Empathy: The Most Important Element in a Storyteller's Kit Bag

Video production is, at every stage, about being in tune with other people.

From understanding a project brief and a client's needs, to working with a crew on set, to the empathetic gauntlet-run that is conducting interviews and the psychological labyrinth that is getting into your audience's head while editing, managing to see the world from the perspective of others is the make-or-break attribute in any successful filmmaker's toolkit. 

Filmmaker Ryan Booth (who recently shot an excellent behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of The Revenant) gets this point across better than anyone I've heard in an impassioned talk he gave for the Creative Mornings series late last year:

Ryan Booth speaks on the importance of empathy for yourself, your collaborators, and your clients. 

It's a hard line to walk for us creatives - we need the affirmation that comes with praise for our work and often it's a necessary trait to ignore the opinions of others in order to stay true to a vision- art is not created through democracy. However singularity of vision is not the same thing as arrogance and pig-headedness.

Empathy by philosopher Roman Krznaric

Empathy by philosopher Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric is a cultural thinker and writer on the art of living. This talk is based on his new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. Roman is a founding faculty member of The School of Life in London, and advises organisations including Oxfam and the United Nations on using empathy and conversation to create social change.