I was browsing Twitter a few days ago and I found a handle that jumped out at me. @SuttonFilmmaker. 'Wow', I thought. 'I'm a filmmaker in Sutton'. So I tweeted them about their group keen to know what they do.
I thought about my group of friends in general, especially those that have an interest in filmmaking. It got me thinking about the term TRIBE. What is a tribe? Who are my tribe? What is their purpose?
As life goes on and we age, friendships organically drift apart. That's part of life. I'd love to hang out more with my friend Neil, but we both have significant others and young children, which becomes a priority. I would have my friend Gareth around every weekend for day long movie marathons but it just isn't possible anymore. The less time you have the more you focus on what (and who) is important. My close friends are ones that are supportive and in return they are the people that I would get out of bed at 3am if they needed help. They're the basis of my tribe. They're not all into filmmaking or the creative arts (although most are just because of the world I inhabit). Above everything they are decent human beings.
My tribe then extends further to professional contacts that I have worked with and support my creative ventures. They're people that started as crew and through a series of productions and interactions have become friends. They're DPs, sound designers, producers, runners etc. They're people that have an understanding of the creative industry and want to get involved in strong ideas because (a) creative people love to create and (b) because we have a friendship and everyone (in any industry) wants to work with good people.
My tribe extends even further. Twitter is amazing. I didn't get it for years. Like many people before me and I'm sure many people now, I just didn't know how to use it. I didn't have a purpose for it. Now it very much does and although my followers might not be aware of it they are becoming part of my tribe. I had an interaction last week with a writer based in Wales. He had seen a short film I'd made and he was looking for a director to work with. Through a series of tweets and DMs not only did I realise that we had a lot in common but also that he was the type of person that I wanted to forge a friendship with. Within a few days he had pointed me in the direction of a great opportunity to direct content that would be broadcast on the BBC. I have no idea where that opportunity may lead but the point is I wouldn't have been aware of it had that particular member of my tribe not felt like he could support me enough to reach out and suggest it as a great option for me. That's one example. I speak on Twitter with actors that i amy work with in the further, DPs that I might collaborate with, makeup artists that want to work on my next project. The possibilities are endless.
So to answer the original set of questions. A tribe supports and nurtures you. A tribe are old friends, industry professionals and creatives in the same position as you. They're purpose is to keep you motivated, push you towards your goal and in return you'll do the same for them.
Ask yourself who is in your tribe? Who is motivating you to finish that script? Who is encouraging you to make that film? Who are you supporting and motivating?
Don't have a tribe? Come and join mine. Entry and free. You'll receive virtual high-fives just for turning up. Guaranteed nurturing and support whatever you're creating. The funny thing is you might already be in my tribe, you just don't know it.