rock & roll is not best experienced in your basement by yourself.

Rock comes alive with a crowd in a live setting in a club, field, arena or stadium.

After pounding on just about every label door in existence, who turned him down, Scholz finally got a taker to release his music. And like any good label they said: “Time to hit the road.” One problem: There was NO band. There was only Scholz (and Delp.) There was no BOSTON!

The scramble was on to fix that.
In the end they put together a band to tour and play what Scholz had dreamed up.

But… while the debut album (released in 1976) was legendary, the band’s subsequent 3 albums came at a slow and tedeous pace (1978, 1986, 1994) coming in at around 8 years to create each record. Personally, I like the albums, but… there could have been so much more. (ask the Stones).

In the end… Boston is the vision of Tom Scholz. But the amount of art created is far less then we all could have enjoyed, the lawsuits that ensued for a variety of reasons including lack of album delivery drained much of the money made from Scholz’s efforts, and the personal acrimony between Scholz and the other band members must feel like personal loss and/or frustration to all of them.

Their last album release was made without many of the original members and achieved lackluster sales. And while many of their classic rock contemporaries are enjoying lucrative results from touring… Boston is on the sidelines. (Correction: They are headed out on tour this summer. So I’ll amend my comments to this: While Boston was one of the more prolific rock acts of the 70’s/80’s their modern day classic rock resurgence has come no where near that of many of their yester-year contemporaries.)

BTW… there never was a BTM on Boston. Scholz pulled the plug mid-production. (No Behind the Music was ever made with out artist cooperation.)

The irony about this TEAM vs. SOLO dynamic is illustrated well by the career of Director Syndey Pollack.

This fantastically successful director passed away yesterday (see other post on my blog). His movies have stuck with me and in me.

Pollack’s career of 40+ years includes his directing more than 20 movies.
He’s also directed TV Episodes, Produced Movies, and Acted.

And his accomplished career in Directing far out-paces the recording career of Scholz.

Both of them storytellers.
Both of them connect with me.

I just have more of Pollack to experience.
I appreciate what they both gave.
I just have more of Pollack to experience.

Pollack worked with some of the biggest names in acting in the past 4 decades.
Pollack was a team player who worked with the best and assembled amazing teams.
He also knew how to work with the studios.

He has left an amazing legacy.

So the question for you is:
Is your art best expressed in your basement? Or is it best expressed by assembling a team who will join you on your story-telling journey.

Most dreams are realized through team.
This week CCM will be making stories by coming together… to work on visions that were birthed by 1, 2 or 3 people. But, now those visions will be owned by everyone involved.

Make no mistake about it… Production IS a Team Sport.

Bookmark and Share


2 Comments »

  1. Anonymous Says:

    For anyone who happens to be reading this please note that all information pertaining to TOM SCHOLZ, including the misspelling of his name is false and untrue and unconfirmed.

    Doug Rittenhouse has not confirmed this information nor attempted to fact check his remarks. He is writing on his own authority and not representing BOSTON or VH-1.

    Please take what you read for exactly what it is: a successful attempt to attract readers to a page by using the name of one of the most popular classic rock bands of all time. Surely there would be no one looking if it just said Doug Rittenhouse – right?

    Check out http://www.bandboston.com for accurate 2008 summer tour information

    comment-bottom
  2. Doug Rittenhouse Says:

    Anonymous:

    I DO stand corrected on a couple of things: the spelling of SCHOLZ’s name and the Summer Tour.

    Both have been corrected. As they should be.

    As for why the Boston comments are in my blog… it was to make a point. Scholz has done much of what has made Boston a fan favorite close to “BY HIMSELF.” As stated in the original post… he’s one of the only people I’ve ever met who has done that. I just wish we could have heard more. I love Boston’s music!

    No publicity needed here. Only an object lesson.

    And one last accurate point you make: I’m not writing on behalf of the band or VH-1.

    The rest of what I wrote… I stand by.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    comment-bottom

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment