Oh, did I say thank you… I ment to say THANK YOU!!!


Thank-You-word-cloud-1024x791How do I say ‘Thank You’ and really mean it… this is a question I have thought on, a lot, and here’s what I’ve come up with!

Before I wrote my very first blog, one piece of tutorial advice that I received was to read the comments on the posts to see what they have to say. You might say, ‘yeah, well duh obviously’, but what the tutorial was saying is, don’t just read the comments, assess them to see if they are genuine. If the information in the comment is correct… if it mentions specifics within the article, if it offers thoughts related to the content… then the comment is probably genuine.

But if it’s just a general, ‘hey, nice blog’ and ‘ by the way, check out this link to my discount shoe emporium’, it’s definitely spam.

Thank You’s work exactly the same way. People can smell the spam a mile away.

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I’ve had the chance to witness directors, producers, department heads and of course costumers, stand up and deliver beautiful, heartfelt, sincere ‘thank you’ speeches to their crews… and I can tell you that something that comes from the heart makes all the difference.

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I remember working with an amazing crew in a far off country on a shoot with all kinds of unique and wonderful challenges… language, different supplies, local work customs… and some just plain challenging challenges!

During our first prep week I shared lunches and coffee conversations with this crew about their pervious projects that I was truly jealous of the huge, amazing films they had worked on! Their experience level was incredible and it showed in their positive, professional attitude on the job. On-set I was amazed that, without the assistance of walkie-talkies, they were always at my side when I needed somebody. They laughed and chatted and were so kind to all the background and the local cast… and always got their tasks done. These are costumers that I would work with any where at any time!

But because they were a local crew, there was a language barrier and some of their work customs were different, their efforts were discounted, and I was very saddened when they were just thanked indifferently at the end of the show.

I hoped I was able to lift a few spirits with my own personal expressions of gratitude, but I sensed that for some the damage had been done, and they left that show feeling unappreciated.

Okay… we want to thank people, but how do we do it effectively?thank-you-1Let’s start with common sense… we depends on our team members so it makes sense that we get to know a little bit about them. Be aware of their skills so we can utilize each crew member to their best advantage. Even if they speak another language and you can’t, find someone to help you translate, grab a dictionary… even hand charades work! The key is to communicate.

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You would do this anyway, right, just to help create a great team? So why stop there?

When the work starts, pay attention to the people you are working with. What are they doing everyday to make your day better? What are they doing to affect other people on the crew positively? What are the specific things that you really appreciate about how they do their job?

If we want to truly thank the people we work with simply tell them you appreciate them and tell them specifically why… one sentence… with a connecting look that tells them ‘this is coming from me, this is from my heart’.

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And for the person whose name you don’t even know, but who stopped to helped you lift your cart out of the mud when it capsized and get you back on your way to set, the idea still applies; get out of your own thoughts, and take the moment to connect and say… ‘thank you’.

From the heart!

A real thank you is more important then any gift.

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It is a great way to end a long hard day or week, to make some one feel better… or just to let the crew you are working with know that you truly appreciate them hanging in there with you! a-colorful-hugSo to my set crew on this crazy show I just finished!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You all hung there with me through all the troubles that production threw at us. We made it through the rain, the blood, the mud and the lack of pay cheques!

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Sun set on the last day! The run to get the photo before we did the last shooting, I mean shot… Well it was the last bullet hit that was in last shot!

Odessa, you did a great job your first time on the truck. We had so many costumes to clean, set and dress each day. You always had a smile and a positive attitude with each cast member, and a willingness to learn on the fly. Thank you.

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Okay Odessa why can’t I find any photos of you! So here we are the day I volunteered on her Zombie movie, Zombie Lane!

Cat, I don’t know how this would have happened with out you. To have your expertise at breakdown and your attentive attitude on set was a godsend. You even boldly took on 2nd unit with the blood, bullet hits and horses for me! I can’t thank you enough!

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Cat, Dawn and Tracey! Photo taken by Jon Cassar, our amazing director, on the last day of shooting. See we are still smiling and laughing!

 Tracey, you’re the gem that we were lucky to have found! Thank you for joining us on this crazy adventure… and to your family, thank you so much for letting mommy come! I think this ‘thank you’ almost needs to be an apology to your husband and children. With all your help with blood pools, squibs and SPFX, I think you have become a new costumer with a vengeance! I love your smile, your laugh is infectious and your excitement for this job rubs off on to all those around you! Thank you!

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Tracey helping me make the last minute request of a blood pool. Yep we used ice to cool it down fast!

Lisa and Carly! I have never had a costume trainee… we don’t usually get one… and certainly not two! I hope that you both were able to learn a little something from everyone! Understanding our department is a challenge. Each position is special and unique and has it’s own set of challenges. You both got to experience some the highs and lows on a daily basis. I am sending a thank you to you both for hanging in there. Shopping, dressing, and breakdown, hanging out in the truck, on the set with me and with the background costumers… you were a pleasure to have on the team. I hope that we were able to give you a better understanding of our crazy, upside-down, wonderful world that we work in each day. Thank you to you both!

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Carly and Tracey scrubbing those muddy boots! Lisa where are you I think you hide from my camera!! I get you next time!

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9 thoughts on “Oh, did I say thank you… I ment to say THANK YOU!!!

  1. Smiling at your implied advice to use simple hand gestures, if necessary (due to language barriers), to indicate your positive thoughts and support. I’ll just add that you should be certain that you know what any hand gestures mean in the local ‘vernacular’! I frequently use the ‘OKAY’ gesture when home in the USA (thumb and first finger circled into the O with the other three fingers raised… I’m sure we all know it). BUT, I learned that in Brazil this is quite a rude gesture meaning something completely different! Whoops… took weeks for me to get out of that habit and switch to thumbs up!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for leading by example and mentoring our up-and-comers! You are a gem, Dawn! Hope our paths continue to cross 🙂

    Brook and Ritchie

  3. I didn’t expect to hear directly from you when I read your blog today! Thank you for brightening my day and leaving a happy tear in my eye. I guess sometimes the surprise thankyous mean the most! All the best with your next challenges!

  4. Hi I was wondering about the elephant picture and if I could get permission to re print it or if I could get the information from the person who has the rights for the picture?

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