Cross Discipline Collaboration and Education: “The Series!” – Tom Berich

Over the years I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in a number of vastly different artistic disciplines. Theatre, Film, Recording, Dance, Visual, etc., and, having had that opportunity, I have noticed a consistent lack of understanding, or, in some instances an actual refusal to accept how the different disciplines work, certainly independently, but this transfers rather quickly into collaborative stumbling blocks.

It’s fine if you are working on writing your script by your self, but how does a writer deal with the actor saying “My character wouldn’t say that, so I’m not going to.” Or when a lighting designer says, “What do you mean the dancers need to wear red? This won’t work with the design at all!”

Musicians approach the stage differently than actors do. A choreographer addresses a piece of music in a completely different way than a set designer

An opera singer could belt something out that melts your heart, but then you have to stuff her into a corset, throw a number of VERY hot stage lights on her and have her sing the exact same thing folded up into a ball.

In many cases a variety of disciplines need to find a way in which to communicate effectively with one another. This is much easier said than done and more often than not conflicts arise from an inability to communicate or even fundamentally understand how your collaborators work. The creative process from artistic discipline to discipline tends to be VASTLY different.

Over the next few articles we’ll look at how different disciplines can effectively communicate and collaborate on various projects. We’ll be providing examples of successful (and not so successful) collaborations and examining why they may or may not work and provide interviews with the artists involved.

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