Whether you work as an independent filmmaker or in a studio setting, integrity is the first thing we can lose when working in the entertainment industry. We go into the industry with big dreams and passions, but when we realize the culture and working environment is unhealthy and competitive, it’s easy to compromise on our values and adapt to the culture around us.
We all want to be successful. However noble our initial motives are, pressure can shake what we stand for. Our idea of success gets twisted and we compromise on character for the sake of popularity and money. And when those two become our motivation, things get messy.
What it is about integrity that’s so important?
Demonstrating integrity in all areas of your life will allow people to trust you. They know where they’re at with you and are called to a higher standard themselves.
Bit by bit, this will cultivate a culture of respect and honor. No matter how big or small your position is, you will make an impact on the atmosphere and culture around you. People will notice.
A CLEAR CONSCIENCE
Imagine your project/film makes gazillions. Will you have a clear conscience about the way you got there, or will you have to numb the little nudge in your heart, knowing you got there by compromising on your moral standards? You alone are responsible for your actions. Even if you get away with little illegalities here and there, it’s just not worth having guilt nibble on your conscience.
Compromising starts small. One compromise will lead to the next and corrupt the most noble person.
Are you compromising your creativity for the sake of making something you know will bring in more money, but is destructive to your audience? When others confront you, will they be able to have a reason to call you out?
GOOD WORK ETHIC
Needless to say, which employer would not seek an honest and trustworthy employee? And which employer would not want to entrust you with more responsibilities over time? You will get more credibility as an artist, and likely more opportunities for growth. Integrity will keep you moving forward. It requires patience, but in the long run, it’s worth it.
SUCCESS IS INTEGRITY
Walking in integrity is, in my opinion, success in itself. If you’ve persevered and not allowed yourself to make compromises along the way, the satisfaction is much greater than short-lived success.
At the end of the day, we’re all in this together, creating art for great audiences to enjoy. We could choose to satisfy our selfishness, or call each other to a higher standard and raise the bar for our community of creatives as a whole.