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diy When wearing too many hats, How do you not meltdown?


I'm a green orange fresh member of this forum, and hopefully I can get some advice.
In my production company, I'm the Producer, Director and writer. Not so difficult, right? well....
Not so difficult before you add Cinematographer, Editor, CGI Technician and music composer. I haven't even mentioned
the marketing and social media impact manager...both pools I have toes in. Web design and development, yup done that.
My own lawyer? check (copyrighted and trademarked my own products).

So, aside from the obvious effects of wearing so many hats both metaphorically and physically (quite literally a pain in the neck),
How does one survive in such a condition? I hope for this to be an informative talk and we can definitely discuss the underlining hints of control issues, perfectionism, time management and even any other theories sitting in my peripheral that has escaped my immediate attention.

The obvious effect of this rather chaotic mode of conducting business has been the fact that my output
is suffering tremendously. I currently have several projects in queue which are suffering from nothing
else other than the lack of time I can allocate to fulfil each role integral to it's completion.

Thank you for having me and hope to talk with you soon.
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IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Delegation of power is not a loss of control but the opposite. The hardest thing for most new (and not-so-new) directors to accept.
You think that might be my issue, unwillingness to relinquish power? I could definitely see merit in that. I think confidence in others, or lack thereof, could also be playing a role. Thoughts?


IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Same thing! The lack of confidence is fixed by working with trustworthy people, but you have to find them first and in order to do that you need to delegate roles. I'm not saying it works instantly. Takes awhile to build a "team" or find your go-to DP etc. But if you keep doing it all, then you never will.


Staff Member
Every single time I've ever delegated to an amateur i have received amateur results.
There is something to be said for.. if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

But there is also "you get what you pay for" and if you pay enough to hire the best professionals then you will for sure get results you can be satisfied with. So like most things in life it comes down to a balance of time vs money.

I have way more time than money so I handle all the hats by taking forever to get anything done and spending a lot of time in preproduction.
That's definitely a solution, work with professionals. One issue I'm running into however is the fact that the best people are quite often booked "when you want them". Hiring amateurs or semi professionals can be hit or miss.

For example, some non professionals have been put off and or intimidated by my requirements of a paper trail for pretty much everything (eg: a non disclosure agreement).


IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Do smaller projects with available light and limited locations. There's many answers here. If you like being involved in the entire process make it a small one. With today's attention spans it might pay off. You could be a TikTok star. 😛

Nate North

Business Member
Delegation is unfortunately essential. I would love to be able to do everything, but as you scale up your projects to compete more effectively, as you mentioned, you just run out of hours in the day. I could go on for pages about the issues involved with assembling a crack team on the cheap, but I'll compress it to this,

1. Persistence
2. Automation
3. Networking
4. Patience
5. Luck

If you have money and intelligence at the same time, there are workarounds where all this becomes relatively easy. The basic formula that works is this, multiply your intelligence by your funding and that's your result. 200 IQ and 0 dollars, your result is 0, 100 million dollars and in IQ of 90, and your result is vastly higher. The point is, don't beat yourself up because you have trouble competing with Disney. It's just a 100 IQ guy with 250 helpers. If it was a fair fight, all of us here would be having a much easier time of it.

To answer your titular question, here's what happens, you don't avoid a meltdown, you just periodically have them. Then you recover, and fight again another day. Trying to do everything yourself is stressful. Period. Trying to train others and trust them with your vision is also stressful, and unreliable in terms of payoff. I wouldn't say any particular method has been particularly successful for me, but patience and persistence have gone a long way in allowing opportunities for luck to happen.