One of the key points in Warshawski's book is that you need to make sure that you have excellent people in other positions if you have a new or inexperienced person serving as the director or producer of a film. For example, if you have a director who is just out of film school, he thinks it is extremely important to find a producer
who has a track-record of success in funding and managing successful documentary films. This does not mean that new people cannot get a break in the industry. It only means that you need to balance new people with more experienced people to create a credible application.
Oil Portrait of a Female Model
by John C. Drew
The more inexperienced the director, the more experienced the producer or executive producer needs to be for your project.
Likewise, if you have a new director, then you also need to team him/her up with an experienced videographer so that your get quality shots for your film. However, a team led by an experienced director can get away with using a less experienced crew because the funder assumes the director will make up for their inadequacies.
In the same manner, I like to balance our grant project teams. For example, if I have an extremely experienced and skilled executive director, then I do not mind teaming them up with less experienced staff - especially if this means we can save some money. If the executive director is new, however, then I argue for adding to the grant project staff members with the strongest academic credentials and experience even if they appear over-qualified for their positions.
I think that this common sense approach makes more sense when you are thinking about documentary films because the roles of the cameraman or the director are so specific and so differentiated. In the typical non-profit it often seems like everybody is doing everybody's job.