I think people have a natural type of energy or rhytm to them. What I am starting to realise more and more, is that some of the secrets behind great collaborations, is a match in those energies. Not that they are completely synchronized, but in tune. Open and alert to each other, and corresponding to each other. Think of a great jazz band for instance, and how they jam with seemingly little effort. Watch the energy!
Working with an artform like music or film making, is a lot about the energy between collaborators. One of the things I have learned about film making, is that there need to be a certain tightness to the energy in the process. A certain alertness and a presence, that makes people excited, yet grounded and open. And if the presence and energy is not there, then it is difficult to create something strong and pure out of it.
I still haven't figured out the magic alchemy, of how to keep the energy just right at all times. I think it is a difficult task, even in small crews, but I am learning what the pittfalls are. Stress is a killer for instance. It creates an hypertension that makes everyone a bit too efficient. I myself get aggressive and defensive when I'm stressed out, and it potentially leads to conflicts that can take hours to get over. But an energy that is too laid back, also gets problematic, because then the process becomes unfocused, and people become insecure about what is going on. It's like a string that needs to be held just tight enough not to slouch, and not even one person can let go of it.
Film making - especially improvisation - is a lot like jamming. The energy need to be there. It has to have that swing. From every single player. It is something I'm paying a lot of attention to at the moment. Rule number three is a reminder, that energy isn't something fuzzy to be shrugged at. It is an important ingrediens in any creation. Something that we need to listen to and something that we need to trust!