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The Ethics of Success with Avatar Producer

The ethics of success with the Highest Grossing Movie Producer on the Planet

Academy and Golden Globe winning producer Jon Landau  talks candidly about the work ethic needed for success.

"We are not in this alone, filmmaking is a collaborative art form, we need the support and ideas of so many other people to make it successful. For them to do that well you need to let them know you value them."

Listen to the seven minute audio below. Here are five keys:

1. Put your crew, cast and staff first

The project comes second to the family of the people you hire. What makes movies/projects special are people. You have to let the people know you value them. The true value of our success in life is what our friends, kids and partners think of us, not how well our projects do.

2. Have an opinion and articulate it

Too often people harbour an opinion they don’t share. You can’t just say you don’t like something. You have to give the reasons you don’t like it but you can’t expect them to change immediately either. “The people I’ve met in New Zealand who are most successful have opinions and they can articulate the reasoning behind the opinions.”

3. We have to take initiative and responsibility for what we do

No matter what role we have, we need to take initiative and responsibility. With responsibility naturally comes criticism. You can’t be afraid of that, you have to learn from it. You don’t have to change whatever it is they don’t like but better understand why they needed to criticise it. "Position or spin it in a different way that is better received next time."

4. Become more robust by not being afraid to fail 

We’re defined by how we get up from our failures. Deal with life with a certain joie de vivre and fearlessness - which doesn’t mean recklessness - but rather a fearlessness to go out and try something. "More ideas are left dormant because people are afraid to fail, than those that are attempted and failed."

5. Know what to compromise

We all have deadlines, budgets and restrictions. The key to success is finding ways to compromise that doesn't compromise the final product - what you’re writing, drawing or producing. You have to be the arbiter of knowing what to compromise that doesn't compromise the goal of the final product.

 
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