Pop Quiz, Monday with Sean Hampton, Managing Partner at Crash Site Films

Photo credit: Sean Hampton
The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Sean Hampton

What is your job role?

As Managing Partner I’m responsible for the oversight of all projects in our company, at all stages of development. Depending on the project my involvement can be as light as reviewing a script for production, or as detailed as negotiating distribution deals for a film. I also work closely with the many creative people it takes to make a production such as sound engineers, directors of photography, and other producers who may need to bring in another company to help get a production completed.

Tell us about your company?

Crash Site Films is a Los Angeles based production company specializing in feature films and digital content including web series, commercials, and original virtual reality series.

What do you love most about your job?

Throughout my working life, I’ve always paid close attention to what I liked and didn’t like about where I worked. Most of the time the reason I didn’t like a job had to do with the environment in which I worked. Now I can create a good working environment that I’ve enjoyed operating in before and don’t have to feel hesitant about going in to work.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

I love the entertainment industry and what it takes to get a project done. That doesn’t mean there aren’t days filled with challenges, but every career comes with that reality. I’m also motivated by the people I work with. A creative project is a team creation and not just the writer, director, producer, performers, etc. Collaborating on this scale and breathing life into a project that just started as a simple idea is a unique experience that never gets old.

How do your co-workers inspire you?

My co-workers are experts in their fields, so they’re always bringing their A game when it’s time to work. When everyone else is doing their best, and they are at the level I see day to day, you want to do your best, so you’re not dragging the project down. We’re only as strong as our weakest link, so the desire to add real value is always present.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

Film crews are full of talented people so during breaks we like to see who has unusual talents they can display. We’ve had knife throwers, contortionists, voice performers, etc. It’s always fun discovering what someone can do. That’s the sort of thing that, depending on the skill, can sometimes end up in a movie. After we see it on set if the skill we can put the crew member doing it on camera, and it might make it into the film.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Most of my challenges come from coordinating schedules. Because everyone is an independent contractor, they are usually working on multiple projects. That means they might be booked to work on another set on several, non-sequential days and now I have to find the days I can use them and fit them into my shooting schedule. If that doesn’t work, I now have to find a new person for the job. Also, it’s common for people to leave a job because another came along offering more money, so now it’s a rush to replace someone at the last moment.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

Just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean it’s bad. “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.” It’s an old cliché, but it has stuck around for a reason. No matter the industry there will be plans that don’t work, costs that seem out of control, and people who don’t do exactly what you expect. This is where many people decide to quit, but that won’t lead to victory. To be successful, we have to learn to adjust and go with the flow. Because something doesn’t happen the way, you expect it doesn’t mean it won’t ultimately be a benefit or work better in the long run.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

The biggest hindrance to success I’ve seen in this industry is complacency. Always remember this is YOUR career we’re talking about. You have to work to make opportunities for yourself constantly. Hanging out and trying to feel important will not lead to work.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: