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red flags in interviews

When you buy a car or a house you look for red flags – the telling details that will predict if the car is a lemon or if the house will collapse next month.

In production almost everyone is a temporary hire, from the PA's to DP. In the interview you look for red flags – will they show up on time? Do they have the technical skills? The production phase only lasts six to eight weeks, so however they behave now is probably how they’ll behave on the shoot. It’s unlikely that anyone is going to fundamentally change in that short a time.

I recently had to switch audio post production facilities, because the one I had hired hadn’t watched my entire rough cut for two weeks after I sent them the DVD. They’re some of the best people in the business, but in a way this became its own problem. They knew their job so well they felt that they didn’t even need to see my rough cut before starting work. Definitely a red flag.

In fact, most of the “problem hires” on the production were those with the most experience. The best hires were almost always those that didn’t have as much experience and were still hungry to do the best job they could.

In the end, a hire is always a gamble. It’s impossible to predict how a new hire will behave after the interview process.

I’m considering using more “trial run” scenarios with unproven hires, to test the chemistry before plunging into more work.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Other red flags:

Flakes are a huge red flag. People that say they will call you Monday, you wait till Wednesday, and end up having to call them. People that say they will call in a week, and actually call on that day, usually work out. A good litmus test.
 
indietalk said:
Other red flags:

Flakes are a huge red flag. People that say they will call you Monday, you wait till Wednesday, and end up having to call them. People that say they will call in a week, and actually call on that day, usually work out. A good litmus test.

It's a measure of how much they've prioritized your project, if it's fifth or sixth on their to-do list then that will be apparent on every interaction with them.
 
People who slate the last director they worked for.

Whilst all of us have had experiences where we were working with people who couldn't hack it, my experience is that if someone is bad mouthing their last director it means there was trouble on the set.

This almost always a two way street.

But by and large I'd rather go on personal recommendation than anything else -- the only person that I ever hired off their CV was the only person I ever had to fire during a shoot. Everyone I've ever hired from personal recommendation has been wonderful to work with.
 
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