When creating a great film team, or any team for that matter, one factor is foundational- the leadership. I say leadership and not management because having a leader isn’t the same as having strong management. There are a lot of project managers out there today but not a whole lot of leaders. And at the end of the day, it’s a leader that will get more done.

Dr. John Maxwell once said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Nothing could be truer when it comes to creating strong teams, including film teams. Without good leaders, a film project could collapse at any point.  So why is having a leader so important? Here are four reasons why leaders are the cornerstone of a great team.

Great leadership brings inspiration. Bad leadership burns people out

Motivation is the fuel for a great organisation. A lot of teams try to thrive off people’s fear- fear of not getting things done, losing incentives or even losing their jobs. But great leaders will try to motivate people through inspiration. Simon Sinek shares, “There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

Good leaders are great at inspiring people and inspiration will always get a positive reaction. When people are coerced or guilted into action, they will easily burn out. But great leaders will always bring drive to the team.

Great leadership gives direction. Bad leadership stirs confusion

If you want to bring a group of people from point A to point B, there needs to be one unified direction. That doesn’t mean that everyone should talk, think and act the same way. But it does mean that we need to know where we should go. And often a leader is the deciding factor in a clear direction.

Without good leadership, there is confusion where there should be a direction. If we want to go far, we need teamwork. But teams will only have direction when a leader is effective. The vision for films become when so much clearer when directors and producers work well to lead the team.

Great leadership builds ownership. Bad leadership builds walls of separation

People will become better at what they do when they own their craft and responsibility. I’ve seen how much better film crews work when they have full ownership of what they do. When creatives have just enough leg room to move around, they start to own what they create and become so much better.

Without good leadership, we build walls of separation instead of feelings of ownership. As a result, team members drift farther and farther apart as outputs drift farther and farther away from the true goal. You need a leader to build ownership in teams.



Director & Cinematographer, Fisch Rasy's love of storytelling inspires him to create powerful films. Sometimes dad duties spill over onto onset, where he's been known to give the kids a real hands on experience...

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