Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trust building

For the past couple years I've been doing 'ghost writing'. Working on a ghost written book is an odd sort of endeavor, it's closer to a marriage than a job. I believe that a good ghost written book is only possible when there is intimacy, truthfulness and openness between the co-author and the writer.

When my co-author and I have a fundamental trust of each other, everything works. Drafts get finished, books go to the publisher, difficulties are worked out and resolved.

Without trust, nothing works. It becomes impossible to solve the simplest problem. Misunderstandings multiply and become malignant. This has led me to think about trust and how it is created between two people.

Real trust is not given, or granted, it is only earned. And the earning of trust takes time. There is no substitute.

Thus the phrase--common in documentary filmmaking circles-- of "trust building." As one filmmaker told me, "Trust building is the heart of documentary filmmaking."

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