For the past years, I’ve poured my heart and soul into perfecting the craft of tabletop and special effects work as the proud owner of Bites studios, supporting and collaborating with directors on some of the most advanced and intricate projects in the industry. I might say, I’ve seen a lot… and, I’m a bit of an observer.
I’ve witnessed the industry evolve and transform in ways that few could have imagined, and I have come to recognize that there are certain key traits and skills that are crucial for success in tabletop directing. What’s the difference between a good tabletop director and the best one and what it takes to excel in this highly competitive field?
For me, one of the most crucial traits is a deep commitment to collaboration and co-creation with both the agency and the client. Best directors are able to communicate their vision effectively and work as a mediator between the different teams involved in the production.
The best tabletop directors don’t just execute a predetermined vision, but instead work hand-in-hand with their partners to push the boundaries of creativity and explore new approaches.
To achieve excellence in tabletop directing, one must be unafraid of innovation and constantly seek to expand their creative horizons. A willingness to adapt and experiment with emerging technologies and techniques is essential, as is a passion for storytelling. At the end of the day, it is the ability to craft a compelling narrative that separates the truly exceptional directors from the rest.
On set, there are several critical factors that count the most. Being well-prepared and having a clear understanding of the desired outcome for each shot is paramount. Additionally, a deep understanding of lighting techniques and how to use them to create the desired effect is fundamental.
While the primary goal of tabletop content is to showcase the product in a visually appealing manner, a great tabletop director thinks in terms of the overall film and creates a cinematic experience that engages the audience.
Creating an environment that inspires and energizes the team is another vital thing. By fostering a culture of inclusiveness and collaboration, a skillful director can shape the conditions for super-creative outcomes, where everyone has a voice and feels empowered to contribute to the project. This encourages the team to think outside the box, experiment with new ideas, and create something truly unique and memorable.
Tabletop directing is a highly specialized field that demands a unique combination of creative vision, technical expertise and collaborative approach. Embracing these qualities can take the art of directing to another level. I have seen it firsthand.