Crews Control On: How to Balance Your Dream Job + Your Day Job

By Andrea Keating
Founder and CEO, Crews Control
June 2012

When it comes to having a healthy business, I know the key to success is to surrounded myself with creative people. Not only do I have more fun, but the more creative they are, the more I learn from them.

I then find ways to take their best ideas and incorporate them into my business, so that my employees and clients all benefit from the creativity that is generated. Click here to learn more about Crews Control’s Four Creativity Secrets.

In my quest to understand even more about the power of creativity, I picked up a copy of “Imagine,” by Jonah Lehrer. In it, he points to research that shows entrepreneurs with expansive social networks are three times more innovative than people with only small networks of close friends.

“Instead of getting stuck in the rut of conformity—thinking the same tired thoughts as everyone else—they are able to invent profitable new concepts, thanks to their wide social circles and collections of acquaintances who inspire novel thoughts,” he writes in Chapter 7.

Immediately, I thought of my colleague Anita Allison.

A filmmaker and director, who by day is the executive producer at Bain & Company, Anita is the epitome of creativity—not only with her work, but in how she runs the video department at Bain.

Indeed, Bain & Company is one of the world’s leading business consulting firms. It works with top executives to help them make better decisions, convert those decisions to actions, and deliver the sustainable success they desire.

Anita is a shining example of why the firm has been so successful.

Consider her first film, “Agent Orange,” (pictured right) which she crafted as a 32-year-old communications student at the University of Hawaii. “I wrote my senior thesis on fundraising for independent films,” she shares, giving a nod to the difficulty of raising money to finance movies. She also hosted a fundraiser at the Hard Rock Cafe and then applied for grants that enabled her to finish the $18,000 film.

That was nearly a decade ago, and since then, Anita has been working on other film projects, including the one she optioned 18 months ago, “Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding,” by Jessie Sholl. With screenwriter Nikki Brovold, she’s in the process of finishing a business proposal and will look for funding for their $1.5 million budget.

Since June 2010, the woman who was formerly a producer at Sundance Channel has been bringing her skills and passion to her job at Bain. While she loves creating her own films, she says she loves her day job, too.

“I’ve always been after telling a good story, whether it’s through graphics, audio, or video, and I enjoy the process as much as seeing the final outcome,” Anita explains. “I will continue to tell stories—whether it’s corporate cheerleading, pushing a product through branded entertainment, or crafting a story on my own or with friends.”

With specialties that include creative brainstorming, story structure, branding, brand continuity, rallying the troops, quality, integrity, and setting-up processes—filmmaker, producer, and director Anita Allison says the key to her success is keeping a fresh eye and always being on the lookout for interesting new things to bring into her work.

Try one of Anita’s ideas on using creativity to inspire, innovate, and bond:

1. Form a Movie Club. “I’m not interested in just making corporate videos; I strive to push the envelope, and keep every video that I make authentic, original, and less stagey than expected,” Allison says. “To do that, it’s important for my staff and colleagues to get out of the office and let the world in.”

2. Take Field Trips. She also takes her team on field trips—to museums and parks, and for walks around New York City. “It opens our eyes to what is happening outside our building, and helps my team collaborate in new and exciting ways.”

3. Start a Photo Club. “Most people in corporate media departments graduated with creative majors and most never really intended to work for a large company,” she realizes. “My mission is to keep the creativity flowing and encourage everyone around me to do the same.”

For more information on Crews Control, and to read the blog that offers great insights into the latest trends in videography, click here.


About Andrea Keating

When Andrea Keating founded Crews Control in 1988, it was the first-ever, film-and-video-crew staffing agency. Since then, the company’s focus has been to match each client with the perfect local crew for each specific shoot.

“That means we can offer our clients the quickest response time when they need to book a crew, and then provide the most dedicated customer service in the business,” she says.

Click here to learn more.