Art is a funny thing. As a form of personal expression, art, in its many forms, can be tremendously powerful and provide a sense of catharsis unlike anything else. However, when groups of people come together and creatively collaborate, something overwhelmingly powerful happens: a piece of content much larger than the individuals involved is born and takes flight. The product becomes a reflection of not only a time and a place, but an expression of what it means to be a human in that time and place. With this in mind, No Film School is proud to exclusively premiere a brand new short documentary from our peeps at stillmotion and Marmoset called Side by Side that celebrates the process of creative collaboration.

First, here's a little bit of background on what Side by Side is all about:

In March 2013, co-founders Ryan Wines and Brian Hall invited a diverse group of artists from Marmoset's roster to take part in a spontaneous collaboration, challenging each band to cover the song of another. 12 bands, four days, and only one studio -- the result is an eclectic, yet cohesive menagerie of songs and sounds, representing a fresh slice of the Northwest indie music and the sense of community that ties it together. Artists include Radiation City, Lost Lander, Dolorean, Kye Kye, The Parson Red Heads, and others.

And here is Side by Side, premiering online for the first time on No Film School:

Although this doc is about musicians creatively collaborating, it has so much to offer from a filmmaking perspective. Narrative filmmaking is, by its very nature, a collaborative art, one that requires a multitude of departments and individuals in order for it to be done well. Individuals, by their very nature, come with a wholly unique perspective that is derived from a unique set of life experiences. This is something that should be embraced and celebrated in the filmmaking process. Sadly, it rarely is.

In the past 50 years or so, much of the world has embraced the notion of the auteur, the individual director whose sole creative vision is resultant in the films that we see. Perhaps there was a time when the auteur theory could be justified, but in the modern narrative filmmaking atmosphere, the idea of the auteur seems somewhat irresponsible due to the fact that it literally take a community of people, either large or small, to make a narrative film.

Hence the idea that filmmakers should truly embrace the idea of creative collaboration. Like the musicians in Side by Side, we should approach every project with an open mind, yet be diligent in conveying our ideas and beliefs. We should be willing to communicate and compromise, yet take pride in the notion that these compromises exist for the purpose of bettering the final product. It's through this process of creative collaboration that we can take our films to another level and make our art more reflective of the people who created it.

Be sure to listen to the full record of Side by Side on Marmoset's blog.

What did you guys think of Side by Side? How do you foster creative collaboration on your sets? Let us know in the comments!