Ever Watch an Ant Farm?

I just spent one of the more interesting days of my career. Not with a client, but on a movie set. An alliance partner—a talented director who makes corporate videos—is filming an indy feature and invited me to spend the day on-set as an extra.

While I could wax poetic about the experience (Armand Assante was a joy to watch), it was something more basic that captured my imagination: the symphony of multiple experts perfecting their craft in tandem.

All the crew—plus the actors—were focused on doing their own job well, but seemed to keep the bigger vision firmly in mind. The expert who donned a wetsuit to rig the pool lighting. The “Best Boy” on the roof slinging cable. The costumer making sure an extra (me) had just the right jewelry. It was a bit like watching an ant farm in action.

Confined in a small space, there was little room for error or ego. It was quite refreshing (and entertaining) to watch them deal with the inevitable technical frustrations with good-natured ribbing and quick wit.

How many times have you been part of a team like that? What do you most fondly remember? Are those your favorite stories to tell?

I know this will be one of mine—I would have done anything to help that team make it work. But I won’t be quitting my day job.

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