Each year, the Oscars® shine a Hollywood spotlight on a number of film industry realities: the Academy’s preference for dramas, Meryl Streep’s longevity and red carpet sartorial competition (which often overshadows the films themselves).
Above all else, the three-plus hour awards show reminds audiences how many distinct types of people it takes to pull off a feature film. Beyond the main cast, there are masses of behind-the-scenes pros without whom there would be no blockbuster hits.
Conference calls may not take 12 years to produce or gross more than $200 million, but they do take a well-rounded team to produce. Here’s a look at the different types of people who contribute to a successful conference—seen through an Oscar lens.
1. The Director
Everything from three-hour biopics to 30-second commercials needs a smart director, and the same goes for conference calls. When it comes to meetings, this is the person in charge of assembling a diverse group of people and kicking off the action.
This is the leader who scheduled the conference call, comes prepared to make introductions and help break the ice among unfamiliar attendees and brings the conversation back on track if attentions are diverted.
2. The Screenwriter
Most actors can’t improvise their way through a feature-length shoot. In both movies and conference calls, scripts are essential to running an organized, thoughtful production. The conference “screenwriter” collaborates closely with the director to create a detailed agenda, take notes during the meeting and documents any important decisions made or questions brought up for future check-ins.
3. The Star of the Show
If the director is most visible at the beginning and end of a meeting, the lead actor or actress is responsible for carrying out everything in between. Once the director yells “action,” the lead is always ready to execute lines (or run through the agenda) and keep the discussion moving forward.
He or she isn’t one to hog the spotlight, however. A strong lead knows when to call on other attendees to add new perspective and keep other participants engaged.
4. The Supporting Cast
Supporting characters in film aren’t accountable for every plot twist and turn, but they do bring necessary complexity or comic relief to whatever scenes they’re in. During a conference call, the supporting players are there to weigh in on—and add color to—specific agenda topics.
He or she might be a subject matter expert, or the sole representative from a particular department, who offers insight the lead actor or actress can’t.
5. The Cinematographer
Turning raw footage and b-roll into a fluid, aesthetically appealing movie takes more than magic; it takes a smart cinematography team. If audiences can’t detect the technical edits and minute effects cinematographers make during post-production, they’re doing their job right.
Conference call service providers play a similar behind-the-scenes role. Their audio/video technology and infrastructure ensure optimal call quality—regardless of where attendees dial in from or what device they’re using—for a seamless meeting experience.
Are there other Hollywood roles that translate to your organization’s conference calls? What “role” do you play during meetings? Let us know in the comments below.