“Hunger Games” Director Francis Lawrence On Capturing Katniss and Catching Fire with IMAX
The leadership video provides an overview of how The Catching Fire production team has been implementing technology to improve the quality of its films. The Catching Fire director, Francis Lawrence, reviews his journey in film production, elaborating how continuous advancement in technology has changed how his films are produced and how his team responds to the changes. He begins by narrating how he started making movies and what inspired him to join the film production industry. He states that he began film-making when he was a small boy. He began by making shot clips without any real story and trying out different things, such as using various effects to make people appear and disappear.
The invention of video cameras then boosted his film-making journey because they enabled him to make movies with his friends, including horror movies (Fast Company, 2013). Lawrence states that throughout his career as a film director, he has always fallen in love with something about the project, thus enabling them to stay committed to it until its successful completion. He then discusses the new idea that will be implemented to enhance the quality of his films. Lawrence mentions that his team has started discussions on the use of IMAX cameras and IMAX technology.
In addition, he acknowledges that using IMAX cameras to shoot movies is challenging because the cameras are large and cannot be muted. He explains that his team hand-holds IMAX cameras, unlike other film production teams. The camera team has built their own rigs to support the cameras, enabling them to capture scenes in different settings, including the jungle. He recognizes the effort made by the camera team to guarantee efficient film production. He concludes by stating that he is pleased with the outcome of using IMAX cameras in production and hand-holding them during the production process.
The leadership video and course content acknowledge the role of technology in enhancing creativity. Francis Lawrence states that technology has played a vital role in improving the quality of his films. He also states that his film production journey was influenced by advancements in technology because he transitioned from making short clips to experimenting with different effects after the invention of video cameras. Dawson & Andriopoulos (2017) argue that rapid technological advancements have significantly influenced people’s work and lives. The revolution in information has created a business environment with shorter production cycles, increased interdependence of world markets, and increased segment fragmentation, hence increasing the need for change and creativity.
Organizations are also required to continuously introduce new products and create a production process that capitalizes on market opportunities. Francis Lawrence has managed to capitalize on the opportunities in the film industry by implementing technology that enhances the quality of films produced, thus attracting a large audience. The leadership video and course content also acknowledged that the advancement in information technology helps organizations compete and learn faster. Francis Lawrence states that his team has been forced to adapt to the use of IMAX cameras fast to improve film production because IMAX cameras are the new trend in film production. According to Dawson & Andriopoulos (2017), organizations have used various team-based approaches to improve how knowledge is developed, applied, and disseminated in their working environments. The leadership video and course content also suggest that rapid technological advancements have contributed to the increase in the pace of change in the business environment. For instance, the Catching Fire production team has been forced to adapt to the use of IMAX cameras within the shortest time possible.
One of the lessons I learned from the leadership video is that leaders set the pace for creativity in the organization. Creative leaders challenge their followers to become creative, thus improving organizational performance (Mumford et al., 2017). For instance, Francis Lawrence’s creative mindset and demonstration of creativity in the film production process influence the camera team to be creative and design camera rigs to help them hold the IMAX cameras during production despite their large sizes.
The second lesson I learned is that implementing an idea and successfully completing a project requires commitment and owning the project. Francis Lawrence attributed the success of his films to staying committed and loving something about every project. Passion also creates room for creativity to ensure that the project is completed successfully. The third lesson was that autonomy promotes creativity. Leaders should grant their teams autonomy to make decisions relating to the project to promote the exchange of different ideas, hence enhancing creativity. For instance, Francis Lawrence did not interfere with his team’s development of rigs to support the IMAX cameras and hold them with their hands during production despite the fact that the cameras are not hand-held by other film production teams due to their large sizes.
The fourth lesson is that a leader should always acknowledge the efforts made by their team to guarantee the success of a project. Acknowledging efforts boosts team morale and promotes creativity because team members develop a sense of belonging to the project and are willing to do what is required to complete the project successfully. Leaders should also collaborate with team members to brainstorm creative ideas that should be implemented for project success.
Dawson, P., & Andriopoulos, C. (2017). Managing change, creativity, and innovation. SAGE.
Fast Company. (2013). “Hunger Games” Director Francis Lawrence On Capturing Katniss and Catching Fire with IMAX [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX8SP1wTbmw
Mumford, M. D., Mulhearn, T. J., Watts, L. L., Steele, L. M., & McIntosh, T. (2017). Leader impacts on creative teams. Oxford Scholarship Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190222093.003.0006
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