Working on corporate sets can be long and tiresome, however you can usually expect to experience some downtime. Every once in a while you’ll have some time on set where there’s nothing for you to do. Everything has been set up on your part and maybe you’re waiting for talent or props or, like what we faced the other day, literally watching paint dry. Just like with any other job or career you will want to converse with and get to know the people you are working along side. Now there are some topics that you want to stay away from. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from the usual controversial topics, such as religion and politics, but then which topics are safe?
There are definitely some topics that you and others can comfortably discuss. Many of which are related to your industry and general media trends. Not to mention, most people can and do contribute to conversations about these topics. Here are a few examples to give you an idea for future conversations:
1.) Viral Videos- Viral videos are always a hit. Make sure to have a couple in mind to show to those on set. The more hilarious or cringe worthy a video is the better. Stay away from serious or sad videos as they can disrupt the mood on set.
2.) The Latest Gear- If you recently purchased or you worked with some new gear, talk about it! Usually people are interested in what is “up and coming.” Many people may have only heard about the new tech, but if you’ve had experience with it they will be intrigued. If you happen to have that gear with you, take it out and do a hands-on demonstration. It also helps to stay current on the latest gear. You never know whom you could be working with or whom you can impress.
3.) What’s at the Box Office- Staying up-to-date on new releases coming out in theaters is always good. Did you watch the latest trailers? Enjoy a film over the weekend? Talk about it! Talk to other people and discuss opinions, theories, and thoughts. Share your own opinion, but make sure you stand firm on your opinion. Even though others may not like it or agree with you, this doesn’t mean that your answer is wrong. In addition, hearing other insights will help you expand your knowledge. It may also give you an idea of what to look for the next time you head to the movies.
4.) TV Shows- We all have our week night rituals, though some of you may binge watch on the weekends to catch up on the episodes you’ve missed during the week. One thing that everyone on set has in common is we all have our favorite TV shows. Whether they’re new or old always be prepared with an opinion to talk about what you like and what you don’t. There are hundreds of TV shows and none of us have time to watch them all. So if you have one that you can’t get enough of because of the style, acting, or story bring it up! You may recommend shows to others and vice versa. This can help to deepen relationships, create common interests, or simply open up a channel of inquiry regarding camera techniques, set design, etc.
These are just some of the many topics that you can discuss with your friends and fellow crew on a corporate film set. Many times the client may join in on these discussions, so be sure that whatever you’re discussing is appropriate. Stay away from foul language or anything racy – just to be safe.
Although downtime may not always happen, these topics are great to discuss during lunch breaks as well. Remembering these topics will ensure that even if you’re working with new people you have something to talk about, something in common with them, and you won’t feel like the weirdo who just sits in the corner saying nothing. You don’t have to be completely out of the box or the center of attention, but it definitely makes you feel more included if you’re able to participate in a conversation.
Bonus points if you can make them laugh. This will make you memorable. People always want to work with others that they enjoy being around and can have a decent conversation with.