We Make Movies was founded almost on accident. It was a reaction to Hollywood’s lukewarm response to a labor of love by co-founders Sam Mestman and Joe Leonard, and by their friend and fellow accidental co-founder, Tara Samuel. (If you’d like to hear the whole story of We Make Movies’ origin, check out the very first of our ‘How We Make Movies’ podcasts.)

The reasons for coming together once a month or so, were simple: to help one another make the movies we wanted to make. In the few short years that we’ve been coming together to read our movies and then make them together, our little collective has grown, and the growth has been fast. So fast in fact, that some of us were afraid that those pure and honest reasons that we’ve been coming together could be threatened – that if large numbers of people come into the group without understanding how we started and what we’re about, then the goals and ideals of the group could be threatened.

We Make Movies - the Los Angeles film collective

We’re not big on rules. We don’t like DOs and DON’Ts, so we took a page from the book of Tracy Wong and Pat Doody, the men who founded the advertising agency WONGDOODY nearly twenty years ago (now known as Wong, Doody, Crandall, Weiner). They created what they call Corporate Values to maintain a fun, productive and creative environment at their agency – an environment that’s won them multiple awards for being amongst the best places to work. The key to their success though, was to not just talk about their Values, but to believe in them and live by them. So we came up with our own We Make Movies Values, and with them we hope to maintain our ideals, as well as be able to be successful in this crazy, competitive town, without becoming complete douchebags.

So what are our Values? What are the We Make Movies Values? We start each workshop listing them, but don’t have time to get too in-depth with what they really mean to us or how we hope to maintain them. The truth is that we spent quite a lot of time hashing out the specific wording of these Values. We wanted to make sure they were self-explanatory, meaningful and covered all the different ideals that we care about.

There are moments when they mean different things to each of us, but they all reflect our over-all desire to create more and better opportunities for independent filmmakers to get their movies, episodes, web-series and shorts made and distributed without too much drama, meddling or crushing of souls.

These are We Make Movies’ Values:

  • Make it fun while you make it.
  • Always deliver on your dream.
  • Quality = making the most of your resources.
  • Help the community to help yourself.
  • Make the movie that you want to see.

So welcome to our world! We very much hope that while you’re here, you take these values to heart as much as we do, because we care very much about them, and hope to live by them for a long, long time.

Chad Kukahiko
Chief Operations Officer of We Make Movies

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